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  • rheddles

    Nothing was being covered up. everything was being revealed. Europe is lost. It’s hard to believe there was still a British Empire and the pound $4.27 when I was born.

  • Jim__L

    “When the Florentines put Michelangelo’s monumental, nude David in
    the center of their city in 1504, it said something important in a way
    that even an illiterate manual laborer could understand.”

    And when Leo X decided he needed funding to decorate Rome like a secular Renaissance prince rather than approach money like someone who’s actually read the Bible, it sparked the Reformation. It wasn’t until the Ignatius Loyola set up a system of finding self-selected people dedicated to living a Christlike life (who were coincidentally volunteering for a period of monitoring where their talents and dedication could be easily evaluated) that the Catholics found pious and effective people to counter the appeal of the Reformers’ genuine spiritual richness.

    So if we’re talking about European history, there is certainly room for both the nude and the prude, so to speak.

  • CaliforniaStark

    One of the best and most entertaining discussions of this issue is by Bill Maher. Go to You Tube and type in: “Bill Maher, I wish liberals had same intolerance for muslims as they do for christians”

    He makes a good point, we are confusing tolerance with capitulation.

    • f1b0nacc1

      Maher is a creep in many ways, but he is an honest creep….that is something, I suppose

  • FriendlyGoat

    Once upon a time (2002) our government purchased blue drapes to obscure two partially nude statues in the Great Hall at the Department of Justice. It was never entirely clear why then Attorney General John Ashcroft did not like being photographed in front of them at formal events in that hall. Perhaps they just didn’t fit the national mood of the war on terror after 9/11.

    • dawnsblood

      According to Reuters reporter David Ingram and Wapo’s Sari Horwitz, the statue was covered up in 17 Jan 2014 for an Obama speech in the Great Hall. They both note it in twitter if you wish to google the tweets. Yes, American politicians do seem nervous being photographed with that statue.

    • f1b0nacc1

      And Ashcroft was *correctly* excoriated for doing this by all ‘right thinking’ people. Strangely enough, when the politically correct (Obama was one, for instance) do the same thing, they get a pass…
      Foolish prudes are always wrong…

      • FriendlyGoat

        It would have been okay with me if both Ashcroft or Obama appeared with the statues. Or, it would have been okay with me if they had just stood in front of something else. Or, the drapes are okay with me. The point is that every now and then people seem to find reasons to cover nude art.

        • f1b0nacc1

          Actually, we agree on this, though I wonder why if they feel the need to cover the nude art that they don’t just avoid it in the first place….

          • FriendlyGoat

            Me too, at least with respect to choosing to stand in front of it or not.

    • JeanneDee

      It was never entirely clear

      Photographers were amusing themselves by choosing camera angles that placed Ashcroft’s head strategically in relation to the statues, and he eventually got sick of it and had drapes put across the alcove when he was giving photo availabilities. (I thought everyone knew this.)

      • FriendlyGoat

        What is “not entirely clear” is why Ashcroft would need to be standing in front of these art works in the first place.

  • Dale Fayda

    Euro elites – worthless, gutless turds.

    • f1b0nacc1

      An unfair insult to turds…

  • JosefK314

    “leading to an outcry from the Italian public” Something tells me this won’t be the most important topic during the next election.

  • Beauceron

    If you are a supporter of the West, or what once was the West, I think you are going to have to get used to a lot of humiliation,

  • qet

    To tie this in with the post on Fukuyama’s latest holding-forth: TAI perhaps should ask whether “the Western way of life” that, it says, consistently outperforms its competitors in the world-historical marketplace for ways of life, requires a humanism of the Classical-Christian fusion variety or indeed of any sort. With an unemployment rate over 12% and a youth unemployment rate near 40%, the Italians cannot afford philosophical statements. The “Western way of life” is understood today among all but a shrinking handful of holdouts (like TAI occasionally is) in entirely material terms–in terms of material well-being only; terms susceptible to measurement and analysis according to a pretend-science which has stamped on the face of humanism for 200 years already. To the extent any sort of humanism enters the picture, it is not as culture but as anti-culture, its mission being to suppress and undermine from within the entire symbolic of traditional Western humanism in favor of some vaguely held ideas about a kind of “pan-humanism” that is the antithesis of humanism altogether.

    But I will have to admit it was heartening to see the socialist Hollande stand up for French vinoculture. I enjoyed a nice Bordeaux over the weekend in his honor.

  • Frank Natoli

    If one visits Santa Maria sopra Minerva, a short distance from the Pantheon, one can see most of Michelangelo’s most extraordinary “Risen Christ”, which, with Michelangelo’s inevitable breaking of all tradition, shows a powerfully built, muscular Christ almost dwarfing the cross he holds, symbolic that in rising from the dead, he is now master of the cross, not vice versa. Oh, yes, also, he’s nude. The Church has placed a colored towel in a strategic location. How pathetic.
    But why are we reading about nudes covered or uncovered in Rome? Because THAT represents a contemptible fawning to please the Iranians? What about giving Iranians the green light to continue extracting fissile U-235 and become the next rogue nuclear state? How do nudes or not nudes compare to THAT?

  • MahmudH

    Oh really. The Roman Renaissance – a marker of modern western values? Is this writer in complete ignorance that the time period of this art is the late 15th to the mid-16th centuries? As in large scale European religious warfare, intolerance, Inquisition, witch trials, and outright genocide of Caribbean natives by European conquistadors? The Iranian theocrats look like meek and gentle lambs in comparison to the Europeans of that time period.

    • Gene

      No one is comparing Iranian theocrats to 15th-century Europeans, we’re comparing them to modern day peers, against whom the Iranian theocrats are freakin’ barbarians.

      Does it occur to you that different people stand for different things? That group A (Renaissance Italian artists) and group B (conquistadors raping and pillaging American native populations) were different groups of people and that the former were not responsible for the actions or attitudes of the latter even though they lived at the same time?

      Keep this in mind: If you can’t make a distinction like that, then you’re in effect saying it’s OK for westerners to tar all Muslims with the actions of Islamic terrorists.

      • MahmudH

        Don’t worry, I don’t blame the renaissance artists for the conquistadors or the inquisition. But it’s also totally bogus to say the renaissance artists represent modern culture. The passion in their work resonated much more closely with the passion of their own times – the vulnerability and power of the nudes reflects the violence and fanaticism of the religious conflicts during that age of discovery.

    • Dale Fayda

      Every single self-identified Moslem is either an active or a potential enemy of the Judeo-Christian civilization. Every. Single. One. Moslems have become “unnecessary and insufficient” in the creation of a free, prosperous society. Unnecessary in the creation and functioning of one. Insufficient by themselves in establishing one – everything Moslems touch they destroy, degrade, diminish. Nothing has worked for the Islamic world – not socialism, not nationalism, not their feeble attempts at liberal democracy. Other than Sub-Saharan Africa, the Moslem world is by FAR the most oppressive, poverty-ridden, religiously fanatical and war-torn in the world and a case may be made that it’s the worst.

      This is why millions of Moslems are literally breaking their legs trying to swim, crawl, run and fly to the Judeo-Christian side of the world, the “The Great Satan” of Moslem clerics. Moslems are in no position to throw stones at anyone, least of all at the culture which is superior to theirs in every significant way. Ask the millions of Moslem supplicants begging their way into Western Europe why they aren’t storming the borders of Iran, Egypt or Saudi Arabia, instead of Greece, Sweden and Hungary. Ask them if they give a rat’s puckered ass about the Spanish conquistadores while applying for welfare in Madrid or Frankfurt.

      You know they answer – they’re just happy to flee an imploding Islamic civilization.

      • MahmudH

        There is no such thing as Judeo-Christian civilization – if it ever existed, it died in the time of the renaissance artists. There’s Western-Secular Capitalist-Consumerist civilisation, which is wealthy, scientifically strong, but also plagued by obesity, surging mental illness, depression, below replacement birth rates, falling living standards. But it still has lots of jobs, so attracts immigrants. And it’s those immigrants who keep the economy in Europe and America going.

        Democracy works pretty well in Indonesia, but not so well in Greece, Italy, Ukraine. If Trump wins no one will say it works in America. History works in cycles.

        • Jim__L

          It’s really hard to argue that Judeo-Christian civilization could not be found in the Victorian Era, or 1950’s America, or even the time of the Enlightenment (when most people — including most of the celebrated scientists and philosophers — were quite Christian in their foundational beliefs.)

          Western-Secular started up in Europe post WWI, gained steam post-WWII, and hit the shores of America with the Beatles.

          As far as electing Trump vs. Democracy goes — define “works”. The old Greco-Roman formulation, where a Democracy elects a Tyrant who is supposed to put everything right, may be “working” just fine.

          • MahmudH

            Indeed, the Christian faith did play a major role in many social reforms, especially motivating the abolitionists in Britain and America. But it ceased to be the dominant narrative of politics in the decades following the 30 years war. The European Imperialists may have helped thousands of missionaries travel to Africa, but the goal of the governments was overwhelmingly financial. And as Voltaire said, “When it is a question of money, everybody is of the same religion”. From the 18th Century onwards, Europe and America had a mercantile capitalist civilisation with some Christian reformers. The popular ideology amongst intellectuals was deism, rather than biblical Christianity. In the second half of the 20th Century, society secularised, the number of both biblical Christians and all the various heterodox believers like deists declined, to the point now where the mainstream are pure atheists, in the chains of materialist consumerism, and in Europe Church going christians are a small minority about as numerous as muslims regularly attending mosques.

          • Jim__L

            Arguing whether Christianity is a “dominant narrative” in the way that Islam is dominant in Iran today is certainly a more defensible position than “there is no such thing as Judeo-Christian civilization”. That said, even in New Testament times there was a strict distinction between Church and State — with the State being pagan Rome (represented in the following quotes by Pontius Pilate, who under pressure from a mob ordered Jesus put to death.)

            Here’s a relevant passage from the Gospel of John…

            “33 Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” … Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If
            My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so
            that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is
            not of this realm.” 37Therefore
            Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say
            correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I
            have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of
            the truth hears My voice.”

            … So as you can see, there is a distinction between temporal power and Christianity (or Christian Civilization). Paul expands on this topic in his epistles; it doesn’t (to my knowledge) exist in Islam, or even Judaism.

            Christian civilization still exists, but it is changing. There are more Christians than ever, with places like Africa and Asia are getting into the act, but that would be going pretty far afield from this topic.

          • MahmudH

            Indeed, Christianity as a whole is not dying out, but the concept of it as the white man’s religion is dead. Or should be, except for the racists who want to appropriate it as a way of bashing brown Muslims.

            I’d contest the claim that the Roman empire was secular. Before Christianity the Emperor was a God-King. Constantine established Christianity as a state religion, although he saw himself as a secular ruler, he did not believe in the separation of church and state. After the death of Julian the Apostate, Emperor Jovian not only re-established Christianity as a state religion, but also made the practise of Pagan rites punishable by death – “believe or die” was established very early in Christian Rome, and continued to be the general theme until the Enlightenment, when non-orthodox beliefs became popular.

        • Dale Fayda

          No one is floating on an inner tube over the ocean desperately trying to get to Indonesia, least of all other Moslems.

          Moslem immigrants bring only criminality, poverty, fanaticism, dependence and squalor. I dare you, I triple-dog dare you to point to a place in Europe or in the US which became “better” – more prosperous, safer, better governed, more attractive with the addition of large numbers of Moslems and with the subtraction of a corresponding number of white Europeans. Everywhere you touch down becomes a Third World crap hole – I can’t think of a single exception. Can you?

          • MahmudH

            I’d say Romania benefited significantly from Sultan Mehmed II deposing Vlad the Impaler in the autumn of 1462.

          • Dale Fayda

            Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!!!! Really? That’s what you were able to come back with?

            I’ll make it easier for you – give me an example of what I’ve outlined previously within the last (100) years. Just one.

          • MahmudH

            Now your turn. Name a time Muslim countries benefited from a western invasion.

          • Jim__L

            Spain became a world power after kicking the Muslims out.

          • MahmudH

            Its greatest palace is still the Alhambra, built by the Moors.

          • Dale Fayda

            Saudi Arabia, for one. The ONLY reason that Mohammedan hell hole exists today is because of the discovery of oil and development of an oil industry there by CHRISTIAN EUROPEANS. Without them, the Saudi tribes would still be living in tents and raiding each other for goats.

            All over the world, Moslems wear Western clothing, structure their governments, their higher education systems and their militaries along Western lines, drive Western cars, use a myriad of Western consumer goods and on and on and on and on… Everything you see around you has been invented, developed, engineered, financed, built and distributed by non-Moslems. Everything!!!

            I dare you to name any visible, common known, material contributions to the legal, military, scientific, political, business/manufacturing spheres of the modern world by Islam.

            But my larger point is this – there are no significant numbers of white Christians (or any kind of Christians) clamoring to emigrate into ANY Moslem nation for ANY reason. Never were, never will be. If fact, other than a few expats working in the oil industry and such, no one from the West wants anything to do with the hell on earth that is the Islamic world. No non-Moslems have EVER voluntarily chosen to migrate to Islam in large numbers and none ever will, ever!

            Moreover, millions and millions of Moslems have been fleeing the endemic disaster that is Moslem governance and culture for decades now. And where are they going, you may ask? Other, less screwed-up Moslem countries? Why, of course not! They’re all running to Christian Europe (including Russia) and to North America!

            You are unwanted interlopers from a markedly inferior culture, contributing nothing and degrading everything. You are the proverbial “spoonful of tar ruining a barrel of honey”, only now it’s way more than a “spoonful”. if you disappeared from the world right now, the rest of us would be much better off.

          • http://grealistink.typepad.com/wordplay_language_politic/ GR

            Iraq. Afghanistan.

          • MahmudH

            Iraq? Seriously? There was civilisation in Iraq under Saddam. Now there is a Shia theocracy. I’m ethnically Shia but even I can see that Saddam ran the place better than the current bunch.

            Afghanistan… so-so. The taliban were terrible, but at least there was peace. Overall – Afghanistan was in a much better place when run by Soviet sponsored Socialists. The US sponsored mujahadeen were the people who wrecked the place and put the Taliban in charge. The current US sponsored regime is almost as bad as the Taliban, the only positive thing is that foreigners can at least live and work in the country. But I fear the current government will still wreck it all by losing to the Taliban again.

          • http://grealistink.typepad.com/wordplay_language_politic/ GR

            Iraq and Afghanistan, like every other nation in the world, are works in progress. But the worst of Western racism, in this case perpetrated by the Left, is to believe the peoples of those regions are inevitably condemned to either (a) tyrannical rule or (b) endless sectarian strife. I don’t believe that.

            The ‘civilization’ of Saddam was as much a charade as any other totalitarian State, and achieved at a monstrous human price (beginning with legislators being forced to execute one another).

            What the regime change actually did is begin an open-ended historical process, one that can go in an infinite number of directions, and will not be definable for decades. It went very badly between 2004-2006, rather well through 2011, and horribly since then. But it isn’t over.

            The retreat to Shiite tribalism was not inevitable. US troops had to leave, the time had come, but Obama also abandoned the nation politically – and THAT has been a disaster. Two links that might interest you:

            https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/why-we-stuck-with-maliki–and-lost-iraq/2014/07/03/0dd6a8a4-f7ec-11e3-a606-946fd632f9f1_story.html

            And from the US diplomats point of view:

            http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2014/06/obamas-disastrous-iraq-policy-an-autopsy/373225/

            It’s been a bad few years, but it isn’t over.

            In Afghanistan, there have been dramatic improvments in education and transportation infrastructure. There are at present 8,000,000 Afghanis in school during part of the year, 3,000,000 of them girls. That’s a ten fold increase since 2001.

            In both cases, I’m not talking about ending problems that are a thousand years in the making. But there is improvement.

            Finally, let me distinguish this from any Kipling White Man’s Burden nonsense. I think it is fair to say that there is an almost Newtonian law concerning societies like Iraq – they go on by inertia until they collide with some outside force that knocks them off kilter or smashes them to smithereens. That’s petty much the story of the remarkable transformation of Germany and Japan between 1939 and 1950, from two of the most warllike societies in the world, to relatively benign democracies. Of course, in that case, they invited the destruction themselves, but the reduction of the power structure as a predicate for transfornmation was the same.

            In sum, in my opinion, neither Iraq nor Afghanistan were healthy societies. The obliteration of the power structure at least opens the way for a social order (still Islamic) that might function a little more satisfactorily. Iraq was on the verge in 2011 before Maliki reverted to worst case while Obama didn’t make a peep.

          • MahmudH

            In terms of more modern examples, the NHS in Britain is heavily dependant upon immigrant doctors and nurses, including muslims. The same is true of people working in social care – elderly people in the UK would have no one looking after them if there weren’t the immigrant carers. And universities in Europe and America today have lots of academics from muslim countries.

          • Dale Fayda

            NHS is a financially ruined death factory, staffed by the dregs of the Third World, including Moslems. In any event, no place in Britain or anywhere else in Europe has become “better” – see definition above – with the addition of large numbers Moslems. The fact that you’re forced to fish around the margins of my question only proves my point.

            Universities in Europe and America don’t need Moslem academics for their existence or even for prestige. If there were NO Moslem academics there at all, the universities’ academic standings would not change one iota. Once again, it only serves to confirm my premise – Moslems flee their own collapsing cultures for the greener pastures of Christian Europe and America. Are there large numbers of European and American academics in universities in Islamic counties? Are there any? If not, why not?

            Moslems – “unnecessary and insufficient”.

          • MahmudH

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_British_Muslims

            Long list of British muslims in Business, Academia, Science, politics, media, sports. Yes, Britain as a country would still exist without them. But Britain would be poorer for it.

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