Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Eye of God

I must be a deist. A blog entry in which I digress to my personal thoughts about the nature of God. *

The Artist's Version, "The Eye of God." *2

No! Actually I can't be a Deist because I don’t believe that God stepped aside after the creation and watched from his/her/its lofty perch without interference in human affairs. Actually, I believe that God is everywhere and in everything including each one of us, which makes me more of a Gnostic, thus an anachronism. If God be in all things including each person, then "He" can't help but participate in our affairs. The Bible says, “God knoweth all things,” 1 John, chapter 3, verse 20. First Corinthian, chapter 2, verse 10, and I paraphrase, states that God perceives all things, which is not quite the same as being in all things. However, I quote Ephesians, Chapter 4, verse 6, “One God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” At the same time, the Catholic Church and its entire varied offspring have placed the emphasis on God being out there somewhere, and that we human beings are flawed and must constantly beg for “His” help and forgiveness for our shortcomings.

I make no claim that we are God, or that any of us are perfect. NOT CLOSE! What I do claim is that we can find God inside, as well as outside, if we search deep and hard enough, sorting and sifting through all the junk of our constructed personhood. Which, by the way, brings me to this fundamentalist notion that human sperm, and/or eggs fertilized or not are persons. ABSOLUTELY NOT! Personhood is constructed by our parents and our culture, beginning the moment of our birth. I use passive tense on purpose because, in the beginning we are closest to God before our parents give us a name and start building the person we will become. We will again be closest to God upon death, when we give up our constructed personhood. My personal belief, and it borders on “faith” is that I am made of star stuff, a piece of God’s actual creation, and that deep inside that physical thing - hidden below the socially constructed self - is the kernel (the spiritual seed) of God that I was born with. However, that seed has absolutely nothing to do with my socially constructed person! At the same time that seed is so much more than my person precisely because it is a part of God. We should all have a reverence for that kernel in all things. Thus those persons and human institutions that claim a reverence for human sperm, eggs, and fetuses though they have no problem destroying other living things (including any part of our living planet) have committed the egregious sin of destroying part of God. Thus, I believe that each living human being / person must make his/her own decision in each life or death instance, that no other human, human institution and/or government has the right to make that decision!

I wish that I could say that like a deist, I have reasoned these things intellectually based on my observation of nature. But, I cannot. Yes, some of it is based on logical thought, many hours devoted to careful thinking about the nature of the world, this universe in which I find myself, and God. However, some is intuitive, based in meditation and prayer. SO, I've woven the two threads together, reasoned logic, the warp thread and intuition, the weft. The fabric created contains the revelation that God is in everything including my very own physical body. That does not make me, or you, God. It does make us an intentional part of his/her/its creation. I purposefully describe God as male, female, and neuter because “He” is more than God the father. The church’s insistence upon anthropomorphizing God as “the father” is too limiting. God is so much more than “the heavenly father.” Symbolically “He” is the Holly Family; father, son (Jesus, the Christ), daughter, and mother. Beyond that, as I've been maintaining in this blog entry, God is in all of nature, the earth, the heavens, and beyond. Thus, I know that God is infinite, and "He" is also part of every human being.


* My thoughts here lead to another question. Can I still be Christian but reason and believe as I do? Ah, I've found the topic for a future blog entry.

*2 The Design on the dollar bill, is meant to be the eye of providence. The "all seeing eye of God" was part of the design created by John Adams, Ben Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson for our dollar bill. They based their idea on the Ancient Egyptian eye of Horace, which I think is kind of cool. Anyone who misinterprets the eye of God as a symbol of the devil demonstrates that the devil lives in their head, not on our dollar bill.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Mixed Media Distressed Paint

Dictionary Series: Steps 3,4,5 & 6

Every time I “Google” mixed media distressed paint I find pages of URL’s about distressed furniture, and distressed paint surfaces. In many of these Websites, there is talk of "the look of age," and - I also wish to hint at the passage of time, and history - though I have no need to include walls or furniture in my work except through the ironic use of photographic images (perhaps). I have seen other artwork that looks something like these, though I’m quite sure those other artworks aren’t as many layered as are mine. However, evidence hints that there is no such technique as Mixed Media Distressed Paint, and that must say something about the creative thought process. At the very least I am the only artist who has thought to name his/her technique.

I won’t explain exactly how the layering process works and cast that information into the vacuity of the Ethernet. Suffice it to say that I work back and forth between the virtual digital world of imagery, and the actual physical world of real images, paper, glue, acrylic and tempera paint. Though there is much irony, even intent to inflict pain and / or frustration, there seems to be very little subversive intent in Twenty-first Century Art. Still, I insist on having some secrets.

Friday, August 17, 2012

One more Gay Marriage, One More Small Step Toward Equality for All LGBT People and All Mankind!

The artwork in this entry is the personal, social and political journey my partner of 44 years and I take through our marriage.

 Mission Accomplished!!!

The Reverend Pat Bumgardner married us Wednesday, August 15, 2012 at Metropolitan Community Church of New York with a few special friends in attendance, followed by a wonderful dinner at Dos Caminos, Park Avenue restaurant. The church ceremony brought tears to our eyes because it was truly the most special day in our lives together. Thank you God for granting us this special day of union, and these many years together. *


* Despite all the claptrap to the contrary - Neither God, nor Jesus Christ, his son discriminates. Some churches and some of the people belonging to those churches do.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Rush Limbaugh

said what?

Actually, I don't know any Democrat who has said or is saying that anyone will be eating dog food. I'm the only one, and I'm being facetious.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Dictionary Series

I’ve begun work on a new batch of mixed media distressed paintings. The image above shows the first six pieces at the same level of completion after working the first five steps in creating the bottom two layers of paint on each. As always the works will involve hidden meaning, a history, fiction and reality. However, this marks a departure from “The Waterworks.” The new dictionary series does not involve, invoke, describe or have anything to do with water except by complete accident. Instead, each work will be based on one word. I’ll not discuss the concept further here because I don’t want to give myself away any more than I have in this journal entry. Suffice it to say that I’m going to have a great deal of fun with this project.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

First Amendment Rights & the Religious Right

I usually do not write about such mundane passing madness as this Chick-fil-A boondoggle. I just found myself so upset by the willful ignorance involved in the nasty bit_ _ _ness on the Internet that I couldn’t help myself. So here goes.

My graphic design expressing my frustration with this oh-so-loco controversy (artwork pun intended)! 

1st Amendment Rights & the Religious Right Versus Gay Marriage

No! It can’t be reduced to a binary opposition. Like everything it is actually much more complicated. First, anything I say / write in this the twenty-first century United States of America can and will be held against me. Somewhere, someone will take issue. I can say it, and other persons of any stripe are allowed to be upset with me, and to voice their upset and/or frustration. Neither the voicing of my opinion nor those opposing my opinion have anything to do with my First Amendment rights. Instead, that amendment prohibits Congress from making any law that prohibits religious freedom, the right to assembly, the right of a free press, and of free speech. No such law abridging my rights has been passed, and I can say anything I want without government interference. Additionally Truett Cathy can say anything he wants and Congress may not pass a law against either of us voicing our opinion. Thus, anyone stating concern that Cathy’s First Amendment rights have been violated by LGBT people’s concern, frustration, even anger over his opposition to same sex marriage is issuing a great deal of hot air, perhaps worse from their posterior (Oh, I am so euphemistic.)!

So, why are LGBT people and many others angry about Truett Cathy's remarks?

The fact that I, and most LGBT people, and many progressive persons of a more liberal Christian persuasion are frustrated and even angered by the silly misconception of how to apply The First Amendment by those of a more fundamental social persuasion is totally understandable. However, there is another piece of the HOO-HAA over Chic-fil-A that my social conservative friends and family and most of us were not aware of before the crazed response to Cathy’s remarks. The fact that lesbian women and gay men may not be married by most Christian Churches, Federal law, and 33 state constitutional amendments puts us in a class by ourselves. We are reduced by churches and the law to second-class American citizenship because we do not have the lawful protections that come with marriage. Additionally, Cathy’s company has spent 5 million dollars in opposition to equal rights for LGBT marriage. I won’t mention the rumor that some of that money went to the legalization of mass murder of LGBT people in poor African countries. O-o-o-op-s! I just did.  And, dollars spent in our country and foreign counties do equal free speech, at least for us, though perhaps not for the citizens of some foreign countries.  For these reasons many of us are angry. Never the less, not a single person has asked to have a law passed to prevent Cathy from stating his opinion! Actually his company is laughing as they cart all their huge cash profits made from social conservatives during this fracas to the bank. Thus, this is not about free speech. Rather, it is about prejudice, and there are still a huge number of socially conservative Americans that fit the pejorative!

A Fervent Wish for Better Behavior

 Most of us on both sides of this complex issue are angry and upset with one another. It is an unfortunate fact of our current state of affairs that there is almost no civility in civil discourse. In fact, I am guilty of posting angry statements in this journal entry. At the same time, all the nasty diatribes and judgmental statements I see written by both sides of the inaccurate Chic-fil-A opposition on facebook and many blogs are horrific, and I wish for a calmer, more careful argumentative process. 

Is that pie in the sky?