Here is a beauty. Job is unsure whether to cry with grief or boil with rage. He shall probably do both. Within the Gallery of Modern Art at Glasgow Museum a group comprising of the Metropolitan Community Church, Quest, Al Jannah Muslim Group and individuals from a range of faiths together with a couple of chaps by the names of Anthony Schrag and David Malone have put together an exhibition entitled ‘Made in God’s image’.
The exhibition which apparently explores issues of faith and sexuality encourages visitors to deface the bible. We are informed that the intersection of sexuality and religion has often been the site of controversy, and more so for those from an LGBT perspective. How quaint. How delightful. And the answer is……??? Ah yes, to write spiteful messages on a copy of the Holy Bible. Yip that should do the trick.
But, just hold on one minute. Did Job read that correctly??? There is a church involved in this project. The Metropolitan Community Church??? This church ‘celebrates racial, cultural, linguistic, sexual, gender and theological diversity’. Job despairs for the last time he checked the manual, he discovered that a church’s reason to exist is to celebrate Jesus not some mind numbing modern claptrap. He should therefore have expected no different really. Apparently the Metropolitan Community Church wished to reclaim the Bible as a sacred text (Job was unaware that it had ever lost this status). They simply wanted those who ‘felt excluded’ from its pages to ‘write themselves in’. Lovely indeed. And the way to do this was to hand the Bible over to the world to do with as it sees fit.
Job recalls a similar occurrence from many years ago. Two thousand years ago a group of similarly pompous, whitewashed religious sepulchres likewise judged the Word of God and subsequently handed it over to the world to do with as it saw fit. The result was the darkest day of human history – the crucifixion of the Son of God. Fortunately three days later, God raised Jesus from the dead in what was the greatest day in human history. Job prays and trusts that God can likewise redeem this most disgusting of slurs upon His holy name. If Job were a member of the Metropolitan Community Church he would today be feeling somewhat uncomfortable with his worldly allegiances.
Yet, it is interesting to note that a Muslim group is involved in this sordid project. Job suspects that their support and involvement may take a somewhat different format had the religious scripture in question been The Koran rather than The Bible. Moreover, it would have been intriguing to discover what the view of Glasgow Museum and the various other groups would have been had the Koran been subjected to such vandalism. And that is the crux folks. Artistic liberty and the freedom of expression seem only to be paramount when it offends those who will not strike back.
Perhaps the words of Christ himself should be considered:
‘Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet’.
And Job is under no illusions that those who would treat the Judeo Christian scriptures in such a disgraceful manner are no greater than a pack of dogs or a herd of swine.