Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Church and Art

The story goes of the young Protestant and Catholic boys who became friends. One day, the Protestant is showing his Catholic friend around his church. When they walk into the sanctuary, the Catholic exclaims, "Oh, no! You've been robbed!" Seeing no stained glass, no statues, no art of any kind on the walls, what else was he to think?

In the United States, the Protestant movement traces its history to Luther, but in reality our roots are grounded instead in Plymouth. We are not at all European in our view of art and the arts, but are strict Puritans. The bare white walls, the plain sanctuary, the complete suspicion of any nonconformist artistic expression all reveal a severe loss for us. The young Catholic boy was right. As Protestants, we have been robbed.

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