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Aug 23, 2017

Get a Load of the Emperor's Clothes!

The fallout from the Charlottesville tragedy is showing the true colors of not only Trump (we knew that) but also some of his supporters, like Evangelical Christians*. The deafening silence from their corner over Nazi violence speaks volumes. As these events demonstrate, the "family values" that has been the slogan of this movement for decades falls apart under scrutiny. Now Evangelicals show their true colors too. It turns out all that flowery talk of standing up for great Christian values––even conservative ones like marital fidelity––has just been a smokescreen for their underlying hateful ideology, which's as unchristian as you can get!

Despite their great PR, their argument has never been very robust. "Pro-lifers" who don't oppose the death penalty or show concern for the poverty that is often the reason for pregnancies to be unwanted. "Defence of marriage" which denies healthy marriage to anyone who's not heterosexual. "Biblical values" which are terribly selective of only the parts of scripture that further their narrow cause. These have always been indications of sly PR that justifies hate and intolerance with Jesus' words, which is a real travesty. But now we can see a blatant evidence that Evangelicals aren't really promoting Christian values as their own narrow, hateful ideology. Christianity is here merely a convenient and honored tradition, used to make this ideology seem legitimate.

A great number of "Christians" seem to ignore much of what Jesus said except for a few choice phrases (Shakespeare reminds us that even "the devil can site scriptures for his purpose"!) The term "Christian" implies those who follow the teachings of Christ. It's not that Jesus didn't say such things as Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” To some this is a validation of their own desire for violence. But it ignores the REST of Jesus's message, the bulk of which is concern for the poor and dispossessed. There aren't very many groups that have the courage to embrace that kind of idea, so instead lazy "Christians" simply cherry-pick the religion they want and stamp Jesus' logo on it. For shame!

I say if it doesn't show concern for the weak, the poor and the stranger it is NOT CHRISTIAN, regardless of what label is on it. The same is true of any faith that sprouts violence: it is an abberation, not a sacred admonition. That is how to separate the wheat from the chaff. There are slimebags in probably every community. Just because they're loud, don't let them speak for the whole lot!

* Disclaimer: I know that any kind of generalization is always a loose approximation. There are some purely faithful Evangelicals who are as deeply Christian as anyone. No group can accurately be painted with a broad brush. But the group has to take responsibility for their own. I apologize to the world for some "Christian" behavior because they are of my brotherhood. Worthy Evangelicals should do the same, as should any group whose members embarrass us!
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Tim Holmes Studio

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I'm a sculptor/filmmaker living in Montana, USA. I am using art to move the evolution of humanity forward into an increasingly responsive, inclusive and interactive culture. As globalization flattens peoples into a capitalist monoculture I hope to use my art to celebrate historical cultural differences and imagine how we can co-create a rich future together.

I see myself as an artist/philosopher laboring deep in the mines of joy. I've had a good long career of exhibiting work around the world and working on international outreach projects, most notably being the first American to be invited to present a one-person exhibit in the Hermitage Museum. Recently I have turned my attention from simply making metal sculpture to creating films and workshops for engaging communities directly, tinkering with the very ideas and mechanisms behind cultural transformation. I feel that as we face tragic world crises, if the human species favors our imaginative and creative capacities we can cultivate a rich world to enjoy.

For me the deepest satisfaction in making art comes in engaging people's real life concerns rather than providing simple entertainment or decoration. Areas of conflict or tension are particularly ripe for the kind of transformative power that art uniquely carries. I invite any kind of challenge that serves people on a deep level.