Painting of Obama Burning U.S. Constitution Causes Controversy
Painting, titled “One Nation Under Socialism,” takes attacks on president to new low.
A week ago Monday, we were debating whether a racist anti-Obama bumper sticker was a new low in political speech and expression.
We spoke too soon.
This week, bloggers and Twitter users are sharing a painting that depicts an angry President Barack Obama, holding a burning copy of the U.S. Constitution.
The artist, 44-year-old Jon McNaughton of Provo, Utah, told the Salt Lake Tribune that he didn’t expect to “sell many of those (paintings) because it’s not very happy…”
That’s an understatement. See for yourself below.
From the Tribune story:
(McNaughton) began political paintings in 2008 when he said he was troubled by John McCain’s bid for the presidency against Obama. That’s when he started working on a painting titled "One Nation Under God" that features Jesus holding the U.S. Constitution while a small boy stands and points at it. Jesus and the Constitution are surrounded by former presidents, soldiers, teachers and others representing different facets of America.
The conservative artist has also painted Pres. Obama stomping on the Constitution, while former Pres. Bill Clinton claps and the Founding Fathers look on in horror. He clearly believes the president is a Socialist.
"I'm using my 1st Amendment rights to express how I feel. I’m not mocking him or trying to make him look funny. It is dark, but I just wanted to get the message across as clearly as I could," McNaughton told the Tribune.
[ALSO READ: "Racist Anti-Obama Bumper Sticker Goes Viral"]
McNaughton said he has received plenty of calls about his latest painting. Not all of them have been pleasant. (No, really?)
This is far from the first time any artist, conservative or liberal, has created politically polarizing pieces. But in light of the Supreme Court’s debate of constitutionality of the president’s health care reforms, the painting is particularly timely.
McNaughton’s work has been sold for years at the Brigham Young University bookstore, where he worked for years. (Coincidentally, that’s the college that GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney attended.)
This painting and others were not sold in the bookstore, the Tribune reports. What's your guess from how many he'll sell privately?