Monday, October 10, 2011
Should a person's religion be a criteria for being president of the United States? Should the fact that Mitt Romney is of the Mormon faith be a factor as to whether he is qualified to be president? What if Mitt Romney was a Jew? Would he be any less qualified than he is as a Mormon?
I have listened to the Religious Right for over 25 years and I can't say I understand their fixation with a person's religion to hold political office. Back in the 1980s I listened as leaders of the Christian Right spoke about how you couldn't be a good American unless you were first a good Christian. Being Jewish, born to two Jewish parents and having four Jewish grandparents, I wondered why I couldn't be a good American regardless of my religion. I served my country for two years in the U.S. Army and spent a year in Korea. I thought of myself as a model citizen that voted, did volunteer work in my community, and helped my older neighbors when they needed a hand. I never spent a night in jail and at that time the most trouble I had gotten into was a speeding ticket. So, I asked myself, why couldn't I be a good American even if I wasn't a Christian? Eventually, I came around to putting together my own "Mother & Child", my own "religious icon", as I do not accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior, I needed to create something that was mine. The above painting in oil on board framed in a wood frame covered in gold metal leaf was my way of dealing with the question: Why can't I be a good American if I am not a Christian?
Mother & Child: An American Icon oil on board 72" x 48", 1988-92.