Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

At the Smithsonian on My Nickel

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(Great late-breaking news! As you read the post below, you can rejoice that the video “A Fire in My Belly was pulled this week from the Hide/Seek display at the Smithsonian. This decision was made due to a “conservative” (i.e. moral) outcry. Although it would be better if the whole exhibit was cancelled, it ‘s a step in the right direction. Our voices matter. They produce results. Most importantly, they please the Lord.)
I really love visiting the Smithsonian. I was there recently and spent an afternoon in the Museum of American History. You could spend a lifetime there and still not notice all the details of the exhibits. That’s partly because the exhibits are constantly changing. Stuff goes into storage while others take front and center for the public eye.

It takes a lot of money to maintain something huge like the Smithsonian. As a matter of fact, the annual budget for the entire museum is now at $761 million with $495 million of that coming from taxpayers. $5.8 million tax dollars this year went to the National Portrait Gallery alone in 2010.

And this largely federally funded (remember that means your pocketbook) gallery has been generous in presenting its Christmas season exhibition. In fact, it has given you more than you would ever want. I just wish it were something we could exchange. Notice the following article from

Tis the Season for… Homoerotica
“A Fire in My Belly”

That‘s is the apparent theme of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery’s Christmas season exhibition. According to, the federally funded gallery’s exhibit features “images of an ant-covered Jesus, male genitals, naked brothers kissing, men in chains, Ellen Degeneres grabbing her breasts and a painting the Smithsonian itself describes in the show‘s catalog as ’homoerotic.’”

The exhibit, “Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture,” opened on Oct. 30 and will run throughout the Christmas Season, closing on Feb. 13.

“This is an exhibition that displays masterpieces of American portraiture and we wanted to illustrate how questions of biography and identity went into the making of images that are canonical,” David C. Ward, a National Portrait Gallery (NGP) historian who is also co-curator of the exhibit, told

According to the museum itself, the exhibit shows a commitment to “showing how a major theme in American history has been the struggle for justice so that people and groups can claim their full inheritance in America’s promise of equality, inclusion and social dignity… These themes, historic and artistic, come together in ‘Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture,’ the first major exhibition to examine the influence of gay and lesbian artists in creating modern American portraiture.” “‘Hide/Seek’ chronicles how, as outsiders, gay and lesbian artists occupied a position that turned to their advantage, making essential contributions to both the art of portraiture and to the creation of modern American culture,” a plaque posted at the exhibit states.

And this year at the Smithsonian, if you are into watching homoerotica, you can watch a couple of films: “A Fire in My Belly” and “The Pink Narcissus” Here are brief descriptions of them both taken from

“The Pink Narcissus” is a video released in 1971 by James Bidgood (b. 1933). The National Portrait Gallery’s description for the video says, “The film is a surreal portrait of the youth’s emergence into gay life, his coming out symbolized by the metaphor of a caterpillar’s metamorphosis into a butterfly.” The video was originally 71 minutes long, and has been edited down to 7 minutes for display in the museum, according to the description.

“A Fire in My Belly” was created by David Wojnarowicz (1954-1992). The full-length version of this 1987 video, according to the description at the exhibit, is 30 minutes long. The version viewable in the National Portrait Gallery has been edited down to 4 minutes. The description says, “A Fire in My Belly, a compilation of footage largely shot in Mexico, weaves together numerous images of loss, pain, and death into a metaphor for the AIDS epidemic; it concludes in a picture of the world aflame.”

The description speaks of the video artist’s ”poetic, yet furious, condemnation of the way greed, religion, and selfishness conspire to label certain people as outside the scope of our caring.” It also quotes Wojnarowicz, who died of AIDS, as saying, “When I was told I’d contracted the virus, it didn’t take long for me to realize that I’d contracted a diseased society as well.”

The four-minute version of the video shown in the exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery shows, among other images, ants crawling over the image of Jesus on a crucifix, two halves of a loaf of bread being sewn together, the bloody mouth of a man being sewn shut, a hand dropping coins, a man undressing, a man’s genitals, a bowl of blood, and mummified humans.

May God help us as we try to raise children for Him in a society that funds such blatant wickedness. I wish He could look down on America as a Christian nation, in any sense of the word. But, in the name of freedom of expression, we have glorified that which nauseates God. We have lauded the works of the flesh. We have laughed when He has cried and we have profaned the Holy (…a naked Christ with ants crawling all over Him??!). It is unfathomable that, even as I travel and teach and plead and encourage women to adhere to God’s standards of purity and holiness, my tax dollars are keeping the lights on for tens of thousands of people, both American and foreign, to view the apex of the antithesis of what I am teaching. It is very late to arrest the “Romans one” kind of sensuality and perversion that has gripped our country. It may be that God has already given up on our country. I’m thankful he has another, extremely permanent country, where He is not ashamed to be called our God (Heb.11:16).

Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error (Romans 1:24-27).

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