Prevailing Christian theology maintains that humans, with the intervention of the Devil, were corrupted by Sin and forced from the Garden of Eden, forever to be tainted with fundamental immorality and only to be Saved by the sacrifice of Jesus. In contrast, many progressive humanist efforts seek to empower the inherent positive value of being Human. These two frameworks for human existence are at odds and cannot exist in tandem. Our nation is being held hostage by ancient nonsense that suppresses our advancement to a more equitable state.
20" x 38"
Plywood, Pine, Paint, Embroidery
Neil Jansen - 2013
This is the first of several recent works of mine pertaining to both religious and LGBT concepts. Specifically, this piece depicts a representation of my country where both the viewer and the LGBT community are held captive within a horizontally-slatted "closet". Outside of this prison, red silhouettes of the Biblical crucifixion look down onto the rainbow stars and the observer. This oppression stem from the irreconcilable notions that humans are either inherently sinful and must atone, or that we are all equally human and worthwhile from the get-go. The latter being a tenet of modern human rights and LGBT movements, where we find entire peoples struggling to be accepted at face value.
With Christianity in its current "upright" place in America, our Flag will forever be inverted and hostage. If we consciously revert the Flag to its proper orientation, we now find Christianity inverted and the places within the closet can be reversed. The observer, and those interested in treating all humans as fundamentally good and free of the concept of sin, can now view the Bible in its rightful place, stored in a Closet where we keep our past relics as occasional reminders of where we were, collectively, as children.
The plywood base nods to the solid foundations upon which our country was formed, with religion somewhat temporarily stenciled onto the surface. The cloth of the Union binds together the stars into a single Fabric that gives our communities solidarity in the face of oppression.