BY DONALD W. MEYERS
The Salt Lake Tribune
First published Apr 28 2011 08:02AM
Updated Apr 29, 2011 12:02AM
Provo • If you’re looking for a print of Jon McNaughton’s paintings, don’t bother going to the Brigham Young University bookstore.
The Provo-based artist pulled his prints from campus this week, claiming the LDS-Church owned school is catering to liberals offended by his painting, "One Nation Under God." McNaughton said the university backed out of an agreement to offer the painting for sale through April.
"I think [BYU] is trying not to offend the few liberals on campus," McNaughton said in an interview Wednesday. But Carri P. Jenkins, BYU spokeswoman, said the decision not to display "One Nation Under God" had nothing to do with political correctness. Rather, it was a business decision.
"The primary focus of the bookstore is to sell religious art," said Carri P. Jenkins. "This painting has received some negative feedback in the past."
Jenkins said the decision was made by the bookstore, and not the administration.
McNaughton announced on his blog this week that he would no longer offer his prints for sale at the BYU bookstore, claiming that the university was "censoring" his painting because it made an administrator uncomfortable.
The painting, "One Nation Under God" depicts Jesus Christ standing near the U.S. Capitol and the Supreme Court building with a copy of the U.S. Constitution. Flanking him are figures from American history — including Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan — along with soldiers from various wars. In one corner, McNaughton depicts those he sees as having "pushed our country toward socialism" — a Supreme Court justice, a politician, a Hollywood producer, a professor, a "liberal news reporter."
McNaughton said the painting squares with LDS scriptures that declare the Constitution was divinely inspired, and that the nation’s founders were called by God. "It’s only offensive to people who do not believe the Constitution is divinely inspired," he said.
In: Regional News
Tags: US constitution, jesus, mormons, artist, brigham young university
Location: Provo, Utah, United States (load item map)
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