Which artist caused the most harm?
|June 3, 2012||Posted by News under Religion, Culture|
Photographer and philosopher Laszlo Bencze offers a surprising answer, and it is relevant to ID.
Was it Picasso with his cubistically distorted female portraits?
Was it Joseph Albers with his huge and hugely boring square canvases depicting squares?
Was it Andy Warhol and his banal pop images?
Was it Robert Maplethorpe and his blatantly pornographic photographs?
It was Michelangelo who chose to depict God in such a profoundly powerful manner that no member of Western Civilization can escape thinking of God creating Adam—their forefingers just having touched—on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. There’s a reason God tells us not to attempt to depict Him. It’s not that some cheap, silly, inept, awkward, or satirical image might diminish Him. It’s that some truly great artist might create an image so compelling that it would ever after define and limit Him.
So now we are stuck with this image of God as an old man (vigorous though he may be), clad in a rough woven robe, presumably wearing sandals, grey bearded, no longer in his prime, unacquainted with modern technology, not up on current literature or philosophy, paternalistic, bombastic, stubborn, opinionated, and just plain out of touch.
Is there anyone among us who doesn’t at least fleetingly glimpse Michelangelo’s vision whenever anyone mentions God, the Creator, or the Intelligent Designer?
Is it any wonder that our critics, enthralled by this image of God and certainly not interested in looking beyond it, categorically dismiss any mention of a creator or creation or intelligent design as primitive, obsolete, not worthy of consideration?
I wonder if any discussion of intelligent design can ever get anywhere without first wiping away Michelangelo’s painting and establishing what it means to be a reality that requires no conditions for its existence.
(And this is yer last religion jaw fer the week.)