Reader: Art like Jesus receiving oral sex painting must be protected against vigilante force

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We've hosted a lively debate on a post about "The Romantic Cannibals," an artwork depicting Jesus receiving oral sex that Montana trucker Kathleen Folden allegedly destroyed using a crowbar.

Many of the comments debate whether or not the piece, on view below, can be considered art. But for Iceman, that's not the point.

He writes:

Whether or not this is art, and whether or not you like this artwork or its message, isn't the point. Freedom of speech must be protected against vigilante force, otherwise none of us have the freedom to speak. The freedom of speech in art, like freedom of religion, becomes vulnerable and easily shattered when we allow (and especially when we celebrate) attacks on that freedom. This is the reason why neo-nazi groups are allowed to exist. It's the reason why Fred Phelps and his church are allowed to protest at funerals. It's the reason why everything we disagree with is allowed to remain. When anyone, starts to tear away at this by FORCE -- we endanger everyone's freedom to speak freely. If we want exceptions to the First Amendment, we must pursue them by law; and we must rally against anyone who seeks exception by vigilante force. Don't you see this?

Check out "The Romantic Cannibals" in whole and in part below -- and also watch a video featuring protesters speaking out against the piece prior to its destruction. And be sure to sample our new Comment of the Day archive.

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