Republican conservatives see obscenity everywhere
March 30, 2023
To The Eagle:
A Florida school principal was recently forced to resign after a parent complained that students were “exposed to pornography” during a Renaissance art lesson featuring Michelangelo's iconic statue of the biblical “David.”
Like much classical statuary, David is naked but for his slingshot, and lacks the concealing fig leaf mandated by Pope Paul IV in a papal bull dated 1557, declaring the Church's proscription against nudity in art.
We don’t know what most offended that prudish parent- the classical nudity of the human subject, or its incidental depiction of (gasp!) David’s genitalia. What we do know, is that the state of Florida, personified in Gov. Ron DeSanctimonious, has cowed its educational system into conforming to 16th century religious standards of body shaming and its view of human anatomy as intrinsically shameful.
Antedeluvian notions that human sexuality is inherently wicked and that nudity is ‘obscene’ remain standard fare in the ultraconservative right wing Christian voting bloc. The GOP has climbed between the sheets with them in a sordid union of convenience, as bedfellows in the culture wars with pious bigots, self righteous misogynists and intolerant religious extremists.
Republican cretins raving about an imaginary superabundance of left wing sexual deviants, child groomers and pedophiles, tacitly turn a blind eye toward the multitude of young, vulnerable members of church congregations sexually molested by priests, pastors, and curates, icons of Christian probity, perennially indicted and prosecuted for their obscene betrayal of the innocent.
Potter Stewart, late associate justice of the Supreme Court, is remembered for his famous non-definition of obscenity: “I know it when I see it.” Republican conservatives are seeing it everywhere, because they’re projecting their own vile imaginings onto anyone not interested in regressing education, women’s rights and civil liberties back to the 16th century’s standards and practices.