Admittedly, not the world's best Catholic, I was still very
much offended by the large color photo of the statue of the
Virgin Mary pierced by a large bronze culvert ("Articles of
Faith for This World", Sept. 9), an "inescapable image of
phallic penetration", in the review of Robert Gober's "highly theatrical grotto of sacred and profane love."
To the millions of us who worship [See Follow-Up Letter,
below] Mary as the Mother of God, this image was even more
obscene than would have been the image of one's natural mother
being so unnaturally violated.
Nazi propaganda films may have been very effective in
portraying Jews as animals and Salman
Rushdie may have been not only within his rights but also
very poetic in portraying Muhammed's wife as a whore, but just
because art is well done doesn't make it good.
As a citizen, writer, and painter, I value the 1st Amendment;
and because of this fact -- not in spite of it -- I had best
heed the words from the Father of Our Country: "Arbitrary
power is most easily established on the ruins of liberty abused
While I totally agree with Douglas Drenkow's assessment
that Robert Gober's depiction of the Blessed Virgin is an
offensive abomination (Calendar Letters, Sept. 13), I
must point out one error in his letter:
Catholics do not "worship" the Mother of God -- we
revere her as the holiest of created beings.
Worship is reserved for the Lord. Nevertheless, Mary
represents the highest goal that a created human being may
attain. She acts as a mediatrix -- an intercessor on our part
with God. People like Gober bastardize their artistic freedom to
licentiousness and sacrilege.
I stand corrected.