pixelated painting with censor bar over it
A petition seeking to ban the controversial painting has more than 30,000 signatures.

When it comes to pushing artistic boundaries, how far is too far?

That is the question some are asking after a controversial painting was unveiled last month that appears to depict Jesus receiving oral sex from another man.

Within days of its debut during an exhibit in Carpi, Italy, outraged critics were calling the art “blasphemous” and demanding action.

A petition calling for the painting's removal has garnered tens of thousands of signatures. But things quickly escalated from there.

Bloody Backlash

In a shocking turn of events, one man took things even further; dressed in black and armed with a knife, he went to the exhibit, cut the painting, and spray-painted it black in an attempt to destroy it.

When the painting’s artist, Andrea Saltini, tried to intervene, the vandal stabbed him in the neck. Santini was rushed to a hospital but discharged later that day with four stitches, having only received minor injuries.

However, the suspect remains at large; police searching the scene found only a knife and a black wig that were left behind. 

Many are decrying the attack as an unacceptable assault on free speech. Others argue that artists invite – and should even expect – such responses when depicting deities in blasphemous ways.

A Compromised Position

There’s no question that some might find the painting shocking. A nude, lifeless Jesus lies on the ground, while the head of Longinus, the Roman soldier who stabbed Jesus with a lance during the crucifixion, rests hovering just over Jesus’ groin. 

It's fairly clear what Longinus is doing here, though there is a question of why. Perhaps this is just his way of saying sorry? Nevertheless, many Christians did not like seeing their savior on such a compromised position.

Provocative or Sacrilegious?

That painting is not Sartini's only controversial work. The artist has also produced a piece titled “Noli Me Tangere" which depicts a nude Jesus leaning face down, sitting on the lap of a half-naked Mary Magdalene:

This, too, brought complaints from individuals and Catholic groups that his art is "sacrilegious." These opponents have since mounted protests, attempted an exorcism, and even sought legal action against the museum where his art is on display. 

The physical attack on Sartini, however, was a shocking escalation of this opposition. 

Speaking on his behalf, Saltini’s lawyer said that his client would like to ask everyone “to reflect on the limits of dissent, the right to criticism, the right to freedom of thought,” the artist hoping that “an open and free discussion respecting everyone's sensitivities and opinions can begin as soon as possible.”

Artists Under Attack

The attack calls to mind other boundary-pushing artists who faced violence for art or satire mocking religious figures.

Perhaps most notable is the 2015 attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo by two Muslim extremists after that newspaper published cartoons mocking Muhammad. The attackers murdered 12 and left 11 others injured. 

Though a global outpouring of support came for Charlie Hebdo following that attack, there remained some critics who insisted the artists brought it on themselves by crossing a moral line for mocking Muhammad.

Similarly, while most of Saltini’s critics would argue this attack was unconscionable, there are still some who say that suffering violent attacks is just par for the course when creating controversial art from beloved religious figures. 

As one commenter said of the artist, “this is the case of a sick and deranged person trying to gain fame by dishonoring the God, Lord and Master of two billion people worldwide… While no Christian should support attempted murder, what did he expect?”

What do you think? The painting is intentionally provocative and controversial, but surely that can be no excuse for bloodshed?

When it comes to blasphemous artistic depictions of religious figures… is there a line, or is nothing off limits? 

128 comments

  1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

    I guess that lends a whole new meaning to “Rising from the dead”.

    Sorry about that down-in-mouth comment 🤭

    🦁❤️

    1. Rev. Michael Gerraghty II's Avatar Rev. Michael Gerraghty II

      I seen it, Its not even Jesus at all People freak out about the worst things.

      1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

        Who knows whatever Jesus really looked like, assuming that is, he was real. I bet his real mortal dad had an incredible story to tell at the time. Mary obviously covered it all up for being a very naughty girl.

        🦁♥️

        1. Danny D. Maynard's Avatar Danny D. Maynard

          It was an imposing Roman Soldier who made her say "Oh My God! a few times.

      2. White Owl's Avatar White Owl

        Not even Jesus? How do you conclude that? Are there other executed men with pierced hands and feet and a whole in their side, with the inscription INRI "The King of the Jews"? I must have missed those.

        1. Danny D. Maynard's Avatar Danny D. Maynard

          Perhaps Monty Python can explain it to you!

          1. White Owl's Avatar White Owl

            Brian had no sign on his cross nor was he nailed to it; therefore no holes and no INRI. Brush up on your Monty Python if you are going to use it for a defense.

            1. Danny D. Maynard's Avatar Danny D. Maynard

              You still do not get it.

              1. White Owl's Avatar White Owl

                OK lets make this simple for you...

                Mr. Andrea Saltini himself has stated that the man depicted is his representation of Jesus. So if you wish to claim that the painting is not of Jesus then I recommend you contact Mr. Saltini and tell him he is wrong about his own painting and use of artistic license..

        2. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

          Yes, I'm sure there were many men, and possibly women, with "(w)holes" in their side after being crucified, and with their hands and feet showing they had been pierced by nails. Such was the barbaric cruelty of Roman soldiers, and the nature of crucifixions back in the day. As to what was actually inscribed on their bodies I guess we will never know for sure. All we have are the fanciful creative minds of historians that were never there at the supposed crucifixion.

          The same goes for any supposed resurrection. Those that wrote about the said event were not there. You'd think that a "resurrection from the dead" event would have been HUGE news back then, but no historians of that time ever wrote about it. Weird!....right?

          Thank you for your comment though, Sir.

          🦁♥️

          1. White Owl's Avatar White Owl

            First, thank you for catching my typo of wholes vs. holes, mea culpa.

            Next, I agree with your statement that many of the crucified would also bear 4 of the 5 wounds that are in the painting and in fact some may even have the 5th wound even though the breaking of legs was the more common means of speeding up death. But it still remains that the common usage of the INRI sign on a crucifix is a reference to the execution of Jesus, the only alleged crucifixion of "The King of the Jews" that I have ever heard of.

            As for your commentary on resurrections, I'm not sure of it's relevancy here as the purpose of my original reply deals only with Rev. Michael Gerraghty II's claim that the crucified person in the painting is not Jesus.

            In conclusion, while my statements all acknowledge a possibility that based on the painting it is possible to make the argument that it may not be Jesus who is depicted, no matter how statistically small, I offer one more piece of evidence supporting my claim that Rev. Michael Gerraghty II is incorrect in his statement the the depicted is not Jesus.

            Mr. Andrea Saltini himself has stated that the man depicted is his representation of Jesus. So if Rev. Michael Gerraghty or anyone else wishes to claim that the painting is not of Jesus then I recommend they contact Mr. Saltini and tell him he is wrong about his own painting.

            Peace to you all, White Owl

  1. Clay Serenbetz's Avatar Clay Serenbetz

    Censoring artist's works is as bad as censoring books. If this art is offensive to you, don't look at it. Simple solution. We have freedom of religion in the U.S. Honor everyone's rights before someone takes your rights from you.

  1. David Arthur Lewis's Avatar David Arthur Lewis

    Christian Sharia Law. The Inquisition Lives!

  1. Bishop William Dusenberry, DD's Avatar Bishop William Dusenberry, DD

    Why is the Greek religion, of yure, called “Greek Myths?” Ditto; Roman, Norse, Aztec, and Egyptian — but Christian mythology isn’t called Christian Mythology — when it should be. Those viewing a mythological Jesus, as a recipient of mythological head — instead of trying to find out if the mythological Jesus had mythological lice, are guilty of having committed a mortal sin, against the Holy Ghost — which is the worst, of any possible sins. All superstition-based religions, are merely the personification of the Holy Ghost, who may be, or wasn’t — depending on how young one was, when they first had their brains, brainwashed, And, most importantly, Nature is, as Nature does, and as far as science might tell us, there is no way for Nature to blow, unless it’s while trying to examine a plumbing-related disability. So there!

    1. Dr. Zerpersande, NSC's Avatar Dr. Zerpersande, NSC

      Yeah, I’ll take seconds of that.

  1. Rev. Mike Eggleston's Avatar Rev. Mike Eggleston

    Disliking a piece of artwork is no excuse for attempted murder.

  1. He Who Breathes's Avatar He Who Breathes

    Well, they are trying to provoke us.

    We were provoked.

    Yay...

    But it is not an excuse to go and hurt people.

    (I thought Xtians were supposed to turn the other cheek - which means not to be provoked into violence???)

    1. Rev. Michael Gerraghty II's Avatar Rev. Michael Gerraghty II

      Its not even Jesus in the picture its a beardless white guy.

      1. He Who Breathes's Avatar He Who Breathes

        But he has his hands outstretched - he must be the J-man!!!

        Besides, there is nothing wrong with a doctor trying to heal someone.

        Out of context, it looks sus...

        Out of context is what rules these days...

      2. White Owl's Avatar White Owl

        Not even Jesus? How do you conclude that? Are there other executed men with pierced hands and feet and a whole in their side, with the inscription INRI "The King of the Jews"? I must have missed those.

        1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

          Everyone that was crucified back in the day had pierced hands and feet. It was to stop them falling from the device they were nailed to. I bet some were also pierced in their sides as well.

          As to what was actually inscribed on all of their bodies during these brutal times I guess we will never know for sure. All we have are the fanciful creative minds of historians that were never there at the supposed crucifixion. Those that were actually there, if it ever really happened, never wrote about it.

          🦁♥️

          1. White Owl's Avatar White Owl

            As I stated above to your 1st reply to my post...

            "I agree with your statement that many of the crucified would also bear 4 of the 5 wounds that are in the painting and in fact some may even have the 5th wound even though the breaking of legs was the more common means of speeding up death. But it still remains that the common usage of the INRI sign on a crucifix is a reference to the execution of Jesus, the only alleged crucifixion of "The King of the Jews" that I have ever heard of.

            As for your commentary on resurrections, I'm not sure of it's relevancy here as the purpose of my original reply deals only with Rev. Michael Gerraghty II's claim that the crucified person in the painting is not Jesus.

            In conclusion, while my statements all acknowledge a possibility that based on the painting it is possible to make the argument that it may not be Jesus who is depicted, no matter how statistically small, I offer one more piece of evidence supporting my claim that Rev. Michael Gerraghty II is incorrect in his statement the the depicted is not Jesus.

            Mr. Andrea Saltini himself has stated that the man depicted is his representation of Jesus. So if Rev. Michael Gerraghty or anyone else wishes to claim that the painting is not of Jesus then I recommend they contact Mr. Saltini and tell him he is wrong about his own painting."

            Peace to you all, White Owl

  1. Scott MacArthur's Avatar Scott MacArthur

    Perhaps I am missing something about the paintings in question? Jesus seated almost collapsed on Mary Magdalene and this purported Roman with his head positioned strategically.

    In the first I see an exhausted person sitting receiving comfort.
    In the second - I see a man’s head positioned strategically to cover another man’s privates from full view in an overhead shot, while he touches and asks for forgiveness for his greatest sin. Strategic placement- not oral sex.

    Of course I can’t read Italian so I don’t know what the pictures are “named”

    But first blush - I see nothing erotic, nor shameful about either painting.
    People let their minds rot and wander to evil which brings out such nonsensical explanations.

    1. Sally Jeanne Altobello's Avatar Sally Jeanne Altobello

      I see a grieving man over Jesus' body. His one hand is in the wound Longinus caused; his other hand is on his knee; head bent in remorse. If this painting were erotica, I don't think Longinus's arm/hand would be placed over a dead man's leg... The second painting, I see an exhausted man receiving comfort and care. I just don't understand why people's minds immediately go to the worst thoughts.

      I even asked my agnostic friend his thoughts on these pictures, and, without me saying anything other than "what do you think is happening here?" he saw nothing erotic and basically agreed with my interpretation. I'm so saddened by today's society!

      1. Mark Edwin Johnson's Avatar Mark Edwin Johnson

        I agree, that is the description of the two paintings that I see as well.

    2. Danny D. Maynard's Avatar Danny D. Maynard

      The sexual interpretation just tells us what is in the "head" of the viewer whose comments are so vociferous!

    3. Stephen Sherrill's Avatar Stephen Sherrill

      Agree. Not sexual. Asking for forgiveness

  1. Bridget Kielas-Fecyk's Avatar Bridget Kielas-Fecyk

    No one, no matter WHAT their religious views are, should have the right to harm another individual for doing a piece of art. I don't care if the artwork appears "blasphemous" or otherwise upsets people. As long as they're not being FORCED to look at it, they can just walk away and ignore it.

  1. Revd. R. Vincent's Avatar Revd. R. Vincent

    I think we need to get off our high horses and just move on. He painted a controversial picture, so what? So people are offended, so what? I am a huge believer in freedom of speech and expression. I might not like what he expresses, but I would fight for his right to express it. Would those who condemn him feel the same had it been a painting of Mohammed in the same situation?

    Also, if this is meant to be after Christ was crucified, he would be lifeless, so I doubt that oral sex would have been easy unless rigour mortis had set in! Yes, a flippant joke. Why? Because I can, as we live in a free society and I am not a snowflake.

    As for the other painting, Jesus was a man, sent to live as a man. I very much suspect that, as Mary Magdalene was one of his sidekicks, he could have been having a sexual relationship with her. He may have well been married to her. Maybe the wedding in Cana was his wedding? Why else would the guests turn to Jesus when the wine ran out? Just a thought.

  1. Pamela Vonbacho Ploof's Avatar Pamela Vonbacho Ploof

    I Agree with Clay Serenbetz . We must honor the right to view differently from other forms of religions. Some Christian branches believe that Christ married and had children. We need to be more open to the views of others., Not condemn, but look for the opportunity to discuss and perhaps to learn more about that view. No one being is perfect!

  1. Robert E. Polston's Avatar Robert E. Polston

    Hello Friends,

    Today I'm guessing that God in the view of many people is a weak, ineffective, powerless entity that only seeks to set rules, and provide a false sense of God's own values or ability to stand up for him or herself. It is sad that people try to OWN GOD and make JUDGEMENT of others on his behalf. Judge not least ye be judged seems to have fallen on deaf ears. So it seems the idea of God being the boss is lost on too many of us. It appears that we want to settle things in God's name as we see fit, from restrainng or denying other peoples expressions by force, and even doing bodily harm to someone. I guess it's love your enemy with a dagger?

    Weak minded in my view is represented when what you hold sacred or that which you put your faith in is shaken by someone else's ideas and concepts to the point you feel the need to destroy them. Sometimes I know for myself what is right or wrong for me to do or fail to do, but that judgemet is not for everyone. I am responsible for me, responsible to try to influence people to do right when I can, and not to play God when my influence is at an end. Like right now; go in peace to love and serve one another the best you can do so.

    Hugs, Bob

    1. Nat Shannon-Hutchison's Avatar Nat Shannon-Hutchison

      Well said!! 👍🏾

  1. Mark Hannon's Avatar Mark Hannon

    Maybe the Roman soldier was just getting to "know" Jesus in the Biblical sense.

  1. Matthew Mastrogiovanni's Avatar Matthew Mastrogiovanni

    What would Jesus do? Not stab someone, that's what he wouldn't do. Jesus was half human, he was a rabbi, so he was married. Magdalene probably did do this with Jesus. Big deal. Many people do. Heck, Catholic priests have altar boys do this to them.

    1. James Thomas Mann III's Avatar James Thomas Mann III

      And so did Spartan and Roman soldiers and literally uncountable people since time immemorial. And there are historical reasons that sodomy is called “Greek sex”.

      Why is the first thing out of people’s mouths always a condemnation of our Catholic brothers and sisters… the very first first religion based on the teachings of Jesus and sill called the bride of Christ?

      As Martha Stewart says “It’s a good thing.”.I highly recommend it.

      Can we never have enough? Maybe try to get a life?

      1. Lisbeth Kieran Bushey's Avatar Lisbeth Kieran Bushey

        Because there’s mountains of proof of the abuse of children as well ad of the attempted cover-ups and the reassignment of the abusers. This has been proven multiple times in multiple countries.

      2. Danny D. Maynard's Avatar Danny D. Maynard

        Catholicism is more than enough, and is really too much! It was invented by Emperor Constantine circa 325 CE, who created the Trinity to appease the Pagans and moved around Christian Holidays to appease and match the Pagan worship calendar. It was assimilation like the Borg! In fact, The last two chapters of the Book of Revelation describe the spaceship in which Jesus will return. It is called the "New Jerusalem" and it is HUGE! Perhaps, they will provide a cookbook for humans!

        1. James Thomas Mann III's Avatar James Thomas Mann III

          Why Danny! You ARE a twisted little pervert aren’t you? Wanna come over to torture some spacemen later?

          1. Danny D. Maynard's Avatar Danny D. Maynard

            Read it for yourself and learn about Holy Science Fiction.

            1. James Thomas Mann III's Avatar James Thomas Mann III

              People will ask why we haven’t been contacted if we are being visited. To which I reply that it happens all the time. And have you studied our history and watched our evening news?

              I wouldn’t contact us either.

  1. James Thomas Mann III's Avatar James Thomas Mann III

    Not my monkeys 🙈 🙉🙊… not my problem.

  1. Danny D. Maynard's Avatar Danny D. Maynard

    Jesus was Gay! The Bible so proves!

    1. James Thomas Mann III's Avatar James Thomas Mann III

      Just which Book are you referring to? I can’t find any reference for this in any of the countless volumes I have studied in 60+ years except the modern attempts to rewrite history.

      Personally I don’t think Jesus (being the new covenant and savior for all mankind) left anything or anyone out. If perhaps you are feeling some need to attack the beliefs of others because of your own insecurity about your sexuality let me repeat… your choice is part of the freedom to choose that we all share in. Go in peace my dear friends and please check your needless pain at the door.

      1. Danny D. Maynard's Avatar Danny D. Maynard

        I have no mythological pain! I guess you never read the Book of John, the effeminate Apostle.

        1. James Thomas Mann III's Avatar James Thomas Mann III

          Please add me to the list of people you hate… gee, I’m already losing sleep 💤 💤💤💤💤

          1. Danny D. Maynard's Avatar Danny D. Maynard

            You are not worth the time to hate.

            1. James Thomas Mann III's Avatar James Thomas Mann III

              My dad installed in me the belief that all the sparks of life in all the corners of the cosmos have an equal and unique value… but God how you tempt me to take your inventory.

              Luckily it is not my place to judge. And I read somewhere several important philosophies. Judge not, and where you shouldn’t go around casting pearls. So I think I’ll quit before I say anything.

              Oh, and I see my original post is back from review unaltered and my own alter is still intact as well.

              You know I really do wish you were a more expansive individual simply because some of my favorite friends are people who disagree with me.

              You learn nothing about yourself when everyone around you agrees with you.

  1. Rolando Couce's Avatar Rolando Couce

    People are so low level creatures and by stabbing the artist it makes you a better person

  1. William Lewis Vass's Avatar William Lewis Vass

    How do you know who the characters are in the painting? Does it say that the one character is a roman soldier or that the other character is Jesus? And what is happening in the painting is unknown because it doesn't show it. Stop projecting your beliefs and your opinions onto everything that you see, hear or anything else. The painting is subjective and people see only what they want to see.

    1. Rev. Michael Gerraghty II's Avatar Rev. Michael Gerraghty II

      I seen it, Its not even Jesus at all its a beardless white guy.

      1. White Owl's Avatar White Owl

        Not even Jesus? How do you conclude that? Are there other executed men with pierced hands and feet and a whole in their side, with the inscription INRI "The King of the Jews"? I must have missed those.

        1. Danny D. Maynard's Avatar Danny D. Maynard

          Monty Python can explain that to you!

          1. White Owl's Avatar White Owl

            Brian had no sign on his cross nor was he nailed to it; therefore no holes and no INRI. Brush up on your Monty Python if you are going to use it for a defense.

            1. Danny D. Maynard's Avatar Danny D. Maynard

              Once is enough! Learn.

              1. White Owl's Avatar White Owl

                OK lets make this simple for you...

                Mr. Andrea Saltini himself has stated that the man depicted is his representation of Jesus. So if you wish to claim that the painting is not of Jesus then I recommend you contact Mr. Saltini and tell him he is wrong about his own painting and use of artistic license..

    2. White Owl's Avatar White Owl

      Mr. William Lewis Vass, we know because the artist Mr. Andrea Saltini has told us in interviews.

      Peace be to all, White Owl

  1. David Alan Downes's Avatar David Alan Downes

    Okay folks, the quote from Romans 8:5 tells the story: "Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires." In other words, if you see a sex act in this picture, then your mind is set on non-spiritual things. On the other hand, if you notice that the soldier's left arm is foreshortened in the picture, meaning that his head couldn't possibly be very near to the body, and your mind is set on what the spirit desires, then you see a man in grief touching the wound caused by the spear indicating that Jesus was dead. Nothing more.

    The artist, to me, is saying, "Get your mind out of the gutter."

  1. Rev. Dr. Father JJ's Avatar Rev. Dr. Father JJ

    what I see is a man laying on his back, bearing wounds to his hands and feet and another man who appears to be cleaning/washing him in preparation for burial. anyone seeing fellatio, it's likely a product of your own mind and desires

  1. Nathaniel Joseph Merritt's Avatar Nathaniel Joseph Merritt

    The god(s) of the so-called 'Abrahamic' religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) is (are) angry, mercurial, violent, arbitrary, despotic, murderous, and trivial. Just about anything sets these monster-gods off into a mind-bending bender of murderous rage, including killing children, infants, and the elderly, The people who worship these Fiends eventually become the same way, so be warned and do not be so foolish as to publicly mock their grotesque deities. Or you may find that, just under the surface, a Christian is just as disturbed and violent as any Muslim terrorist.

    1. Rev. Dr. Father JJ's Avatar Rev. Dr. Father JJ

      Ramen my brother, Ramen

  1. Rev. MichaelRS's Avatar Rev. MichaelRS

    Was the Roman soldier painted at an unfortunate angle or did the artist say that is what he meant to depict was the Roman soldier performing oral sex on Jesus?

    And let's be clear about one thing; when it comes to religious violence over such matters, there is very little comparison between Christians and Muslims these days.

    You don't have the pope, or other mainstream Christian leaders of any note, issuing death warrants for these artists and telling people it is their Christian duty to act as God's instrument on Earth to punish or even kill those people.

    HOWEVER, when it comes to Muslims... well let's just say that the vast majority of christians, as mentioned in the article will protest and sign petitions and TELL you you are going to hell for your blasphemy. On the other hand, there is no shortage, no small number, of Muslims around the world that would try to personally send you there.

    1. Danny D. Maynard's Avatar Danny D. Maynard

      Heresy and blasphemy have no victims, and are thus, impotent useless actions. There is no such thing as sacrilegious.

      1. Rev. MichaelRS's Avatar Rev. MichaelRS

        You'll find many people of many faiths who disagree with you on that.

        But try to express that view in certain Muslim countries you'll REALLY find out how much they disagree with that.

        1. Rev. Mike Eggleston's Avatar Rev. Mike Eggleston

          Christians would do the same if they thought they could get away with it. The one who stabbed the artist obviously did.

        2. Rev. Klaire ThD, MA's Avatar Rev. Klaire ThD, MA

          Disagreement based on falsehood, regardless of locality, is still illegitimate and has no value. It is only when one lets go of empirically unsupportable superstition that a real conversation can be had.

        3. Danny D. Maynard's Avatar Danny D. Maynard

          Then they are taught the wrong values for a human society to exist with equality!

  1. Merlin's Avatar Merlin

    Freedom of expression can have a cost. The expresser must be willing to pay the price. Sometimes it can be their life. Always consider other’s beliefs.

    1. Robert Edward Szekely's Avatar Robert Edward Szekely

      Free societies do not include freedom from offense as a right. One's beliefs do not give them the right to act and harm another if they find offense by the actions of that other. Offense does not justify violent retribution. Any religion which supports such actions is inherently immoral.

  1. ServantOfJudgement's Avatar ServantOfJudgement

    It's unwise to intentionally offend anyone for the sake of offending.

    The perpetrator violated his faith by destroying the painting and sticking the guy in the neck.

    The hack artists should have expected it. If he trades the same mumbo jumbo with islam, he'll need more that 4 stitches.

  1. Dr. Zerpersande, NSC's Avatar Dr. Zerpersande, NSC

    Cartoons of the guy that road a winged horse into heaven, paintings of a dead being touched directly below the sternum, delusional people be whack, gonna’ flip out. Birds of the same feather. You know what Forrest said….

    “Stupid is as stupid does.”

  1. Robbie Ousley's Avatar Robbie Ousley

    They're taking books away so they can be expected to try to take art away too. There's nothing more like people who would do these things than wanting to return to the dark ages. It's baked into the long-term mentality of their overall clan since the beginning of humanity. Bad religion is the enabler of people who can't seem to resist going too far. Allowed to be free to do whatever they want means returning to warring crusades. At least there are laws to contain them when the laws are used correctly. There are a whole lot more needing contained, even if only in insane asylums rather than imprisoning. When asylums were done away with people forgot what kind of activities are insane. Some portions of churches became extreme against other people of different understandings and beliefs. Now it is up to current generations to deal with the consequences “again”. How far down does humanity have to get for the upturn to begin? We are likely on the precipice of a renewal and renaissance. But what depth will we have to go before meeting that challenge? Even believing it will end up being better than ever before, what makes the heart of humanity finally say, “this is enough”? Millions speak up and do our best to be and do better, but the minority still fight for returning to the darkness for generations to come. Renaissance, here we come . . . sooner or later.

  1. John Alex Paxson's Avatar John Alex Paxson

    When it comes to art... people see what they want to see ... It's the human interpretation of art ... some artists do not reveal what their artwork means because they just want humanity to interpret it for themselves.

  1. Warren Calvin Wall's Avatar Warren Calvin Wall

    Universal Life Church. Universal being key. The United States of America is NOT the center of the Universe.

    1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

      And the "church" here is not Universal either. If this had not been shown on the Conan OBrian show I dare say NOBODY would have even known it existed.

  1. Katherine Mosteller's Avatar Katherine Mosteller

    I believe that art is meant to be provocative. Thus, it will illicit thought provoking responses. We have freedom of speech and freedom of religion. If people/organizations don't like the paintings, then don't look at them, don't buy them, don't advertise them. Simple as that. Nobody is getting hurt or terrorized by these works of art, which I happen to think are quite beautiful myself. See that right there? That was my opinion. Nobody has the right to hurt another person. Doing it because you don't like a painting sounds like a juvenile response. Be the change you want to see in the world. Violence is not the answer.

  1. Shannon L Heafey Roof's Avatar Shannon L Heafey Roof

    Scott, I am of the same impression, I didn't see anything nefarious in either paintings

  1. Robert Edward Szekely's Avatar Robert Edward Szekely

    Sacrilege, heresy and blasphemy have no rights of enforcement in a free society. They are merely opinions.

  1. Patti Anne Lisenbee's Avatar Patti Anne Lisenbee

    I looked at the art work. Frankly, I see a dead body - I don't think it's Jebus - with someone bent over him, probably in grief. The hand is on the man's chest, not wrapped around the organ. The head is up too high for someone giving oral sex. I don't see any sexuality in this at all, so a lot of people out there proclaiming to be Xians have really dirty minds!

    In the one with Jebus and Mary Magdalene, I firmly believe, if Jebus was real, that he was married. He was a Rabbi, after all, and they have to be married. The wedding in Cana is his wedding, because Jewish customs have the GROOM providing the wine, so when they ran out, of course they would ask Jebus to get more, he was the groom after all. Thus he would be sexual with his wife, but I don't see sex in that picture either. For people who claim to follow his teachings, they sure have dirty thoughts.

    Fundagelical Xians are trying to take over the nation. (FUNDAmental + evanGELICAL = Fundagelical). They want everyone to believe their way, worship their way, live their way, be sexual their way. They don't want Freedom of Speech - or thought or actions either. They want unbending obedience to their way. That's why they're acting up like this. They LIKE the thought of people going to hell. They are not acting like the beatitudes tell them to be. They are as bad as radical Muslims. That's why we have the phrase "Christian Sharia." It's already happening. If they have their way, there will be no writing or art or speech that they don't like. If that time ever fully happens, the world is doomed.

    If you don't like a book, don't read it. If you don't like certain art, don't look at it. But you have no right to tell anyone what to read, look at, or believe. You especially don't have the right to attempt to kill. "Thou shalt not kill," and all that.

    Of course, teh bybull is full of god killing when he was displeased, and these fundagelicals are trying to be like god, so why not kill? God didit, they can too!

  1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

    And this is in Italy, not the US. SO why even place this here? Shouldnt the Italian Police deal with this?

    1. Warren Calvin Wall's Avatar Warren Calvin Wall

      UNIVERSAL Life Church. UNIVERSAL being the key here. The United States of America is not the center of the Universe.

      1. Danny D. Maynard's Avatar Danny D. Maynard

        Neither is the Vatican!

      2. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

        You are so right there, Sir Warren. 🙌

        🦁♥️

  1. Stewart Newall's Avatar Stewart Newall

    There all sick in the head Load Jesus Christ will judge them as he will anyone who blasphemes against him amen

    1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

      Your “Load” Jesus Christ, if he ever existed, along with his God, was one very sick individual. Amen 🤭

      If I’m wrong, let him strike me down here and now.

      Nope, I’m still here. I wonder why that is 🤔

      Oh that’s right…..your God, Sir Stewart, isn’t real. Amazing…..right?

      🦁❤️

      1. Danny D. Maynard's Avatar Danny D. Maynard

        I would have asked God to strike Stewart dead so we call could know for sure, but alas and alack, Stewart still lives.

  1. Nicholas J Page's Avatar Nicholas J Page

    Im not surprised about the artist being stabbed i dont condone violence but this is disgusting about so called Jesus haveing oral sex obviously the artist is not the full shilling.

    1. Rev. Mike Eggleston's Avatar Rev. Mike Eggleston

      I'm not surprised the artist was violently attacked either, I know what christians can be like.

    2. Danny D. Maynard's Avatar Danny D. Maynard

      Was Jesus human with human desires? I rest my case.

      1. James Thomas Mann III's Avatar James Thomas Mann III

        If only you really rested your case.😎

        1. Danny D. Maynard's Avatar Danny D. Maynard

          I see you did not rest yours, and you said nothing useful!

          1. James Thomas Mann III's Avatar James Thomas Mann III

            🥹🥲😂🤣😂🤣

  1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

    The art is free speech. I don't think the artist would have been injured had he not tried to intervene. Only four stitches isn't much. So this was not really an attack on the artist who got in the way, but an attack on the art.

    We can all consider how we feel when we see such art and sit with our feelings for awhile to better understand why we have the feelings we do. In that regard, the second painting depicted in the article was more interesting. Why did Jesus and Mary Magdalene look so young? And the supposed Jesus figure didn't even have a beard, so he, as depicted is very young. And how would he even know Mary at such a young age? It goes against the Biblical story which says much more about the artist who painted these pictures than the subject matter of the painter.

    Maybe what people are feeling and reacting to is making the Jesus of their beliefs too human. And they don't want a human Jesus, they want a perfect spiritualized Jesus without the taint of his humanity. They believe that only a perfect Jesus can save them causing them to react so viciously if their Jesus is shown to be anything less than perfect.

    1. Danny D. Maynard's Avatar Danny D. Maynard

      Jesus was human. He died. He has been missing every since. End of story!

    2. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

      Perhaps so, Danny, but all humans are part physical and part spiritual, just like Jesus the Christ.

      1. Danny D. Maynard's Avatar Danny D. Maynard

        Now, tell me where I can find my "Spirit". I have a mind, a pumping heart and a body that depends on both to sustain my life. There are plenty of other organs, many muscles and vascular piping filled with blood. So, exactly where is that "Spirit" you all so famously claim exists.

      2. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

        Danny, your spirit is that part of you that makes your body a living mass of all those things you listed. When you die your spirit has left your body and is doesn't do anything on its own, it just lays there with no consciousness. Deep meditation can help one discern the differences between body, thoughts (mind), and self (consciousness or spirit). I highly recommend meditation. Although many good people of true faith have experienced a knowledge of these from prayer (both discursive and silent) as well as spontaneously by the grace of God.

  1. Ealdormon Piparskeggr Robinson's Avatar Ealdormon Piparskeggr Robinson

    While I agree the artist should be free of fear to express his ideas, dead Jesus getting a BJ is in very poor taste.

    1. Rev. Michael Gerraghty II's Avatar Rev. Michael Gerraghty II

      Its not even Jesus its a beardless white guy.

      1. White Owl's Avatar White Owl

        Not even Jesus? How do you conclude that? Are there other executed men with pierced hands and feet and a whole in their side, with the inscription INRI "The King of the Jews"? I must have missed those.

        1. Danny D. Maynard's Avatar Danny D. Maynard

          There are no white people in the Bible.

          1. White Owl's Avatar White Owl

            Apparently once is not enough Because you are the one who multi-post the same thing over and over again. All of my comments to you have been replies to your statements. so once again...

            Lets make this simple for you...

            Mr. Andrea Saltini himself has stated that the man depicted is his representation of Jesus. So if you wish to claim that the painting is not of Jesus then I recommend you contact Mr. Saltini and tell him he is wrong about his own painting and use of artistic license.

            Also the Romans were white.

    2. Danny D. Maynard's Avatar Danny D. Maynard

      Why? Who told you that?

  1. Larry R Mowrer Jr's Avatar Larry R Mowrer Jr

    These pictures are sick and should be destroyed.

    1. Bridget Kielas-Fecyk's Avatar Bridget Kielas-Fecyk

      Free Speech, people can put whatever they want into artwork, even if it's shock-value. Why should they be destroyed, hm? If people dislike them, as long as the artwork isn't being shoved in their faces, they can just walk away.

    2. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

      Almost as sick as the Bible….right, Sir Larry?

      🦁❤️

    3. Danny D. Maynard's Avatar Danny D. Maynard

      Did you ever read the Bible?

      1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

        Sadly, I not only read it, I actually preached it from the pulpit. Wo is me ☹️

        I did eventually come to my senses, when I started to apply logical and reason, which few ever do for fear of upsetting their “faith”.

        🦁❤️

        1. Danny D. Maynard's Avatar Danny D. Maynard

          Well done, Lionheart!

  1. Man of God's Avatar Man of God

    People can be easily posessed. It takes a person of strong faith to cast out demons. Be that as it is. The evil one wants and needs our attention. He uses his servants to provoke us. Only lost souls attemps to spread confusion and hate. Be strong in your faith and do not worry. We are not Jesus. Stand your grounds and know that the Father commands us to represent him. In doing so, we may conflict with our Lord and Savior's teachings. People do reap what they have sow.

    1. Danny D. Maynard's Avatar Danny D. Maynard

      Religious people are full of demons! We Atheists simply do not have that malady!

  1. Rev. Rory's Avatar Rev. Rory

    I'm sorry I read this article because I prefer to avoid this art. The physical attack on the artist just artificially elevates the art and defending Jesus by attacking an attacker of Jesus is backwards. Someone, somewhere will create art or writings that provoke people in an attempt to elevate their own interests, which is money, notoriety, or both. The artist has technical abilities and can paint anything, but these pieces are nothing more than a pathetic call for attention. There are so many things that we can do to live a good life and ignoring provocation and condemning violence for any reason is the best most of us can do in these times.

  1. James Gibbs's Avatar James Gibbs

    I have to agree the paintings are disgusting but perhaps the way to avoid the the repulsion we feel is to not look.

    Rev. Father James Gibbs

  1. Terrence Monroe Brannon's Avatar Terrence Monroe Brannon

    Do we have any evidence of the race of Jesus? I.e. whether he was mongoloid, caucasoid or caucasian?

    1. Anisahoni's Avatar Anisahoni

      Those trerms are way obsolete.

    2. Lisbeth Kieran Bushey's Avatar Lisbeth Kieran Bushey

      He was born in Judea to a family indigenous to the region of Palestine. He probably looked like any other MENA bloke.

  1. Steven Ferrell's Avatar Steven Ferrell

    What did the so called artist expect, that there would be no backlash for that painting?
    I don’t agree with him being stabbed however.

  1. Nancy Richards-Marcus's Avatar Nancy Richards-Marcus

    Well, the artist wanted attention and they got it.

  1. April Camille Berg's Avatar April Camille Berg

    No one should ever be blatantly disrespectful of any religious figure. Whether they believe in it or not. Religious figures are held dear to the believers. Although I don’t condone violence, this artist had to be aware of the consequences his art would bring. “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.”

  1. Carol M. Anaski-Figurski's Avatar Carol M. Anaski-Figurski

    Is sacreligious Satanic? The satire is the catholic church has accepted LGBTs in recent times so it makes it a sacred romance with jesus christ. God is love & you express God's love with your partner in the bedroom. My ? is when are the catholic priests going accept marriage amoungst their profession.

  1. Keith Law's Avatar Keith Law

    Nothing will make an artist and their work famous faster than to provoke this kind of controversy. So much so that artists often wish to provoke just for this reason.

  1. Farajallah Michael Yazbek's Avatar Farajallah Michael Yazbek

    If I walk into a bar and deliberately start a fight, and am subsequently stabbed, whose fault is it, the guy who stabbed me or mine for starting the fight in the first place? Just saying... The book of Acts tells us to walk away and shun those of "reprobate minds."

  1. Mark Bales's Avatar Mark Bales

    How can I make a judgement when I can't even see the picture? Nevermind, so-called 'artist' just wanted to get a rise out of Christians. Why doesn't this 'brave' and 'open-minded' 'artist' depict Mohammed in such a blasphemous pose? Yeah, right, hasn't got the %$#@! to brave the religion of peace and tolerance.

  1. James Thomas Mann III's Avatar James Thomas Mann III

    Anyone interested in starting a new thread?

    I was just wondering if now that the US military is recognizing that there are things flying around they can’t explain don’t you think that this would be a good time to quit shooting at them? I agree with the people who say that to think we are the only life in all the universes is the height of conceit. Shouldn’t we consider the consequences of the possible retaliation by an obviously technologically superior force?

  1. Tessie Lorene Miller's Avatar Tessie Lorene Miller

    Jesus loves everyone and we are all sinners, that’s why he died for everyone. That’s why we are to repent of our sins and except Jesus as our Lord and savior..become reborn out of darkness into light and life, that only He can give. Not everyone knows that yet. We are to pray for the artist, we are to pray for the person that attacked him. The person that attacked him deserves consequences for what they did. As a Christian I don’t think of this as a way to express Jesus as his true self and I can see why it’s offensive. Would any religious sects if this was there god find this not to be offensive. But I do believe my God is Big enough to forgive. One it is how people are twisting the perception of Jesus. Maybe if the artist truly got to know Jesus he could paint some amazingly beautiful real portrait of Jesus. We are too quick to judge God gave that job to Jesus. Jesus left us with a great commandment… Love each other as I have loved you. If you’ve never known his love how can accurately describe him.

    1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

      You've been reading that book again haven't you Lady Tessie?

      Just as a heads-up, the Harry Potter Books are also fiction. I know it might be very difficult to accept that fact. A simple letter to the author J.K. Rowling can confirm it. The sad thing is though that all of the authors that wrote about Jesus, not only never met him, they also died, so it's not possible to ask them. However, the dead give-aways, are the stories of a talking snake, and a talking ass, and a deity impregnating a 14 year old virgin are three very good indications. I won't mention stories about turning someone to a pillar of salt, I wouldn't want to ruin your dinner. I am glad it wasn't a Pepper Tree though, but those storied do add spice to them, right?

      Thank you for your comment. All comments are welcome 🤗

      🦁♥️

      1. James Thomas Mann III's Avatar James Thomas Mann III

        You know, I actually do think that you have scored quite a few very valid points here. God does NOT always play well with his toys. I used to think that way myself till I got to thinking (BOO👻 HISS!! ) a little bit more. I don’t play nice with my toys- toys around here DO NOT always play nice with each other- and from where I sit toys ultimately belong to whoever makes them until they’re sold or given away.

        And since I certainly don’t own the playground (and who in their right mind would want to) and I sincerely believe that the best of us only see “reality “ as through a glass darkly… I am going to reserve judgement. I will say that there is something to that old chestnut about which side of being wrong has the potential to leave me profoundly screwed is something I do consider wise.

        But I do enjoy your sense of humor.

  1. Lisbeth Kieran Bushey's Avatar Lisbeth Kieran Bushey

    It’s just a painting, this is not worth vandalism and attempted murder! Not like he’s putting up graffiti of actual hate speech and even if he was, that’s an arrest and trial. We don’t kill or attempt to kill anyone for that.

  1. James Thomas Mann III's Avatar James Thomas Mann III

    You know I am not repeating my posts and trying to delete them only makes it worse.

    God working in mysterious ways???😎

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