The leader of a prominent religious advocacy group was banned from entering a New York City art gallery hosting a public display of the anti-Christian art exhibit called ‘Piss Christ.’
The exhibit opened last night at the Edward Tyler Nahem gallery. It featured the work of artist Andres Serrano. The artwork features a “photograph of the crucifix submerged in the artist’s urine.”
Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, held a press conference outside the gallery and afterwards attempted to enter the building. He wrote in an online statement that two men said that he would not be allowed inside.
“At that point I turned to the crowd behind me explaining that my First Amendment rights were being censored by the same people who were proudly displaying Serrano’s crucifix in a jar of urine,” he wrote.
The entire incident was captured on video, he said.
“No one else was barred from entering the gallery,” he noted. “Just me.”
The art gallery has not returned calls seeking comment.
Meanwhile, religious groups are blasting President Obama for what they call a double standard. The president did not condemn the anti-Christian display, but he did condemn an anti-Muslim film. The anti-Muslim film also brought strong rebukes, condemnations and apologies from President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and a host of administration officials.
The administration tried to have the film removed from YouTube – but Google rebuffed their request. The State Dept. spent $70,000 on a Pakistani television advertisement rebuking the film. And the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff personally telephoned a Christian minister in Florida to ask him to withdraw his support of the film.
Rep. Michael Grimm (R, C-NY) wants to know why President Obama still hasn’t denounced the exhibit and said he’s fed up with what he called the administration’s “religious hypocrisy.”
“The Obama administration’s hypocrisy and utter lack of respect for the religious beliefs of Americans has reached an all-time high,” Grimm told Fox News. “I call on President Obama to stand up for America’s values and beliefs and denounce the ‘Piss Christ’ that has offended Christians at home and abroad.”
So will the Obama Administration condemn the anti-Christian art display? Will they air a television ad denouncing the exhibit? Will the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff ask the gallery to cancel the exhibit?
The White House refused to comment.
Grimm said the lack of response from the White House is unacceptable.
“Perhaps they’ve forgotten the controversy that surrounds this deplorable piece depicting a crucifix submerged in the artist’s urine,” Grimm said. “It outraged Christians in American and throughout the world.”
Grimm, who is Catholic, said he found the artwork to be vulgar and offensive, “just as many in the Islamic world found ‘Innocence of Muslims’ to be highly offensive.”
“Like most Americans, I condemn both yet remain tolerant as the First Amendment demands,” he said. “Unfortunately, this administration has yet to echo these views in regards to the religiously offensive ‘art’ here at home.”
Donohue said the Obama administration seems to have a double standard when it comes to incidents that might offend the Christian community.
“It seems like we have a protected class for Muslims as well as some other segments of our population,” he told Fox News. “But when it comes to Christians, it’s an all-out war.”