Monday, August 10, 2009

Fearmongering Religious Right again targets National Endowment for the Arts

Bill Berkowitz reports in Talk To Action that the Religious Right is once again going after the National Endowment for the Arts:

It used to be that the mere mention of the National Endowment for the Arts would immediately draw fire from the right. In the 1990s, "Defund the NEA" became a rallying cry that was regularly heard in the halls of Congress. Direct mail packages, designed by conservative public relations pros and delivered directly to your mailbox by the U.S. Postal Service, claimed that the agency supported anti-Christian and pornographic art projects. Demonizing the NEA was a fundraising tool that kept giving and giving and giving.

Over the past decade, however, in part because the agency appeared to consciously distance itself from funding controversial art projects, and in part because the Christian Right moved on to other issues (abortion, same-sex marriage, immigration), fighting funding for the NEA was no longer at the top of their agenda.

Concern over how President Barack Obama's stimulus money is being used is again focusing attention on the NEA. A July 30 Fox News report pointed out that some stimulus money (the Recovery and Reinvestment Act) earmarked for the NEA, wound up stimulating an NEA-funded "pornographic" film project, a long-running pansexual performance series, and a dance production featuring naked dancers.

Arts groups and arts funders used to run scared when the Religious Right engaged in its Know-Nothing diatribes. But we're beyond that nonsense. Ralph Reed and the rest of these fearmongering self-righteous nincompoops showed their true colors during the George W. Bush era, when they thought they owned the world and every American's soul. These buffoons have nothing to do with Christianity and everything to do with fear and hatred. We are afraid no more. Go crawl back into your holes!

Read entire Talk to Action article at

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