The painting is very offensive and I'm glad BYU did the right thing and removed
It doesn't sound offensive. I'd like to see it. Too bad the article doesn't
provide a link or a photo. Last week the Dnews had a photo of a controversial
mural in Holladay that showed the SL temple on fire. How about updating this
story with a photo so readers can come to their own conclusion?
Stenar - do you believe that anything that offends you should be removed? Just
from the BYU bookstore, or from life in general?
It's amazing how frightened people are of an idea, whether it comes from the
left or the right. We foolishly brandish the term offensive like a sword to
placate our sense of outrage against those who may have an alternative point of
view. What's more troubling is that this type of idea suppression
runs rampant at American universities...the ostensible last bastions of free
thought and supposed protectors of intellectual sovereignty.
It is to bad that even BYU is listening to the politically correct crowd where
only liberal ideas are tolerated. If you are offended by political speech you
have no right enjoying the freedoms are country was founded upon.
Hmmm, my previous comment didn't get posted. Just slow or did Deseret News not
like what I said? I'll repost it later.Stenar: The painting depicts
what is happening in this country. Wake up!!!What is it called when
things that are true or depict the truth are being censored/banned? Is that
called Communism? Is the Bible or the Book of Mormon the next to go? Perhaps not
from BYU but what about other bookstores?FREE AGENCY, folks, one of
the most important things that we teach our youth! BYU Bookstore is taking
it away!This painting is only offensive to those who are leftists. You
know, the ones that call everyone else "racist".I fear for our
country! PRAY PRAY PRAY!!!
I have seen it and I don't consider it offensive. I would not own a copy as I
don't like that kind of art BUT that is me and what I like/dislike. My wife, an
artist, and many of her local artist friends loved the piece. They were upset
that BYU stopped selling it.I think the story says everything when the
former manager of the BYU Bookstore, a businessman saw value in selling it to
those that wanted it compared to the professor who was offended by it and didn't
feel it was right to have it in the store.It took me back a few years ago
when I was retiring from the military and applied at BYU for a teaching
position. I easily had the credentials and the experience but was told point
blank by an assistant dean that sense I was military maybe I should find a job
in business instead of at BYU. BYU is NOT the conservative school I did my
undergraduate work at years ago.
Re: SME | 6:53 a.m. April 28, 2011 Do you disagree with BYU's
position that "It's the bookstore's prerogative to determine what the
bookstore purchases and sells"? That's like telling a clothing store they
must sell products they don't feel are appropriate.
Visit the McNaughton web site and see the painting for yourselves. Click on any
image in that painting and get the artist's reason for including that image.Unless there are 'facts not in evidence', I can't image why BYU would
ban that painting from their Book Store. It depicts in a painting what Nephi
and other prophets wrote about in the Book of Mormon. How is
depicting 'opposition in all things' offensive? How is depicting
mocking from those who rejected Christ offensive?How is depicting
corruption in Government offensive?How is depicting remorse for sin
offensive?Jon McNaughton depicted all of that and much more in his
painting.Maybe BYU thinks that those subjects should only be read
about, by flashlight, under a blanket instead of allowing a fine artist to paint
those concepts and then putting that painting where people could ponder how far
America has turned from its founding principles.
All this painting shows is what is true:1 - God, and His Son, Jesus
Christ, inspired the U.S. Constitution.2 - America is being rapidly
destroyed by clueless liberals who neither understand nor value what America was
meant to be; their vision being clouded by selfishness and fear because they
have largely abandoned the very being, God, who offers to be their strength.If liberals take over BYU we are in big, BIG trouble....
The BYU book store can sell what it wants. It's a benefit of the free enterprise
system.In my opinion, that painting is one of the most absurd things
I've ever seen. However, I would fight to my last breath for the
"artist's" right to produce and sell it. You will never see that
attitude from the so called "conservatives".
I've seen this particular creation. This article both disturbs and encourages
me; it disturbs me to know that BYU's book store did sell such artless pandering
to an extremism that conflicts with the restored gospel and it encourages me to
know that they stopped facilitating this conflict.
Dave,You had me until the last sentence. Do you believe that
'liberals' allow discourse? Do you believe that 'liberals' champion free
speech?-----Art is an expression. A skilled artist has
the ability to depict in pictorial form feelings that most of us leave
unexpressed.I was fortunate enough to visit some of the great
churches in Belgium where paintings by the masters were hung for all to see.
Many of those paintings depict man's struggle to accept Christ for what He is,
not for what people want Him to be. Those paintings inspire us. Those
paintings provoke us. Those paintings change us. From the responses
on this thread, it appears that Jon McNaughton has the ability to inspire some
people, to provoke others and to change us all.It's too bad that
college age students are deemed too fragile to be inspired, to be provoked or to
change. Will those same students be shielded from the photograph by
Andres Serrano in their 'art' courses? After all, his photo was awarded first
prize. The critics must have thought that it depicted something that we need to
see to enjoy life to its fullest.
Dave 9:14- This conservative agrees with you, that BYU has the right to sell or
not sell whatever it wants to, and I would join you in defending the artist's
rights.What I find offensive is the pliability of BYU to cower and
cave in from mere criticism from some adjunct art professor who dislikes the
piece. The willingness to abandon what is right in order to be
accommodating to critics is not a virtue!
BYU decided to stop SELLING the picture. Big deal. They don't have the space
to sell everything that everyone wants. I prefer not to see the Savior in a
political setting, that is, until He comes again and is the leader of the world.
If someone wants the painting, buy it through his website.Sounds
like another tempermental artist to me. Too bad. He probably would have sold
alot of his other work to Women's Conference attendees.
I am so annoyed that they are censoring an artist's interpretation of what is
happening in our country. Whether you agree with his interpretation or not, it
has a right to be seen. Shame on you BYU. Makes me dislike that school even
In the real world, it's rare to receive everything you want in a business deal.
McNauton's response further shows his separation from the real world that this
particular creation also exposes. Sounds like his petulance at reality's
intrusion got the better of him.
Posing Christ to sanctify and endorse your own personal earthly political agenda
shows a certain special kind of self-absorbed arrogance. Regardless, BYU
routinely selects what can and can't be displayed there, I'm not sure why this
guy should get a free pass because he thinks his work is especially sacred.
They even screen the titles of guest authors before allowing sales of the books
there, not sure why this guy thinks he gets a wholesale pass.
To BYU Bookstore:What's happened to Freedom of Expression?Because one professor has found it offensive, you choose to prevent others
from having their own opinion? It's art, not pornography!I find that your
actions are offensive to me and countless other people who not only believe in
God but also in the Constitution! Free Agency??? You're being unfair to
BYU's students by choosing for them what they can see & experience.Brigham Young is rolling in his grave.Shame on you BYU Bookstore!
It seems that the real issues are 1) should the BYU bookstore (a commerical
extension of a university sponsored by the LDS church) sell artwork (or
literature for that matter) which depicts Christ in a politically-charged
setting, and 2) should the artist (or author) have the right to insist that
their work be sold regardless of the bookstore's preferences. These
inferences that the left is taking over BYU is absurd. BYU and the LDS Church
strictly observe political neutrality. The tea party, republican party, or
democratic party have received no endorsement from the LDS church, and never
will. So, those who conduct business on behalf of the church have an obligation
to respect the church's political neutrality.So, it seems this whole thing
could have been settled long ago when the bookstore first received the artwork
in question, and had decided not to offer it for sale. This would not be
censorship, but rather a valid choice made in compliance with the church's
I know Jon personally. He loves this country and sees what the present
government is doing to it. Is he radical? No... He does want people to think
when they see his work. Reaction is good. Offensive? Absolutely not. If you
struggle with this painting and what it says you will pull your hair out when
you see his painting titled: "The Forgotten Man". this painting makes
liberals confulse. I am disapointed in BYU, but they have the right to do and
sell what they want. The loss is to the customer. You see liberals like to
censor anything they disagree with. (look at some of the above comments)
censorship is okay if it has anything to do with conservatism or critical of our
current president. Wake up!!!!! BTW Jon is a BYU alumnus. The bookstore is going
to lose a lot of money from this decision. Because of one liberal professor.
Amazing......... Jon is a great artist and an amazing person. I for one am proud
to know him. He is one of the kindest people you will ever meet.
Re: dave | 9:14 a.m. April 28, 2011 I'm a conservative and I believe
this artist has every right to produce and sell anything he wants to produce
just like I supported the Danish artist who drew the cartoon that got him into
trouble with the Muslim world.I also believe private organizations
have every right to pick and chose what they want to offer for sale.
Mike Richards | 9:48 a.m. April 28, 2011 South Jordan, Utah"Do you believe that 'liberals' allow discourse? Do you believe that
'liberals' champion free speech?"I never said anything about
liberals. I was commenting on the typical Utah "conservative". They
confuse political conservatism with religious conservatism. In reality, the two
are polar opposites.Cedarite | 10:35 a.m. April 28, 2011 Cedar
City, UTYou are absolutely correct.. Great post.ida-coug |
10:43 a.m. April 28, 2011 Pocatello, IDHe loses all credibility when
he states that "Obamacare" was passed with a disapproval of the
American majority. It was prominent on the platform he used to get elected. A
majority of Americans voted for him knowing full well that it would be done.
BYU is a religious institution, not political. To say that they're at fault for
removing a political item from the bookstore and that they should show opposing
views is like saying inappropriate material should be viewable in LDS Chapels.
It makes no sense and it's wonderful that BYU realized the problems and fixed
them. They were not refusing the artist from selling other items in the
bookstore, just those that didn't fit the overall religious mission of the
The Church and all parts of it must avoid political symbolism.I've
noticed that Deseret Book sells politically charged items. That's a big
mistake.The Church is a worldwide organization lead by the
Priesthood and with the intent of bringing mortals unto Christ.Worldwide there are a huge range of political entities and governments. From
communism to socialism to far-right ideologies to monarchies and dictatorships.
Every land has their current and historic range of political influences.The Church is focused on Christianity. As Christ said "Render unto
Caesar what is Caesar's...". He did not care what the political issues
were, His focus was on bringing us back to our Father.Whether the
Constitution is more important than China's current Consitution has nothing to
do with the Church and the Gospel.
How ironic--a comment I tried to post earlier was censored, though it had, to my
knowledge, nothing that violates the rules in the e-mail the DesNews sent me
rejecting my comment. I'll try again: True art allows for multiple
interpretations and is a dialogue between the artist and his/her viewers. This
painting has only one thing to say, and it says it badly. It's more a cartoon
than art; more propaganda than reasoned dialogue. Like a black velvet painting
of dogs playing poker, it only exists to get one message across: The
conservative way of viewing the world is the only way; none else need apply. I'm glad that BYU put principle above profit in this case. That tells me, more
than anything, that BYU's still on the right track.
The bad people have the truth, since Darwin's work while primitive by today's
research is nevertheless proven and Skousen's conspiracy stuff which seeks to
explain what is complicated in unrealistic elementary form, is discredited by
any economic experts. If truth is a bad thing then put me on the bad side. Using
Christ in any political way is disgusting, only meant to use the Savior of the
world to sell a divisive message. If the Tea Party would go this far and hold s
man most who know him would call a nutcase with an exaggerated resume, Skousen,
in such high esteem then I'm very happy to remain a moderate.
In the recent statement "The Mormon Ethic of Civility," the Church
said the following:"The Book of Mormon tells a sober story of
civilizational decline in which various peoples repeat the cycle of prosperity,
pride and fall. In almost every case, the seeds of decay begin with the
violation of the simple rules of civility."This painting is
anything but civil. It demonizes entire groups of people with the most childish
and clumsy stereotypes. It flies in the face of the Church's position of
political neutrality."The political diversity of Latter-day
Saints spans the ideological spectrum. Individual members are free to choose
their own political philosophy and affiliation. Moreover, the Church itself is
not aligned with any particular political ideology or movement. It defies
category. Its moral values may be expressed in a number of parties and
ideologies."McNaughton's art directly contradicts the brethren
on this. His painting insists that only one political position is acceptable to
god."The Church views with concern the politics of fear and
rhetorical extremism that render civil discussion impossible."I
can think of no better description of McNaughton's art than "fear and
rhetorical extremism."Kuds to BYU Bookstore.
re: Dave,Thanks for the clarification. It makes me feel so much
better to know that you were only slamming religious conservatives in Utah.---------Perhaps the Book Store is not at fault. As Rifeman
wrote, it is a private organization and every business should have the right to
choose what they sell. I know first hand how long a BYU football game lasts -
when I can't buy a diet coke at the concession stand. No, I don't think that
BYU should sell caffeinated products nor do I oppose their policy.What I am having trouble with is understanding what BYU found offensive in
that painting. They're not accountable to me but I am curious.
Funny thing about this painting is that I'm not sure any of the founding fathers
were christian. Were any of them christian? I'm talking actual history, not
Martin Blank | 11:41 a.m. April 28, 2011 Salt Lake City, UTYou
said exactly what I was thinking when I saw his work at U-Mall around
Christmas.Illustration for the National Review would be the
"Right" place this painting. BYU wouldn't let a real Artist be
displayed a few years ago, (Rodin) so why let a political statement parading as
BYU really needs to lighten up.
The negative fear of liberals taking over BYU is probably why it is good this
painting is no longer sold at BYU as it apparently encourages such political
thought. That helps establish BYU's good judgment in this case. The artist is
free to sell it anywhere else. And I am free not to shop at such places.
Wow... Jon has accomplish quite a bit by removing his paintings. It has brought
out the self-righteous elitest members who tell us what the "brethren"
would or wouldn't like about the painting. Even a few who think they are art
critic's but wouldn't know great art if it bit them on the prosterior. Yet their
hateful rhetoric shows in their comments. "Utah Conservative" and
"I'm smarter than you" attitude. Then those of course who say the
Savior would be offended by being used in the painting. I think the Savior is
more offended by what is happening to this great country and from what is being
allow under the guise of "Freedon of Speech" than be portrayed in a
painting. Those of us who know Jon, know that he does nothing for
self-grandization and has a great love for the Savior. BYU has the right not to
sell the prints. Jon also has the right to remove them. I think if someone
painted standing hand in hand with the Savior many of you would think it was
BYU, that bastion of free thinking, that Berkley of Zion, has pulled this
*Edit* Berkeley of Zion...
A liberal professor at BYU, imagine that! I know students have graduated from
the BYU law school and have gone on to become the executive director of the ACLU
of Utah but this is revealing. Thanks for reporting this it was very
This guys art = 1. Priestcraft (Making money off of religion)2.
Boring. The art does not stand out other than the inflamatory ideas he tries to
stir up with his attempts to captivate extremists. They look pretty ordinary as
far as art goes. So buy them if you want to but don't call it fine art.
Everyone seems agreed that this painting is a political statement. The artist is
depicting Jesus Christ as taking sides in a political debate. The LDS Church
(and BYU) maintains a position of political neutrality on all but a very few
issues. BYU does not want to risk sending the message that those who
disagree with this artist on current issues are rebelling against God.
Just another example of the church editing what they don't want the members or
in this case the students to see. They do have a right not to carry the
painting, but their reasoning is not sound. People who are offended by it don't
have to buy it or look at it. People who do should be able to buy it and look at
it all they want. How weak are we becoming as a society when we get offended by
artwork? It seems people now days get offended by just about anything, and it is
Just another example of liberals inability of providing that which they demand
from everyone else -- tolerance.
@ Your Huckleberry - Priestcraft??? your definition of priestcraft is making
money off religion? Then every religion is 'priestcraft' because all religions
make money off of it one way or another. And just because you don't think it is
fine art doesn't mean that it isn't. You aren't the final authority on the
subject. Neither am I, that is why I don't care if people buy it or not. For you
to claim to know the artists intentions as to why he made that particular piece