To illustrate the centrality of democratic discernment in the fate of public art, I turn to two cases where the voices of local communities have been ignored in decisions about the removal of murals from public spaces on the Northside of Denver, Colorado.
The innate ambiguity of the political themes raised by this week’s first lectionary text should lead us to hold together both our desire for cohesion as the “people of God” and that same desire’s potential for exclusion—exclusion that we must diligently recognize and actively hold in check.
The wall at the US southern border and the wall in Israel are are material testaments to ethnic exclusion. Both walls are partially constructed. Both are resisted and ridiculed by public art.
We are called to proclaim God’s word in such a way that we offer a nourishing alternative to the scarcity that all too often is dished up by our capitalistic, technologically-obsessed, and media-saturated society. As the People of God we are called to proclaim a new world order, one characterized by abundance and joy, by justice and lovingkindness, without any restrictions, without any boundaries.
The recent cheating scandal in college admissions underscores the anxiety even the wealthiest, most famous parents feel about their children’s future – an anxiety aptly described and predicted by Reinhold Niebuhr, among other mid-twentieth-century theologians, and one whose effects we can and should mitigate by political means.
The king of Israel was charged with reciting a psalm that contained reflection and humility alongside confidence. Moreover, he was charged with waiting on God. If God’s own instrument in the Bible was charged with this, how much more are we?
The primal brilliance of the color-scheme—aquamarine Sturgeon-Queen arising fierce and indistinguishable from the sun-shimmered waters themselves, in (visually) bombastic counterpoint to a burnt-rouge sun-rise sky—tags the eye with trance-invitation.
The United States Catholic bishops’ recent pastoral letter on racism shows how racism has been woven into the history of the US, and is honest about the Church’s past complicity in that racism. It says less about how Catholics today can combat systemic racism, but offers hope for fruitful dialogues throughout the country.
Twenty years after the signing of the Good Friday peace agreement, partisan murals litter the landscape of Northern Ireland reminding all of the thirty-year civil war between Catholic and Protestant neighbors.