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For a while now, certain corners of the internet have been filled with chatter about how conservatives are all talk. They're very good at reacting to the outrageous ideas of progressives but fail hard when it comes to getting things done. It is criticism worth considering by anyone who is well aware of what is at stake.
Over at The Federalist, Elle Purnell asks the question when it comes to art. Pointing out all the soulessness of brutalist buildings or the irreverant and tasteless modern sanctuaries has its place. Writing diatribes on the way ugly public art is demoralizing is part of the solution. (Here’s a recent example: The city of Boston just unveiled a tribute to Martin Luther King Jr and it was met with mixed reactions. It is pretty weird. Disembodied arms embrace each other in a bronze sculpture that one critic described as "awkward".) But if we believe that the arts are a vehicle for passing on values as the masters of old, then why don't we get in the scrap and start creating beautiful things that reflect what we confess?
There are outlandish and ugly things, bland utilitarian things, but there are also twisted things. The pagan and profane worldlings are not apologising for their religion and this is evident in a new statue placed on a New York City courthouse. A golden woman with horns and tentacles is presented as a defender of abortion, presiding over a place of justice. The message is clear to anyone who cares to look at it.
In the Word, we find something on which to stand in this decaying age. Forgiveness found in Jesus Chris, hope and a future. As Purnell writes, we are those who know that beauty exists. If you are captured by the beauty of creation, the glory of God's plan of salvation, the wonder of his Word, the mystery of his presence in word and sacrament – then write, draw, sing a new song, commission a public work.. Purnell writes, "our self-loathing Western civilization is overdue for a renaissance of art designed to point its viewer toward beauty or truth, not just chaos and 'resistance'". You love to see it!
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