COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho — The leader of the Kootenai County Constitution Party says people should be outraged by a statue of a Hindu god that’s now on display on Sherman Avenue in Coeur d’Alene.
Man, the reaction from the Christian Right assholes sure is different when the shoe is on the other foot, eh? How DARE the government spend taxpayer money displaying a religious icon on public property! This is no more appropriate than installing a Ten Commandments monument would be! Whatever happened to Separation of Church and State?
Except, that’s not why they’re upset about this statue. Here’s their reason taken right from their own website:
Christians of Kootenai County should be dismayed at the appearance of a Hindu demon, Ganesh, statue that is currently found on Sherman ave in Coeur d’Alene. The godless group of individuals that manage the “art” of the city have approved this abomination by Rick Davis to be displayed on Sherman Ave.
See, they think it’s demonic. For the record, Ganesha is “widely revered as the Remover of Obstacles and more generally as Lord of Beginnings and Lord of Obstacles, Vighneshvara, patron of arts and sciences, and the deva of intellect and wisdom.”
That sounds horribly demonic, doesn’t it? There’s not much info on the KCCP website as to why they think it’s demonic, the best I could find was a comment that equates being a “false God” with being demonic, but clearly this has got their panties into a bunch:
Though the protest is not a party function, it’s supported by many party members, who believe only Christianity provides a world view “consistent with the framing of our Republic,” said party Chairman Daniel Brannan.
“Many people in the party would tend to agree with opposing something like this,” said Brannan, who also opposes the sculpture. “It is representative of a false god, of a particular religion other than the one on which our country is so solidly founded.”
It’s the old “America was founded as a CHRISTIAN nation” canard. If it were Christian in nature they wouldn’t have a problem with it. Indeed, the collection includes at a couple of Christian themed works such as a statue of St. Francis of Assisi as well as a Native American Spirit Bear, which for some odd reason isn’t commanding as much ire as poor Ganesha.
Here’s the thing: The city’s ArtCurrents project was setup as a means of bringing art to the city’s downtown area for little cost to the city. Each artwork is on display for a year and then sold off with the city getting a commission from the sale. You can see all of the current artworks, including St. Francis and Ganesha, in this brochure (*PDF). All of the artwork was looked at as being just that: art.
“We’re not looking at it as a religious symbol, we’re just looking at it as a piece of art,” Steve Anthony said.
“There are pieces of art that represent different cultures,” said Mayor Sandi Bloem. “I think that’s totally appropriate.” Bloem invited anyone who has concerns about the sculptures’ subject matter to attend the next Arts Commission meeting.
You’d think the fact that two of the pieces are Christian in their theme would appease these assholes, but apparently not. Instead they opted to whine about, what else, the Ten Commandments:
Brannan said government officials nationwide have been hypocritical about the separation of church and state when it comes to artwork. He said when Christians want to place public artwork depicting, for example, the Ten Commandments, those monuments regularly are turned away, but symbols of other religions are accepted.
There’s a difference here that our friends on the Right aren’t acknowledging. The purpose of the majority of Ten Commandment installations is anything but artistic. And I’d love to hear what other religious symbols are accepted where the TC isn’t. I think they’d be hard pressed to come up with any examples.
It’s certainly not true in the current situation:
He wasn’t speaking of Coeur d’Alene’s Arts Commission, he said, because he knows of no Christian-themed artwork that has been turned away.
Exactly. Which means you really don’t have anything to bitch about. So shut the fuck up.
Hat tip to FreeThunk.