Separation of Church and State Lithograph Print by Jon McNaughton- 11 X 14 OE
From the Artist:
Once a year, the President of the United States makes a speech to a joint session of Congress, reporting the condition of the nation and outlines the priorities of his administration. It is called, “The State of the Union Address.”
I envisioned Jesus speaking to this joint session where all the leaders of our country are gathered. He looks at them from the pulpit; He pauses, and then begins to address the assembly.
He reminds them of the covenant which was made with the Founders of our Nation that He would protect and bless us if we would remember Him; and then Jesus opens the Holy Bible to Psalms 33: 12, and reads the verse:
“Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD.”
At this moment the Chamber erupts into shouts of anger and disgust, as the body of the joint session turns into a hostile mob - reminiscent of the mob that shouted out to Pilate, “Crucify him!”
Jesus, with a countenance of gentle peace, although saddened by the rejection of his offer, looks across the assembly at the angry mob. He turns and begins to exit the pulpit. The large American flag rips from top to bottom, like the veil of the temple ripped as He hung on the cross and said, “It is finished!”
A woman, unable to bear His glance holds her face in shame. Words of mockery, angry shouts and venomous threats fill the hall.
Above the torn flag, engraved in the marble stone of the Congressional Chamber of Congress are the words, “In God We Trust.” Oh, the irony! A shaft of light from the Courts of Heaven shines upon the word “God” as a reminder of whom they have rejected. O, America – why have you abandoned the rock from whence you were hewn!
As Jesus exits this unholy chamber he turns to gaze at you, the viewer of this painting, and asks the question, “What will YOU do now?”
The painting is meant to be a symbol of our government’s abandonment of God and His Covenant; for surely, He has not abandoned us, but we have abandoned Him.
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