This painting by Jon McNaughton is currently making the rounds of the Internet. It’s easy enough to tell what the artist is getting at, but if you really need some rather heavy-handed hints, you can check out a full-sized picture at the artist’s own website where he also provides handy mouse-over explanations on what all of the symbolism is supposed to mean. Everyone who reads this site should know by now that I’m no fan of Christianity or any other religion, but what this artist and many other conservatives (in the modern rather than the classical sense of the word) in the U.S. are trying to do should be regarded by all Christians everywhere as being ridiculous and faintly blasphemous.
For one thing, they claim that the U.S. is uniquely blessed by the Christian God. It shows Jesus Christ appearing out of nowhere with a copy of the U.S. constitution in his hand and the Founding Fathers and deceased heroes of the country behind him. In the lower left corner, one immigrant is even depicted as cowering in shock as he realizes what the source of America’s greatness is. Of course, this is just one painting but it’s emblematic of the whole conservative movement in the U.S. For example, just take a look at the Conservative Bible Project, which is an initiative to create a better version of the Bible by removing “liberal” influences from it.
Secondly, the painting presents an untruthful view of history. The artist implies that the separation of church and state in the U.S. is the work of activist judges, hence why a Supreme Court judge is depicted as on the side of Satan, whereas in reality the separation is written in the U.S. constitution at the instigation of Founding Fathers such as Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. The painting even portrays Thomas Paine as being on the side of Jesus Christ, the same man who wrote the following passage:
I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church. All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.
Finally, the painting infuriates Democrats because it mercilessly attacks the liberal movement (e.g. the liberal news reporter and the professor who holds a copy of Darwin’s “The Origin of Species” in his hand) while appropriating liberal heroes like Susan B. Anthony and John F. Kennedy for its own side. It even includes a black soldier who’s supposed to be a reference to Martin Luther King, Jr. as if King wouldn’t be considered a liberal in today’s political climate.
Of course, the funniest thing in the painting is the tree symbol on Jesus’ chest. The artist claims that it is a reference to the “Tree of Life” but it looks suspiciously like the White Tree of Gondor, prompting someone on QT3 to ask whether Jesus is supposed to be from Minas Tirith.