I thought without internet access I'd be without material to blog about. Luckily you can always rely on the Pope and some hardcore catholics for a bit of irrational thinking, blog-fodder.
I'm sitting here in the library of my university trying to get Virgin Media to install internet into my new house, when I stumble across a story on Yahoo (UK) news. In a nutshell, a now dead German artist created a sculpture of a green frog, up on the cross, holding a beer mug in one hand and an egg in the other. Despite the obvious religious connection, I must admit that the first thing that occurred to me was that the frog was able to grasp things in his nailed hands. Clearly a feat that Jesus wasn't capable of. Pussy. You've gotta work through the pain, man.
Anyway, I'm not here to have a go at Jesus, I'm sure he was a good chap, and he was definitely a great magician. No, I'm here to have a go at the Pope.
His Holy-Popeness is up in arms (nailed ones?) at this sculpture, claiming it's offensive. One of his representatives, Franz Pahl is president of the regional government that opposes the sculpture. He went to the lengths of hunger-strike over the summer in a bid to get it removed. His faith clearly didn't allow him the strength to follow through with this threat as he was taken to hospital and has subsequently recovered. He's now threatening to step down as president of the regional government. Isn't this obvious? Let him! The last thing anyone needs is some guy being president of anything if their judgement is so obviously blinded by religious dogma and superstition. It's like a mini version of the Bush administration.
But here's what annoyed me most about this story: The catholics involved are making a massive assumption that the sculpture is some kind of anti-God statement. It's not. The artist said himself that the sculpture represented a self-portait of human angst.
Doesn't catholicism remind you of that annoying guy in the workplace who always thinks you're talking about him? The one who tries to get in on every conversation because he's so 'holier-than-thou' (excuse the pun) that you MUST be talking about him. Pull your head out of your own arse, grow up and, please, go away.
Finally, even IF the sculpture was deliberately having a go at the catholic belief system, that doesn't make it wrong. Offensive, yes, but not wrong. I find things offensive every day, as do most people, but that doesn't mean I should be able to just click my fingers and make it go away. It's called Freedom of Expression. And it's beautiful.
Just because religion's involved doesn't mean it should be afforded more respect than any other belief system. After all, if you're insulting God, so what? Remember, I'm pretty sure he can look after himself.
I must credit the artist who created this sculpture. Without him I would never have been able to write this blog post. But, more importantly, without him so many catholics would not be upset right now. Ladies and gentlemen: Martin Kippenberger.
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