Thursday, April 28, 2011

Conservative Artwork censored at BYU?

Excerpts of "BYU Censors Artwork for Being Too Conservative" by Jon McNaughton, plus selected comments.
This is a sad day for me to have to write this.  ... After recent events I had to let the public know why I have chosen to pull all my art from the BYU Bookstore.

My letter sent to the BYU Daily Universe:

I have a simple question for BYU…what in the heck is going on over there?!  I am an artist who has sold his work at the BYU Bookstore for many years.  But in light of recent events, I cannot in good conscious show my art there any longer.

A couple of years ago I decided to paint a picture that takes a stand for something that matters to me and to many Americans.  The title of the picture is “One Nation Under God.” It depicts Christ standing among many patriots of the past while holding the US Constitution.

Just as our country is divided now on the issues, so goes this painting.  It has been extremely popular at the BYU Bookstore, but despite its success, it was pulled from the store recently because the Vice President over the Bookstore was “uncomfortable” with the painting.  ...

[a chronology of events leading up to the final removal of his art from the BYU Bookstore is listed]

I sent President Samuelson the following letter after my invitation to speak at the BYU OPAC Conference last March was cancelled:

“Has Liberalism so infected this university that speakers can be invited to speak about the truths of Darwinism, but a simple artist who wishes to speak about the Constitution and its importance in America is too controversial?   I am very troubled and would appreciate an explanation.”

His response included, “Consequently, they have concluded that their conference is not the proper forum for such a presentation and they have the support of the BYU administration. While we believe your accusations about “Liberalism” at BYU are unfounded and unsupported in fact, ...

[A discussion continues about liberalism at BYU, listing a conference on evolution, a student democrat club, and analysis of the biology of homosexuality]

[Update: McNaughton's paintings have drawn the attention of Comedian Steven Colbert]
Comments include:
  • We must be near the end of times if a painting depicting the savior supporting the Constitution of our country is too controversial for an LDS school .... I for one, will stand with you and with the Savior!
  • I will defend this painting, and Jesus Christ and the consitution.
  • I think matters are only going to get worse as time progresses.
  • WoW!! I was shocked by the info that you put here! Satan infiltrates everywhere...even a Conservative school like BYU. We are definitely in the Last Days!
  • BYU's McKay School of Education's motto ... means indoctrinating our children into democratic socialism. ... Sadly for us, Progressivism and Socialism is now well-embedded in BYU in many of their departments
  • No longer does majority rule! Political correctness is destroying all that's good, in our nation and our lives.
  • At one time BYU wanted to become a Harvard of the West. Now it wants to become the Berkley campus of the Rocky Mountains.
  • I guess the Elders of Israel to save the Constitution will have to come from homes that value the Constitution and not BYU.
  • BYU can no longer be counted as a Christian institution. "Deny me before my Father and I shall deny you." I fear the Heathen's are taking control of the plane but it is destined to crash.
  • I have grown more and more concerned about BYU over the last few years as more and more reports of liberals professors have been cropping up.
  • It's amazing the rejection of Truth that is happening in a "Church School".
  • ...the "liberals" at BYU, who secretly loathe Christian ideals and position on moral values and conservative principles.
  • Now we see why the destruction will begin among the Lords house.
  • The BYU and Salt Lake are run by the "kingmen" (Alma 51) and Captain Moroni took out 4,000 and put in prison the rest! The current LDS members will do the same in April, 2012 General Conference - remove the Kingmen as directed by the Lord in D&C 26
  • BYU is a haven for hypocritical cowards that won't stand for the truth because they don't want to offend those that don't believe absolute truth even if it bit them in the ass! Why? Because of the MONEY!
  • I won't go near the law school because there are too many Jezebels there studying law instead of bearing children.) What is the world coming to when the Lord's University censors the works of patriots and saints like yourself? I was at BYU when the administration allowed leftists and peacemongers to protest the invitation to Dick Cheney...  We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children!
  • I am further rankled by the fact that my tithing money goes to support such ignorance and hypocrisy.
  • We should start a petition to get Glenn Beck to speak to us in general conference
  • BYU-Provo is certainly a Communist university on par with The University of Utah, even though BYU is a private university system. Just look at what they teach with the classes on "Multiculturalism" and "Humanities" among other anti-Caucasian and anti-traditional values courses.
  • BYU should sell this version instead:


    Ron Proctor said...
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    Ron Proctor said...

    (Edited Slightly)

    Here's a try at exercising my freedom of speech:

    My personal feeling is that, while the work is nicely executed, the subject is a little creepy. Considering the constitutional principle of separation of church and state, the painting seems to act against the Constitution (and yes, Constitutional Amendments, including the Bill of Rights, are part of the Constitution - by design).

    Should art be challenging? Yes. But a conservative organization like the LDS church may be interested in portraying itself as an apolitical organization, especially after the apparent PR damage caused by its recent foray into politics (Prop 8, et cetera).

    Anonymous said...

    The piece presents a very narrow view of what and who is right, and what and who is wrong, which promotes the idea that conservative republican values are favored by Jesus.

    That the artist chose to demonize others seems to be sufficient reason to take down the piece of art. I'm not sure the BYU Bookstore should hang art that is promotes one side of the culture wars.

    As to the comments, all I can say is Wow! There are some real nuts out there. I think they fail to realize that BYU is called a "University" that is supposed to promote thought and scholarship, and varient way to look at things. It is not an giant institute program that presents a single, simplistic view.

    Clair Barrus said...

    Check out this cartoon depiction of the art piece.