National Portrait Gallery removes video as Christians threaten to fight funding

SHAME on Martin Sullivan, the director of the gallery at the Smithsonian in Washington for bowing to senseless empty threats from the Catholic League. 

To ask for censorship of a piece in the NATIONAL GALLERY based on personal religious preference is boring, but allowed.  TO FACILITATE that censorship from within the organization, based on a "choose our battles" methodology, is an offense deserving of termination.  Shame on you, dude.

From the NYTimes:
"Mr. Wojnarowicz (the artist), who died of AIDS in 1992, made the video in the 1980s. Among the imagery that he uses to depict the suffering of an AIDS patient is a scene of ants crawling on a crucifix. In a telephone interview, Bill Donohue, the president of the Catholic League, said “A Fire in My Belly” was a form of hate speech."
Really, Donohue?  HATE SPEECH?  he also mentioned that if the ants were crawling on Mohammud, we would be having a very different conversation . . . or none at all.  Well, at least he recongizes the similarities between radical Islam and his own warped Christianity.



  1. Please explain how ants crawling on a crucifix depicts the suffering of an AIDS patient. I don't get it. Thank you.

  2. Thanks for posting this horribly upsetting news Chad.


    It's art, so it's under no obligation to have a literal explanation. If it did, it would be an essay. Nor, frankly, should an explanation be necessary to justify the work's presence in a nationally curated exhibit. I haven't seen the piece nor do I know the artists, however to indulge your request, here's a (potentially off the mark) shot.

    In the 80's, there was an enormous population dying of AIDS. Most of these because of their sexuality had been culturally marginalized in their lives as they were in the deaths -- completely ignored by a conservative political establishment that refused to treat them with dignity or lend assistance.

    Without an enormous leap of a limited imagination, one might see an analogy with early pre-Christians, living in first century Rome, marginalized as outsiders through disenfranchisment, torture and public execution. Jesus in his life and death prior to the rise of Christianity may have died in similar anonymity and neglect, a possible explanation of the crucifix crawling with ants.