My colleague Joe Newby noted in a recent column that actor Jamie Foxx did a shout-out to God at Sunday night’s Soul Train awards in Las Vegas. Maybe that should read “a shout-out to Gods.” What Foxx said to a crowd whose reaction suggests they were simpatico is:
It’s like church over here. It’s like church in here. First of all, give an honor to God and our lord and savior Barack Obama. Barack Obama.
Yes, Foxx took the president’s name in vain—or something.
This is not the first time Obama has been equated with God. The first sighting was in an article in Newsweek, in which Evan Thomas wrote (with a straight face, one presumes):
I mean in a way Obama’s standing above the country, above—above the world, he’s sort of God.
Needless to say, the 48.4% of Americans who worshipped at the altar of a different God—which is to say voted for Mitt Romney on Nov. 6—would probably disagree with that assessment.
But not artist Michael D’Antuono, whose most recent oeuvre, a painting titled Truth, features a likeness of Obama (and a pretty accurate one at that!) in the pose that is struck by Jesus mid-crucifixion in most artistic renderings. Like the savior of some 2.18 billion people around the globe, the Obama in the art work wears a crown of thorns. Unlike the “other” God to whom Foxx gave mad respect, the subject of the painting has been spared stigmata. Instead, his outstretched arms pull back on a curtain revealing the presidential seal.
The painting, which is part of a larger exhibit in Boston titled Artists on the Stump—the Road to the White House 2012, was originally planned to debut nearly four years ago at New York City’s Union Square. But that event was cancelled due to public outrage.
FOX News quotes D’Antuono as saying:
I always regretted cancelling my exhibit in New York because I feel my First Amendment rights should override someone’s hurt feelings. We should celebrate the fact that we live in a country where we are given the freedom to express ourselves.
Unfortunately for D’Antuono, his savior subscribes to a double standard when it comes to hurling religious insults. When a filmmaker who is probably as misguided as D’Antuono released a film that the White House initially blamed for the murder of the U.S. Libyan ambassador and torching of the consulate in Benghazi, Obama decried the film as “an insult not only to Muslims, but to America as well.” In all fairness, the White House has not yet weighed in on D’Antuono masterpiece. Don’t hold your breath waiting for a condemnation of the work that rivals his critique of Innocence of Muslims.
D’Antuono dismisses those who call his work blasphemous, telling FOX News, “The crucifixion of the president was meant metaphorically. My intent was not to compare him to Jesus.”
Duly noted—or something.
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