Yesterday I began my first entry by introducing myself and my purpose for having a Blog. It had not been an hour before I had a comment criticizing me for my painting, “One Nation Under God.” I read this gentleman’s remarks that I “should crack open a book sometime to know what truth really is.” I had to smile as I read since this is a common argument from those that detest the painting.
One Nation Under God
He goes on to criticize the painting for including Deists standing behind Christ and my suggesting that our country was founded to be “Under God.” I would be interested which books this person is using to get his information? My understanding is that during the “Age of Enlightenment” many of our Founding Fathers were eager to establish a country where men were free to worship God according the dictates of their own conscience. They wanted to have a system of government not ruled by Kings and nobleman, but by Natural Law or God’s Law where men were free to have life, liberty and the pursuit of property. The First Amendment of the Constitution made it clear that there would be “no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
In 1802 in a letter to the Danbury Baptist Associaton, Jefferson coined the phrase “separation of church and state” in reference to the establishment clause… fifteen years after the Constitution was written. Jefferson’s clear meaning was that religions were protected from the state, not the other way around! So now here we are. The Supreme Court of the United States finds praying in the schools unconstitutional and everything our founders held sacred has been trampled. If this was their clear intention don’t you think it would have been the standard from day one? So the question, why did I paint Christ holding the US Constitution in the painting? Because I believe that the Constitution is divinely inspired. I believe that the Founding Fathers were inspired. It was written by imperfect men that were prepared at a time in Earth’s history to do something that had never been done before—a great experiment! Look what they accomplished. In the short 234 years since our country’s birth look at the advancements in our world. Look at the development we’ve made in medicine, science, travel and good will. We have literally gone from picks and shovels to placing a man on the moon! Without that Constitution we would not have had the environment needed to make this possible. All the suffering and grief in the world today is because of evil men and those who subvert the principles of this sacred document. This is how I see it and I have history on my side. In this painting I included those whom I believed sacrificed for our country to support the Constitution. Whether you except them for their faith is unimporiant. They sacrificed and I think they would hope we would do the same. Who are you to judge?
Did Jefferson identify himself as a Deist? We always hear about the famous ”Jefferson Bible.” As an intellectual Jefferson was fascinated by the man Jesus and because he cut out the miracles to focus on the words only of the Master in no way condemns Jefferson as a non-believer. On his deathbed he solemnly proclaimed himself a Christian. Many of the Founders have been classified as Deists simply because they didn’t attend a regular Christian church. None of that really matters and that is why I marvel at the negative attention this painting has received from the Left. Even my newest painting depicting President Obama’s foot on the Constitution (The Forgotten Man) pales to the criticism I have received from “One Nation Under God.” To those who criticize my painting for being historically inaccurate my response is to read my interpretation of the painting and consider reading history books dated to the time of our country’s founding. I’m sure my response will infuriate more anti-McNaughton sentiment, but I know the painting represents the truth. People will write both praise and disgust on this Blog, but truth will prevail.
To read all my notes about this painting CLICK HERE