Freedom, a License for Blasphemy?

Article excerpt

MANILA, Philippines - The dictionary defines blasphemy as: 1) profane or contemptous speech, writing, or action concerning God or anything held as divine; 2) any remark or action held to be irreverent or disrespectful. For Christians who believe in the Ten Commandments, let me quote the second: "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain" and the fourth: "Honor they father and they mother."Now let us focus on the current controversy in connection with the exhibit "Kulo" which is supposed to be an art exhibit displayed at the CCP (Cultural Center of the Philippines). The Christian lay groups said that the controversial collage "poleteisimo" (Kulo) done by UST trained artist Medio Cruz mocks the Catholic religion because: In a religious image of Jesus Christ is attached a wooden replica of the male genital protruding toward His face. The male genital replica is draped with the rosary hanging by the base and top of the replica. To a crucifix is attached a red male organ. A similar image of Christ where his eyes are darkened by black ink which appears to flow out from his eyes; a crucifix and cross draped with a pink stretched out condom; various religious images and pictures of Christ, Mary the Mother of Christ, Holy family, saints, and the rosary are all closely surrounded by and placed beside pictures of women who appear to be modeling for underwear or a skin product; a picture of Christ's disciples surrounding a dark sillouette.... Right in the facial expression is a drawing resembling Mickey Mouse; a seated statue of Christ where the tip of his nose is a red ball, above his head is an imposed pair of red ears ala Mickey Mouse.The CCP website states that the exhibit was allowed, "based on the determination that the premise of the exhibit and the work in question are legitimate expressions of artists... that the showcase is not an official project of UST but serves as the artist's response to Rizal's 150th birthday and connects it to the university's 400th anniversary. …