Saturday, 27 November 2021

Christian Hypocrisy News - 'Blasphemous' Painting of George Floyd and a Black Madonna as a Pietà Stolen

'George Floyd' pieta stolen after artist receives death threats

After evoking outrage in white conservative Christian circles, a copy of a painting by St. Louis artist Kelly Latimore, depicting the body of George Floyd being cradled by a black Madonna in an artistic device known as a Pietà, has been stolen from the Mary Mirror of Justice Chapel in the Law School of the Catholic University of America, Washington DC.

Kelly, a devout Catholic, has also received death threats and the Catholic University has received several threatening and racist letters of protest over the display of the painting.

The filmed casual murder of the black man, George Floyd, by the white policeman, Derek Chauvin, gave a new impetus to the Black Lives Matter movement and led to widespread protests across the USA and elsewhere. It also exposed the institutional racism in white evangelical Christian churches, the Police, the Republican Party and supporters of the then president, Donald Trump, and brought the white supremacist, neo-Nazi organisations such as the Proud Boys onto the streets. In what can only be described as a 'Black Lives Don't Matter', counter protest movement, cheered on by President Trump, the BLM movement were labelled terrorists and 'antifa' (under Trump, 'anti-fascist' had become an insult!). Following the attempted violent coup d'état by white supremacist and Trump supporters on Jan 6th, the white right even tried to blame it on the BLM/Antifa movement.

It's not immediately clear what the objections from the Christian white right are to this painting, which has been condemned as 'blasphemous'. Is it the depiction of George Floyd as a martyr, the depiction of Jesus as black or the victim of white supremacism, the depiction of the Virgin Mary as black or the idea that the Mother of God would mourn the death of a black victim of racist police, which they find so objectionable? Or is it simply the symbolic depiction of the murder of George Floyd as a ritual sacrifice?

Whatever their objection to the painting, it betrays a deep-seated insecurity in their faith, and an astonishing degree of hypocrisy. It is a supreme irony that whoever stole it evidently felt their faith gave them licence to ignore the eighth Commandment. As so often, 'faith' is used as an excuse for antisocial behaviour because it enables the individual to avoid personal responsibility for their actions, blaming them instead on their 'faith'.

The authorities in the Catholic University of America, have replaced the stolen copy with a smaller version. The original is kept at the Episcopal Church of the Holy Communion in St. Louis, and Missouri, USA.

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