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‘Defaced’ bible forced behind glass

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  1. The artist has been quoted in other papers saying that she hoped people would respect the bible and respect Christianity. Seems a bit naive. Pathetic demands for respect. I’ve never understood why I should have any respect for ridiculous beliefs which are used to justify hurting me and other LGBT people and anyone else who doesn’t hold the same beliefs. I have no respect for a book that is held up as from gods mouth to the page when it is written as a political text, by lots of people and the content is chosen, spouted and interpreted differently by everyone who reads it or quotes it second hand. I have no respect for the hypocrisy and selectivity, partisanship and bigotry of many Christians or those of other faiths spouting their “sacred” texts. It is ironic that comments from those LGBT people who do not wish to write their way into the bible but critise it and how it is used are not allowed or will be left out. Fragile and historically priveleged faith cannot stand much criticism.

  2. A new sign has gone up by it.


  3. I am amazed at how this piece of art work has been so universally mis interpreted, mis understood and mis represented.

    The work as I understood from the artist, was about an interactive art piece by which people rewrote themselves back into the Bible if they felt they had been excluded from it.

  4. David North 29 Jul 2009, 10:51am

    Well said David. My sentiments exactly.

  5. I can see how the artwork started out with a worthy intention, but given the inherent homophobic nature of the Old Testament – Leviticus especially, for my money it’s a pointless exercise. It’s rather like the Jewish community writing themselves into Mein Kampf.
    If I don’t like a book which pidgeonholes me as a cultural pariah destined for the fiery pit of hades on precious little hard evidence I don’t waste any time editing it to my liking, I simply leave it to gather dust, or better yet write my own book. In any case, it’s not like my revisions in this “artwork” are ever going to get published in their own right. It’s the book-edit equivalent of pissing in the wind.
    Especially now that it’s behind glass, who the hell’s going to read the revisions, even if they could possibly be construed as canonical? A privileged handful of gallery goers who know the artist at best. Don’t waste your ink on it.

  6. “They would not think of doing it to the Koran,”
    It’s true.

  7. I notice that the foul bigots form the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland have been quick to condemn it…but then they are responsible for the negativity of the the Gay and Lesbian Communities towrds Christianity and that is understandable.Gay and Lesbian folk should not mistake Christianity for the homophobic bigotry and blind hate peddled by the morally corrupt Roman Catholic hierarchy in Scotland who follow Ratzinger the Nazi Pope.What they should do instead is to rejoice in the enlightened stance taken by the other Scottish churches who are leaving “Rowan Cantuar” and his “cant” far behind.

  8. Brian Burton 29 Jul 2009, 12:35pm

    All Together….Just a spoon full os Sugar helps the medicine go down….In a most delightful way!

    John K. and David North are the two most sensible comments to date!…..An Artistic exercise and so many rushing aroung spewing verbal diarrhoea! Come Cinders, you shall go to the Ball!

    Love is fed by the imagination, by which we become wiser than we know, better than we feel, nicer than we are: by which we can see life as a whole…only what is good can feed Love…But anything will feed Hate!

  9. Oh dear, the pope is upset.

    This will of course be the leader of an undemocratic religious cult which has caused so much heartache and misery over the centuries. The Catholic Church, not content with burning people alive over several hundred years of inquisition terror across Europe, or joining together with the Nazis in Germany and the mussolini fascist dictatorship in Italy, even to this day, has a bigotted old religious leader in Scotland who openly spews venomous hatred about gays and their persecution in the holocaust (he thinks gays were not persecuted!!!).

    Anyway, I’d happily deface or burn a copy of the Evil Koran and the bible, but I’d probably get prosecuted for ‘insulting’ religion.

    Religion is just one more fruitcake superstitious belief system used to control people. It deserves NO respect from anyone. It is for the feeble minded, unable to think for themselves.

    I actually visited the exhibit, and was saddened I couldn’t get to write f*** the pope, the Koran and all the religious homophobic bigots of this planet, into the bible.

    Never mind, maybe next time.

  10. Brian Burton You’ve taken your happy pills and put your rose coloured specs on today haven’t you . I’ll have what you’re having. LOL

  11. Paul Brownsey 29 Jul 2009, 1:34pm

    And while we’re on the subject… Isn’t it time for a protest against Gideon’s Bibles in hotel bedrooms? I rather object to having to lay down my head a couple of feet from a document which says I’m an abomination and must be put to death. I usually tear out the offending pages and write in the margin, “These pages were removed out of consideration for our homosexual guests.”

  12. “They would not think of doing it to the Koran,”
    It’s true.”

    Not true, if they had a similar exhibition allowing me to deface the vile koran I’d be there with my marker pens straight away!

    But I guess you mean no art gallery would dare put on such an exhibition because our culture has become so warped and cowardly about the strangely bearded nazis and their violence

  13. Simon Murphy 29 Jul 2009, 2:51pm

    These churches are reacting in a truly ridiculous way. They seem to think that everyone should hold their books in the same regard as they do themselves.

    I’m sure if I left a copy of ‘The Joy of Gay Sex’ in a mosque or church or synagogue and invited members of these cults to write their reactions the book would not dbe defaced. It would be burned.

    I don’t hold the bible in any regard higher than a badly written work of fiction. To expect that I hold it in any higher regard than Pope Ratzinger holds ‘The Joy of Gay Sex’ is just ludicrous.

  14. What a corker. I’ve been hurt as much by the homophobia in the Bible as any one of you, so I think I know where you’re coming from. We will never protest enough against the abuse caused by the misinterpretations of scripture passages written thousands of years ago in a totally different social context and whose actual interpretations do not stand up to shcolarly scrutiny today.

    As a cradle-Catholic, I’ve got my battle scars too. In fact, I suggest we get a our spray paint, go to the Vatican and write ourselves back into the church by coloring the magnificent papal residence in rainbow colors.

    I am angry that the Magisterium, particularly the Office for the Propogation of the Faith, refuses to acknowledge our concerted and repeated pleas to update Catholic sexual theology to be in tune with the tremendous scientific discoveries of the 20th century regarding human sexuality. I will forever hate this arrogance. Utter stupidity.

    However, I am inclined to agree with the clear thinking of our resident Hegelian, John K.

    In the first place, shouldn’t we, as gay persons, at least acknowledge the honest efforts of the MCC to approach gays for whom christian faith is important, and to give them an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the parts of the Bible on which many precious and ongoing values of western civilisation are based? The MCC was founded especially for gay Christians; let’s never forget that.

    Again, let me repeat that I am as angry as you are, and this is a corker, a quandry for me. I would rather express my confusion on this issue rather than agree or disagree with any of the insightul and informative opinions posted here. I’m stumped!

    Somehow, however, I can’t help admiring the MCC for their determination to put their message across and to refuse to cave in to what can only be called vandalism. Paint spraying the cover of the Bible in rainbow colors, now there’s something I would consider a tad more meaningful and certainly more artistic, and it would reclaim the Bible for us, wouldn’t it. Haha.

  15. Bentham you can’t call it vandalism if people made comments after they were invited to and within the scope of the request. All the comments I read in press were reasonable criticisms and people relating their feelings and experiences and were not obscene. But maybe they were the one’s fit to print as they say. Vandalism or offence is subjective anyway and maybe that is part of the problem some religious peoples moral absoloutism makes criticism or other view points impossible for them to hear or engage with. I didn’t see any discussion in press of why people felt so strongly that they should make crictical comments just vandalism, desecration, obscentity offence, christians as victims blah blah blah blah.

  16. Bentham – no need to give the Vatican a fresh LGBT-themed paint job… Michelangelo got there already about 500 years ago!
    Take a closer look at those semi-clad female figures amongst the hunky toned men and you’ll notice they also have broad shoulders and thin waists!
    The models he used as reference for all those figures were male, and to make them female he merely added a couple of grapefruit on top of the chest for cleavage. I have to admire the guts of a guy who can get the pope to part with large amounts of cash for a thinly veiled homoerotic religious fresco which incorporates several transvestites!
    Just try pitching that project to the current incumbent and see how far you get ;) Now that’s subversive!

  17. Simon Murphy 29 Jul 2009, 4:26pm

    Very true David. If the MCC invites feedback to written on the pages of the bible then they should not get offended if people write than the bible is badly written, nonsensical, hateful, irrelevant rubbish.

  18. Hi David:

    Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary defines vandalism as follows:

    «vandalism n (1798): willful or malicious destruction of public or private property».

    With all due respect, David, if you want to argue with an English Dictionary, welome to the ambivalance of the 21st century where nothing means anything anymore. And when your home, purchased with your hard-earned money is attacked and spray painted and possibly torched, you can simply say that vandalism a subjective word, and not bother to persue the ambiguity that destroyed your comfort and security.

    We have talked about this before, you and I, and of course I will fight for your right to speak your mind. Thanks for the feedback.

  19. flapjack:

    Where you bin? Long time no see!

    Leave it to you to put a great spin on things. Haha.

    Great material for a cartoon or two, eh.

  20. Brian Burton 29 Jul 2009, 5:10pm

    Rose coloured specs yes indeed sir!
    I do not see and have never seen this world of owers in black and white David. Like you bearing the name of a King and a Saint. King David and Saint David Two very different but colourful people. Fictional characters as some would have it but I don’t think so. Personally, I have never tried to ram Religion down peoples throats as atheist commenters on these threads do, quite often. My belife in God is personal to me. Biblicle folk are alive, colourful, they have courage, humility, ternacity, the will to win through against the odds. I will never change my belifes. I embrace the Spirit rather than any Religion.

  21. Bentham – thanks for the nod.
    Re. your discussion with David about what constitutes vandalism, I feel in this instance it’s not so clearcut. The artist invited comments from the public to be written across the book but probably didn’t expect the ones she got.
    Do you think of this copy of the bible as being like a hotel lobby visitor’s book with generally reverent comments being the only acceptable response, or as a fully interactive piece of modern art?
    Having been a fine artist myself, most interactive artwork I’ve seen requires no such reverence, due to the “any response is valid” way in which it is presented.
    Since Dadaism, vandalising artwork has been considered as much an act of creation as the original art itself, and often the only person who can tell you to what extent you should restrain yourself is the museum guard!
    Once you invite the public to graffiti over the pages of a bible with a pen, there is a sense in which that particular bible is no longer an autonomous artifact, and in essence it becomes a free for all, especially with such an emotive object.
    In this instance it seems the public mis-construed the brief, choosing criticism over mere editing, but that could also be taken as a valid response.
    Context is everything.
    If the artist wanted more autonomy, perhaps she would’ve been better of editing it herself!

  22. flapjack:

    The only thing not clearcut is the nature of the invitation made by the inter-active art project. In a former discussion with David, I thought I had made it clear that the invitation as reported in the original article was as follows:

    “If you feel you have been excluded by the Bible, please write your way back in.”

    How can that possibly be interpreted as:

    “Please leave your comment on religion or on the Bible.”

    In that sense reducing the issue to what constitute vandalism is really missing the target altogether, right.

    For example, when Marcel Duchamp presented an upside urinal in the 1917 exhibition of the Society of Independents in NYC, I doubt that he was asking the public to interact with it by pissing on it in public. Maybe he was, but nobody did. It is a famous piece today enshrined in the collection of MNAM.

    Also, because the inter-active Bible had been proposed by the most gay friendly Christian Church on the face of the planet, it seems clear enough to me that the invitation was made primarily to gay Christians who had experienced alienation, as so many of us have.

    In view of that, any thinking person, say David and you(well, most of the time, haha) would simply have written his name in the margin to “write your way back in”, or some meaningful phrase like ‘Jesus loves me just as God made me’.

    On the other hand, if an inter-active Bible were to be used to reject Christianity outright, then the project would have to have a roll of toilet paper next to it instead of a piece of paper and a pen, right.
    Is there a law against having a crap in public or would that be considered vandalism? I could be full of it…oh well.

    Don’t be such a stranger!

  23. Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, [Jane Clarke] said: “I am saddened that some people have chosen to write offensive messages.”

    Perhaps she should have actually READ her Bible before putting it on display!!!

    It would be difficult to ‘deface’ a Bible with comments any WORSE than some of those already printed in there!!!

    The whole episode illustrates rather well Christians’ naivety (or is it blindness?) regarding both the raw, unexpurgated (and often obscene) contents of the Bible itself – as well as the extent of the contempt and anger felt toward it.

  24. This should not have been allowed.
    If you don’t agree with religion then that is your choice but how dare anyone deface the Christian Bible that is the basis of our religion.
    If it were any other religious book then it would not be allowed. Why havent the christian leaders stood up and demanded that this cease immediately, in any form. If anyone disagrees with the bible then write your own book. Remember that in some countries you would not be allowed to.

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