Art ouster sought - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

Art ouster sought

Cd'A man, church join forces to have statue removed from street

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Posted: Thursday, July 7, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 9:44 am, Fri Nov 16, 2012.

COEUR d'ALENE - A Coeur d'Alene man, supported by a church, is circulating a petition to get the statue of Ganesha removed from its spot at the corner of Sixth Street and Sherman Avenue in downtown Coeur d'Alene.

Ronald J. Vander Griend is soliciting help from other churches besides Lake City Lighthouse Church, which has already pledged its support, in Vander Griend's attempt to remove the public art piece on grounds that it's offensive.

In his interpretation, the symbol of Ganesha is too similar to the swastika, the elephant's trunk depicts a phallic symbol, and the weapons in the statue's hands represent tools used to put fear in Hindu followers to the "gods who control their lives," according to the petition.

"I love art, I love creative art," the 60-year-old Vander Griend said. "I'm just against some of the things that are being represented."

Vander Griend will be taking the petition around town, beginning tomorrow through Saturday at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds, as well as to the intersection where the 7-foot-tall statue stands, seeking signatures.

He said he'll then present it to the Coeur d'Alene City Council to get the piece removed.

City officials, meanwhile, aren't budging. They said the $35,000 piece isn't going anywhere, unless it sells within the year.

Some religious scholars said Vander Griend is misinterpreting symbolism associated with Ganesha, including the charge that its trunk is a phallic symbol.

"Elephants have trunks in the middle of their faces, not penises," Linda Hess, religious studies senior lecturer at Stanford University, in Palo Alto, Calif., wrote The Press. "Sometimes people attribute phallic meaning to snakes, cigars, microphones, the Eiffel Tower, and, yes, elephant trunks. Discussions of phallic symbolism can be intelligent and interesting, or not. I suggest that the people of Coeur d'Alene see Ganesha's trunk as an elephant trunk."

It's the second time since the June ribbon cutting that the Hindu god has caused a stir. It's one of 14 pieces dedicated to the city's inaugural ArtCurrents program, an art on loan agreement that places art pieces in public view for a year while the artists and city attempt to sell them.

"It won't change my view," said Deanna Goodlander, City Council member and liaison to the city's arts commission, should a petition be submitted to council. "It's unfortunate that it has turned into this. It's unfortunate that people are looking at this as an idol instead of a piece of art, which is what it's supposed to be."

The artist who created the piece, Rick Davis of Spokane, said he didn't incorporate any depiction of a swastika on the piece.

"So far all the complaints about (Ganesha) seem to be based in a great deal of ignorance and religious intolerance," he wrote The Press. Davis also created the St. Francis of Assisi statue, which stands a few blocks away.

But one of the most troubling aspects of the Ganesha piece, according to Vander Griend and Lighthouse church pastor Ken Smith, is that the Nazis used a variation of Ganesha's symbol in the swastika design.

Ganesha's symbol is tilted at a different angle, with waves in its arms, and circles on the sides. The one used by the Aryan Nation had straight arms, black in color.

The symbol's Hindu origins, representing a sense of the auspiciousness of life, date back 4,000 or more years in the Indian subcontinent, before it became associated with Ganesha, according to Hess and John Stratton Hawley, a religious professor at Columbia University in New York.

It wasn't until the Third Reich's variation that the symbol became "poisonous" in western culture.

"Hitler turned the symbol on its side, both literally and figuratively," Hawley wrote The Press. "Certainly Ganesha doesn't have anything to do with it."

Neither variation is on the Coeur d'Alene statue.

Still, it's too close for comfort, said Vander Griend, who believes it goes against the Neo-Nazi reputation the area fought to overcome.

"I just don't think this is something that was researched very well before it was placed in the community," said Smith, who plans to sign and share the petition against the "pagan god" with his roughly 100-member community bible church congregation. "I think most of the churches who look at this will feel the same way."

The sexual symbolism could stem from author Paul Courtright's 1985 book on Ganesha, Hawley said. The reprinted Indian version had a statue of Ganesh as a child on the cover, showing the full anatomy that appears in the image itself. That drew objection, but sexual symbolism doesn't have anything to do with the god, he said.

Vander Griend is dropping the petition off at area churches. Real Life Ministries in Post Falls said it received the packet and is reviewing it. Lake City Community Church pastor Rodney Wright said he won't be sharing it with his church.

"We're simply about doing good and proclaiming the good news of Christ," Wright said. "This didn't fit in that mission."

At the June ribbon cutting, Danny Brannan, chairman of the Kootenai County Constitution Party protested the statue, saying "Christians of Kootenai County should be dismayed at the appearance of a Hindu demon," and calling the art selectors "godless."

The petition states the potbelly on the statue represents that it contains the "cosmic eggs that created the entire universe, and cites," according to, a website devoted to astrology that with blog posts about a variety of topics.

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  • feyes posted at 2:20 pm on Fri, Jul 15, 2011.

    feyes Posts: 1

    @JW: There is no caste system in Hinduism. This is the best article to clarify it: . The Vedas mention how people normally CHOOSE one of 4 [broad] different 'professions' based on their interests. Unfortunately, people have abused this definition over the years to their advantage. Modern India does show residues of this abuse, but because of education and pride in one's profession, we hope to see this misconception erased.

    Regarding Hinduism being sexist, you couldn't be more wrong.

    Look at the beauty in all religion. peace.

  • synergy46 posted at 12:43 am on Tue, Jul 12, 2011.

    synergy46 Posts: 3

    The 'cure' for speech that we do not like is not restriction. The 'cure' is MORE speech of a different point of view.

    So, let's put up a Christian cross, a star of david ... etc in addition to the statue. What's wrong with that?

  • The Truth posted at 6:09 pm on Mon, Jul 11, 2011.

    The Truth Posts: 2193


    It's all about the fact that the local ministers are afraid that if they don't maintain an iron grip on every aspect of their parishioners lives, then they will lose their tithes and then have to actually go work for a living.

    Or, to quote Lazarus Long:

    "It is hard to see how a man who has been given a mandate from on High to spread tidings of joy to all mankind can be seriously interested in taking up a collection to pay his salary; it causes one to suspect that the shaman is on the moral level of any other man. But it’s lovely work if you can stomach it."

  • jmowreader posted at 4:13 pm on Sun, Jul 10, 2011.

    jmowreader Posts: 991

    After all the furor over the Ganesha piece I knew I had to go see what all the fuss is about. It's not pretty, but a lot of statues aren't.

    If you guys REALLY want to get rid of it, point out that in one of its hands there is an object that appears to be a cigar. OMG! The Ganesha is SMOKING! Our CHILDREN will see the Ganesha and all want to SMOKE CIGARS! Won't anyone think of the children?

    Seriously, though: it's "the American people have freedom of religion" not "the American people have the freedom to practice my religion."

  • TotalKonfuzion posted at 12:47 pm on Sat, Jul 9, 2011.

    TotalKonfuzion Posts: 22

    @BoxcarBill Perfect...LoL

  • BoxcarBill posted at 1:58 am on Sat, Jul 9, 2011.

    BoxcarBill Posts: 1074

    Get out the collection plate, gather the required $35k from the true believers, buy the accursed thing, and melt it down into a cross. Problem solved.

  • charrlis posted at 1:22 am on Fri, Jul 8, 2011.

    charrlis Posts: 2

    This content is worth its weight in gold, it was my pleasure to stumble upon it.

    Copier Lewisville TX
    Copiers Tomball TX

  • Full of Questions posted at 10:59 pm on Thu, Jul 7, 2011.

    Full of Questions Posts: 6

    Thank you Rodney Wright! I knew I liked those folks over at Lake City Comm. Church.

  • local res posted at 10:20 pm on Thu, Jul 7, 2011.

    local res Posts: 1157

    Is the city promoting a religion? How is this classified as a separation of church and the state?

  • rationaldiscussionplz posted at 7:11 pm on Thu, Jul 7, 2011.

    rationaldiscussionplz Posts: 266

    @Old Idaho GIrl

    Oh, please? Can we please get rid of those hideous feathers? I wish those were part of ArtCurrents so they'd have been removed after a year.

    I'm in complete support of the Ganesha art piece--while I find it hideous, I know it'll be gone in a year. I also dislike several other pieces of the art this year. I dislike the St. Francis, Save the Kids, Stone Bear, Otter Woman, Moose, and Strength. But they'll be gone in a year. And that will make me happy. I'll be sad to see some of the others go: Rachel, High Tailin', Ripple, and Big Time. But I'm certain there are some people who dislike the ones I enjoy and will be happy to see them go in a year.

    There's a site with pictures, prices and locations. That's how I found all of them.

    I do wish the feathers could be sold to a someone who enjoys them like will happen to all of the pieces in the current downtown display.

  • The Truth posted at 5:54 pm on Thu, Jul 7, 2011.

    The Truth Posts: 2193

    I'm guessing that Mr Griend thinks that Thomas Kinkade is fine art. And that, really, says it all.

  • witness posted at 5:25 pm on Thu, Jul 7, 2011.

    witness Posts: 56

    Now that churches are signing on for removal, perhaps they can "pass the plate" and buy the sculpture. The purchase would be exempt from sales tax, and it's fate would be in the hands of the new owners. Then, this local group of Pasters can destroy it with a cutting torch and become famous similar to Terry Jones' Koran burning episode. Maybe even cause an international incident with India!

  • Why Not posted at 5:23 pm on Thu, Jul 7, 2011.

    Why Not Posts: 3685

    OLG is right, there are tons of issues to be concerned about that are more important than this controversial elephant art. And what about the moose about town, "Moose Religion" you know, do those moose have religious significance? What about the Moose Market and Millie the Moose, did you know that Moose Fellowship is intolerant of squirrels and Turkey’s?

  • Triumph posted at 5:06 pm on Thu, Jul 7, 2011.

    Triumph Posts: 533

    Different strokes, for different folks..... and so on and so fourth and shoobie doobie doobie.... Ahhhhhhh We're every day people...

  • Old Idaho GIrl posted at 4:39 pm on Thu, Jul 7, 2011.

    Old Idaho GIrl Posts: 8

    I think there is so many other things to worry about in CDA than a statue. If you want to get rid of it then get rid of those stupid feathers on NW boulvard. too, Different strokes for different folks. What about those dumb moose that have been around town too. I am going to get a list and get rid of them too, Get a life people. Churches how about tolorance of other religions.

  • Triumph posted at 4:26 pm on Thu, Jul 7, 2011.

    Triumph Posts: 533

    oh geeze I can't spell......

  • Triumph posted at 4:26 pm on Thu, Jul 7, 2011.

    Triumph Posts: 533

    I wouldnt call it a religious statement, or a racist, fallic, nazi symbol... None of that. It's just plain ugly. In my humble opintion

  • Bob77_77 posted at 4:08 pm on Thu, Jul 7, 2011.

    Bob77_77 Posts: 4

    Good grief, get a life. It's a piece of art, everyone will intrepret in different ways.

    In my opinion, it's ugly and of little artistic value but I gaurantee that the artist worked hard to make it somewhat controversial and thus gain attention. That being said, if you just let it be it will probably go away on its own. I've got better things to do!

  • Humanist posted at 3:49 pm on Thu, Jul 7, 2011.

    Humanist Posts: 2933

    Beauty is obviously in the eye of the beholder. I personally find the sculpture very cool. For those of you who are armchair quarterbacks who have only seen pictures of it, I encourage you to get up close to it and examine the workmanship and artistry that went into it. It's pretty darn impressive from strictly an art viewpoint......

  • DeNiles posted at 3:03 pm on Thu, Jul 7, 2011.

    DeNiles Posts: 2450

    Why Not.... A most interesting point. Did anyone, anywhere really sponsor this thing as a religious statement? How did the contract read? Was it a contract for a pagan, any pagan? Was the contract approved with the understanding that a phallic symbol would be obvious and involved?

    Get smart people. Welcome whatever this goofy thing is as a symbol of peace and accord. Why grind an axe over a really, really ugly piece of what someone thinks is art? Time to grow up and be in the real world. You have idiots for elected officials. Vote em out, problem solved.

    As for this penurious hunk of expensive metal, see to it that it is coated in bird poo. Thence it becomes a symbol befitting its religious rank and a poignant reminder of the elected fools who paid for it.

  • Why Not posted at 2:27 pm on Thu, Jul 7, 2011.

    Why Not Posts: 3685

    JW I am not bothered by symbols of antiquity unless they are used presently to restrict basic human rights. I just felt that your diversion from the art downtown into your precieved moral problem with Hinduism was an example of religious intolerance. I do not condone the actions of Hindu fanatics just as I do not condone the actions of anyone who mistreats or restricts another living thing in the name of their religion.

    Isn’t it fascinating how a Spokane artist with apparently no religious inclination constructs a piece of art that contains religious relics and suddenly it becomes religiously significant? Kind of like seeing Mary in your breakfast cereal, don’t you think? It’s Art Jeff, give it a break already will yah? Yes it is b__tt ugly, but it’s not going to hurt anyone or even convert them.

    BTW, there is religious art all over this county and no citizens Christian or otherwise are screaming. However, someone with a 100’ crucifix on their property might get neighbors shorts JW in a knot.

  • Humanist posted at 2:06 pm on Thu, Jul 7, 2011.

    Humanist Posts: 2933

    @JW: I agree with you, to be consistent, those who oppose christian symbols in our public spaces should also oppose any other religious symbols in our public spaces. That is and always has been my personal stance. But at the same time and as a way to make a very good point, since many christian symbols have snuck their way on to public property, we should also support the inclusion of other religious symbols, any religion, in our public spaces. If this needs to be done under the guise of calling it "art" then so be it. It's all or none.

    If it's all art than the symbolism is all meaningless, right? Those 10 commandments on public property aren't really Judea-Christian in origin, they're just art! That crucifix on public property isn't symbolic of anything to anyone, it's just art!

    I personally disagree with you about individual communities deciding. This is a Federal matter that affects the entire Country. Put this kind of stuff in the control of individual communities or States and you would have quite the mess on your hands.

  • Jeffrey Wherley posted at 1:57 pm on Thu, Jul 7, 2011.

    Jeffrey Wherley Posts: 3969


    You have given me a reason to go see the thing. Is one loaf enough?

  • Jeffrey Wherley posted at 1:41 pm on Thu, Jul 7, 2011.

    Jeffrey Wherley Posts: 3969

    Why Not,

    I did not bring up the Hindu god the article did. The History of Hinduism is what this Symbol Represents. You may want to hide it's meaning from the public but how can they make an informed opinion without the truth. The Your opinions about art are tolerable, but your Myths about the Symbolism are unacceptable. Most I have already stated well, and people can do the rest of that research themselves to know where the truth is.
    Hindu Religion uses the Swastika both Right and left facing, as did Hitler. The Nazi Flag was left facing both the Nazi Ensign had both faces. Both Nazi and Hindu used the Symbolism of the Swastika as one of their highest Symbols. Both held the beliefs of the farer the Skin the higher you can stand in Society. These are all facts that bare on the Symbolism you are standing for.

    Personally I don't care if that Religious symbol stay there forever, I am comfortable in my beliefs and no one can make me feel threatened by their beliefs just by showing a symbol. As I understand it there are many Religious Symbols around town for this political statement. It's not that people object to different religions or they would want them all removed. It's is singular with so many Human Dignity symbolisms that they are objecting too. World Government around the world have had to dismiss or modify the teachings Hinduism because of the Human Rights issues of Racism, Womanizing, and Slavery issues. I laugh at their flailing at this Symbol, almost as much as your protection of it as Art, because this guy doesn't really seem to understand why it is so objectionable the world over. But I am sure the ones that put this political Statement together knew what was coming or they wouldn't have placed this particular piece so prominently.

    Or this could not be the argument you wanted, you might have expected a call for them all to be removed so the call of intolerance could stick. It must be sad for you to find that it take only the worst symbolism to be objected to.

  • Just Little Me posted at 1:31 pm on Thu, Jul 7, 2011.

    Just Little Me Posts: 1

    It is hard to believe the citizens and officials of Cd'A are tolerating such a racist Hindu symbol, as well as its ugliness.

  • Jeffrey Wherley posted at 1:00 pm on Thu, Jul 7, 2011.

    Jeffrey Wherley Posts: 3969


    I agree with you all or nothing, I disagree that it should be mandated by any central law though. The individual communities should decide, but because of free speech, they need to be prepared to stand by their convictions. I also find this very fun watching Atheists or more precisely Anti-Christians try to protect religious Symbols by calling them art. The funniest part is them not understanding more they started this, that they would have to protect the meaning behind the Symbolism they support.

    I would love to hear these same people that are supporting this so called art Scream, if someone put a 100' Crucifix on their property overlooking to Lake city on the cliffs and call it ART.

  • DeNiles posted at 12:47 pm on Thu, Jul 7, 2011.

    DeNiles Posts: 2450

    I gotta agree, the thing is really ugly. It also has zilch to do with the northwest. I mean there are so many interesting depictions and idols in our regional Amerindian arts and religions, why scoop up something from Asia that has no relative meaning here? On the upside, its appearance may well be enhanced from a few years of layered bird poo. And with all of those appendages it will be a haven of a roost for birds. So think of it as a friendly bird feeder accompaniment. Take your stale loaves of bread, etc..... and visit the thing often. Soon enough it will be dripping in yellow-grayish goo. Then it will look more like a tree trunk, something the northwest can easily enjoy.

  • Triumph posted at 12:08 pm on Thu, Jul 7, 2011.

    Triumph Posts: 533

    That thing is still freakin ugly

  • Humanist posted at 11:57 am on Thu, Jul 7, 2011.

    Humanist Posts: 2933

    Quote rationaldiscussionplz: "No! By removing this you encourage the removal of Christian symbols as well. You cannot support the removal of this without--on principal--supporting the removal of any and all religious symbology from every public place. If you support art depicting Christianity and Judaism in public places, you must extend that to all religions. Support this piece of art and you'll have firm ground to stand upon when you support the Ten Commandments and other religious-type artifacts on public soil. "

    Exactly. It's all or none. Personally, I prefer the secular solution of none (makes it a he!! of a lot easier) so I'm all for these yahoo's making this an issue. Should be fun to watch.

  • uncle fester posted at 11:33 am on Thu, Jul 7, 2011.

    uncle fester Posts: 831

    Really? Nothing else to do?

  • The Other Decider posted at 11:27 am on Thu, Jul 7, 2011.

    The Other Decider Posts: 157

    "History of censorship in art: For an absolute ruler to stay in power, he must have total control over his people. In order to accomplish this, he must control the art produced in his nation."
    Not sure who quoted this, but it seems like the churches around here want to control of what is not in their favor.
    To heck with them. Its fricken art for God's sake! Do we still have part of the Aryan Nation alive here?

  • rationaldiscussionplz posted at 11:07 am on Thu, Jul 7, 2011.

    rationaldiscussionplz Posts: 266

    "Where is this "piece of art" located? Publically owned property? If so, Ronald J. Vander Griend is going about this all wrong. It should be removed because it IS religious in nature. Lord knows untold hundreds of Christian sysbols have been removed from public property citing their illegality. Same should go for this."

    No! By removing this you encourage the removal of Christian symbols as well. You cannot support the removal of this without--on principal--supporting the removal of any and all religious symbology from every public place. If you support art depicting Christianity and Judaism in public places, you must extend that to all religions. Support this piece of art and you'll have firm ground to stand upon when you support the Ten Commandments and other religious-type artifacts on public soil.

    This, of course, is entirely dependent upon present legal interpretations and has little-to-nothing to do with actual Constitutional law.

    Obviously I don't agree with those out there that run about screaming "separation of church and state" as if it's part of the Constitution. Of course there is no such thing in the Constitution. It mentions religion twice and never says that government and religion are mutually exclusive. In Article VI it states, "no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States." And the first amendment says, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...."

  • CHSdad posted at 10:58 am on Thu, Jul 7, 2011.

    CHSdad Posts: 357

    It appears that the taliban are thriving in North Idaho now.

  • Why Not posted at 9:51 am on Thu, Jul 7, 2011.

    Why Not Posts: 3685

    Thank you Rio for covering the relationship between art and religion, some folks might otherwise freak out and condemn the National Museum, Louvre or even the Uffizi.

    JW so you think I was in rant mode eh? Not even close and I obviously struck a nerve, so allow me to dig a little deeper. How the heck do you know what the artists plan was when he created that piece?
    Your assumption that I am somehow condoning Nazi symbolism is absurd man, what are you smoking? Just because there are similarities with the Sanskrit “symbol” for all is well does not make it the same as. Furthermore, the symbol which is clockwise yo-yo, the Nazi symbol is counterclockwise.

    Hate? You are in denial JW. You brought up the Hindu history, so isn’t you who is trying to incite hatred? I am only reinforcing the position I’ve held all along that it’s art. Art is in the eye of the beholder and this piece has what it takes to be considered great and yeah it’s ugly too.

  • Cookie posted at 9:41 am on Thu, Jul 7, 2011.

    Cookie Posts: 90

    Jeffrey Wherley. Let me be blunt and to the point. You're a f***ing idiot.

  • Triumph posted at 9:19 am on Thu, Jul 7, 2011.

    Triumph Posts: 533

    Wow.. Lots of deep debate here. One thint I don't think anyone can debate is, that thing is extremely ugly!

  • Jeffrey Wherley posted at 9:16 am on Thu, Jul 7, 2011.

    Jeffrey Wherley Posts: 3969

    rio lobo,

    I never said Religious symbols can't be beautiful but they are Symbols of a belief, and not something meant for universal enjoyment. Art tries for Universal Enjoyment, Great art Achieves it. Symbols are almost alway controversial and like pornography are targeted for specific audiences.
    Should either be Banned? No, imo, but each local audience should be about to decide.
    If a community wants to display symbols they approve of, they should expect to be brushed with the meaning those symbols portray. In this case, CDA is promoting Racist, Slavery and Misogynist Beliefs. If you want to be painted with that brush, that is your decision. Since the CDA Council beliefs in this symbolism I must conclude they are as a group Racist, a wish to return to Slavery and Misogynists (yes that include women that hate women too). You seem to be in this group too, Rio.

    Yes, I did put pornography and symbols (religious or not) into a narrowly defined category together, but political media, advertisements and many other things could also be in that same category, so don't try to say I think they are anything near the same.

  • Humanist posted at 8:29 am on Thu, Jul 7, 2011.

    Humanist Posts: 2933

    No effort by supporters of "equal opportunity for all religions" should be made. Just let the idiots waste their time.

  • efromm posted at 8:25 am on Thu, Jul 7, 2011.

    efromm Posts: 644

    You know the ten commandments are on display at the court house. Religion is all around you. In this country we enjoy religious freedom. I have seen a lot more offensive people around here than inanimate art objects on display. I don't particularly like seeing the cross displayed everywhere I go. And I would bet that to a Native American the cross would be a negative sign. Considering good Christians killed and slaughtered them in the name of God. Plenty of damage has been done the world over because of religion. Christians need to wake up. Their religion does not have a sparkling clean history by any means. And to condemn another is to condemn yourself to their fate. Careful how you hate. You may be just hatting yourself in the end. Leave the statue alone. Worry about your own sin and be a better person....

  • rio lobo posted at 8:10 am on Thu, Jul 7, 2011.

    rio lobo Posts: 155

    JW "Religious symbols are not ART"
    You just blew a hole in the world of art history, now historians are scrambling like mad to exclude many of those once great artists like Michaelangelo and Leonardo who used all that religious symbolism and tried to pass it off as art.
    And you bring up controversial art and the best example you can come up with is the Mona Lisa? Back to Wikipedia for you.

  • Downtowner posted at 8:03 am on Thu, Jul 7, 2011.

    Downtowner Posts: 93

    "I love art, I love creative art," the 60-year-old Vander Griend said.
    I don't think so Ronald. Just a religious zealot voicing his opinion. Elephants trunk phallic? Oh my gosh. Such a silly thing to say it is comical. Next up is that mouse on Mudgie the Moose must be gay since likes to hang out so close to his head.

  • rio lobo posted at 7:59 am on Thu, Jul 7, 2011.

    rio lobo Posts: 155

    Kudos to Lake City Community Church for recognizing and actually practicing the virtues of organized religion. Shame on Lake City Lighthouse Church and all its mindless sheep for supporting "ignorance and religious intolerance."
    I wonder how Vander Griend defines "creative art" that he proclaims to love so much? Maybe depictions of a bloodied, tortured Jesus?
    Mr. Hasslinger, good job on the article.

  • Jeffrey Wherley posted at 7:46 am on Thu, Jul 7, 2011.

    Jeffrey Wherley Posts: 3969

    Why Not,

    What’s good art without controversy? Worthy of praise by all. Mona Lisa is Art, everyone sees something in it, even though she is not very pretty. Religious Symbols are not ART, and neither are things made just for controversial special interests.

    Out of your entire diatribe you had only this one piece of substance, very sad. India has officially rejected the caste system (if that was a point you where trying to get to, hard to tell in your rant), but Hinduism has not and the Swastika no matter the angle is about Racial Supremacy and was only co-opted by Hitler not originating with him. But if your trying to promote Aryan supremacy be my guest and continue with your freedom of speech, and I will continue to oppose your Hate.

  • Old Gyrene posted at 7:42 am on Thu, Jul 7, 2011.

    Old Gyrene Posts: 74

    Where is this "piece of art" located? Publically owned property? If so, Ronald J. Vander Griend is going about this all wrong. It should be removed because it IS religious in nature. Lord knows untold hundreds of Christian sysbols have been removed from public property citing their illegality. Same should go for this.

  • bosuns posted at 7:19 am on Thu, Jul 7, 2011.

    bosuns Posts: 6

    Is this why elephants are endangered? People are killing them because their phallic proboscises are offensive?

    As for the "tools of fear" and the "gods that control their lives", has anyone looked at the Bible recently?

  • Why Not posted at 6:30 am on Thu, Jul 7, 2011.

    Why Not Posts: 3685

    JW thank for the freaking history lesson, but that’s not your point is it? You are threatened by a piece of art, so you are lashing out at Hindu’s for the errors they have committed through history, symbolism Jeffery. While you are at it why not burning witches at the stake, or how about or historical Pagen cleansings, beheading peasants for not converting, the Crusades and even Hitler’s extermination of the Jews? It’s sad and funny at the same time, that there are such small minded people in this community who mistake artistic expression for symbolism, but what’s good art without controversy?

  • Jeffrey Wherley posted at 4:17 am on Thu, Jul 7, 2011.

    Jeffrey Wherley Posts: 3969

    This reaction to skin color has its roots in the caste system and the degree to which it has insinuated itself into Hindu culture-which is, to a large extent, indistinguishable from Indian culture. The caste system can be attributed in part to a verse from the Rig Veda, an ancient Hindu scripture, which describes the creation of the human race from the primal man, Purusha. From his head sprang the Brahmins, the priestly caste and the highest on the totem pole; from his arms the Kshatriyas, the warrior castes; from his thighs the Vaishyas, or merchant castes; and from his feet the Shudras, the servant or laborer castes. Within each of these castes are thousands of sub-castes, or jatis.
    Outside of this system were the people that Gandhi labeled, in a well-intentioned but somewhat patronizing gesture, the Harijans, or people of God. Most Indians know them as Untouchables. The caste system's elaborate hierarchy was also reinforced by texts such as the Laws of Manu

    From that (first) cause, which is indiscernible, eternal, and both real and unreal, was produced that male (Purusha), who is famed in this world (under the appellation of) Brahman. Chapter 1

    Not only in Hinduism a Racist (Aryan) Religion it is also a Womanizing Religion. It's not intolerance of these Offensive beliefs it's disgust of their Slavery and Misogynist Teachings. I can tolerate these narrow minded symbols and beliefs but to accept them as Art is supporting their Caste Belief system.

    "Art for a Hindu is life as it is interpreted by religion and philosophy. Art for art's sake is consequently unknown." Scholar of Ancient Indian Culture, Giriraj Shah

    Squirrel Nutkin,
    Hindi "art" is Religion you can't separate them. To try is showing your ignorance of their beliefs.

  • squirrel nutkin posted at 3:39 am on Thu, Jul 7, 2011.

    squirrel nutkin Posts: 231

    Religion shouldn't be the issue. The crazy thing is just buttugly. They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder but this POS is just pushing that concept to the breaking point.

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