Some art is ok. Some, not so much. Take for instance a statue of Jesus attached to a dartboard with darts through the hands and feet. That’s ok.
But 6 rainbow-colored yarn nooses hanging from a tree warrants an FBI investigation, even though the artist’s stated intent was “to address the cycle of death and rebirth that is represented by the arrival of spring.” How did this warrant FBI involvement? Because the people who felt “threatened” by this display were gay and/or black, therefore, it was thought to be a “hate crime.”
Once a “protected” class of people are offended, the 1st Amendment no longer applies. Even if your “art” is made of yarn and has no logistical way of inflicting harm on anyone (it’s YARN!), your crime is “hate”… even if it wasn’t.
We’ve come to a frightening point in our American history. Now, when one of the “protected” segments of the population “feels” offended (because those YARN nooses were not a legitimate threat!) the rest of us lose our 1st Amendment rights. What this means is… we are no longer equally protected under the law because someone else’s sensitivities matter more than another’s right to free expression.
If you listen carefully, you can almost hear that 1st Amendment gasping for air.
As a Christian, the image of Jesus attached to a dartboard is just downright disrespectful. And, yes, I find it offensive. But guess what? We live in the United States of America, where we have the 1st Amendment to protect our exercise of free expression. As long as we aren’t harming someone else or threatening to harm someone else, it’s no problem. Did the artist intend to offend Christians (or anyone else)? It doesn’t matter. Their “artwork” is covered by the 1st Amendment.
And guess what? The student’s artistic display of 6 rainbow-colored, crocheted, yarn nooses is also covered by the 1st Amendment.
If you’re offended by either of these “artistic” displays, get over it. There’s no provision in our Constitution guaranteeing you the right that you won’t be offended.
Photo credit Natalie Caruso/Facebook