Culture

Catholic University Displays Painting of George Floyd as Jesus

AP Photo/David J. Phillip

There have been numerous indications recently that the Left, while regarding traditional religion (or at least Christianity) with contempt, is constructing a new religion of its own, based on its political agenda. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), which is so far-Left as to make Karl Marx himself blush, recently published a new hymn entitled “The Climate is Changing.” Not long before that, New York Governor Kathy Hochul (D-Planned Parenthood), aping the cadences of a preacher, proclaimed that the unvaccinated “aren’t listening to God and what God wants,” and told a Christian audience: “I need you to be my apostles” of vaccination. And now the Catholic University of America, which is ostensibly a Christian institution, is displaying two copies of a painting depicting George Floyd as Jesus Christ. Yes, it’s ridiculous and worse, but remember: laughing at this foolishness will get you denounced as a “blasphemer,” that is, a “racist,” and cast into the outer darkness.

The Daily Signal reported Monday that the painting, which is a pastiche of traditional Byzantine iconography, is the work of one Kelly Latimore, and is entitled “Mama.” Karna Lozoya, Catholic University’s vice president for university communications, insisted that it is an image of “the Virgin Mary supporting the body of the dead Christ” and that “you can identify Jesus by the marks on the halo.”

In a certain sense, it’s true: the halo does indeed bear the letters that signify that the one depicted is Jesus, and in classic iconographic style, the Christ/Floyd figure is labeled as “IC XC,” that is, Jesus Christ. However, the figure is not a traditional iconographic image of Christ: in the image, both Jesus and His mother are black, and the identification with Floyd is made explicit in a plaque that hangs next to the painting: “Following the violent death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, Latimore created this Icon in June of that year. The image is evocative of the Pieta — the Mother of Sorrows. May Mary, the Mirror of Justice hear the cry of all who have known the sorrow of losing a loved one to violence and injustice. Amen.”

Latimore even explained last April that he regarded his painting “as a way to mourn George Floyd.” He added: “The common question that people asked was, ‘Is it George Floyd or Jesus?’ The fact they’re asking that question is part of the problem. My answer was yes.”

Kelly Latimore is not even the first Leftist to equate George Floyd with Jesus. Last April, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Smirnoff) blazed the trail, praying: “Thank you, George Floyd, for sacrificing your life for justice. For being there to call out to your mom — how heartbreaking was that — to call out for your mom, ‘I can’t breathe.’ Because of you and because of thousands, millions of people around the world who came out for justice, your name will always be synonymous with justice.” Pelosi’s statement followed the pattern of the Catholic Mass, which contains texts giving thanks to the Lord, recounting the institution of the Holy Eucharist, and explaining how Jesus gave his life for the salvation of the world. Pelosi thanked Floyd, recounted his sacred words, and explained how he gave his life for racial justice.

Related: Iran Turns George Floyd Into a Shi’ite Muslim Saint

Of course, everyone has to take this parody of religion with the utmost seriousness. One Catholic University student commented: “There are many students, faculty, and staff who are concerned about this, but there is nothing we can do. And if we sound the alarm, we will be labeled racists.”

That’s right. If you blaspheme the new religion, you will be duly excommunicated from the church of racial justice, which means you’ll be branded a “racist” and driven from the society of all decent folk. Traditional Catholics, and all traditional Christian believers, thus have a choice now at Catholic University: they can stand up for the actual Christian faith and denounce the idolatry of George Floyd and the Leftist politicization of the Catholic faith that it represents and face the prospect of disciplinary action and social opprobrium; or they can keep their mouths shut, get their degree, and hope that no one asks them to burn incense to the new god before they can get out of that madhouse.

This is a choice that Christians in various countries have faced since time immemorial. It is not, until relatively recently, one that American Christians have had to face. But the Left is totalitarian: it claims every aspect of life, and that means that religion will, like everything else, be made to go woke. Christian believers of the old-fashioned variety, that is, those who know the immensity of the difference between Christ and any ordinary human being, are going to face worse insults and indignities than the sight of Our Lord and Savior George Floyd at Catholic University. However, the estimable Young America’s Foundation has started a petition to get this abomination taken down: sign here.