Moral Outrage: Folsom Street Sinnage … er … Signage

Moral Outrage: Folsom Street Sinnage … er … Signage

Wherein I opine on the culture war between Christianity and those of homosexual persuasion, and their supporters.

So, breaking news, San Fransisco is a gay-friendly town. Oh, more breaking news: Chrisitanity is anathema to a sinful lifestyle. And it’s an easy target for sinners.

So the 24th annual hedonistic fetish event, San Fransisco’s Folsom Street Fair (wiki definition), created a poster playing off da Vinci’s “Last Supper.” Instead of tableware, there are sex toys. Instead of Jesus and his disciples, there was “Sister Roma” and ” “half-naked homosexual sadomasochists” (WND). And, of course, there were sponsor logos.

The fair is scheduled for September 30, three days from now.

Predictably, the Christian community at-large has recoiled in disgust and lashed back with angry diatribes and calls for apologies. The poster, itself, has been labeled an “unprovoked attack against Christ and His followers” (WND, again).

Ironically enough, the Miller Brewing Company has responded to the pressure from my fellow believers and is removing its logo from the promotional poster.

Huh. Fancy that. One of the last companies you’d expect to worry about losing customers, a “likker” company, has bowed to Christian pressure. The sarcastic part of me wants to quip, “Jesus approves, gentleman, and hoists a tankard in a comradely toast.” But, for fear of reprisal from the people who didn’t like my “Church vs. Bar” post, I’ll refrain.

I get it. Really, I do. I understand why my peers in the faith would react in anger against the poster. And I, too, find the poster heartachingly distasteful and viscerally provocative as well. Though I must admit — the ornery side of me still finds this all a bit humorous.

I mean, really, what’s worse here? A sarcastic and cunning spin of a da Vinci masterpiece (a long-standing meme, actually)? Or … sin? Does anybody in their right mind really believe that the poster is going to do more damage to the cause of Christ than failing to reach out in witness to those gripped by the sins of the flesh? Meanwhile, we just gave the event plenty of free publicity. :: sigh ::

I sense much laughter in Hell. Wormwood is proud.

This is a battle I, personally, would have recommended avoiding. Perhaps anger limits our creativity here, but surely there are better ways to respond to the real issues than attacking a poster.

Posters, after all, don’t send people to Hell. Sin does.

Where’s the moral outrage over that?


(PS: “Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you“, right? And “Blessed are the peacemakers” as well as “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness.” I guess the Sermon on the Mount is still as hard to live up to today as it was 2,000 years ago.)

[tags]art, beattitudes, BlogRodent, boycott, church, culture war, culture wars, da vinci, evangelical, evangelism, fetishism, Folsom Street, gay, glbt, homosexual, homosexuality, last supper, leonardo da vinci, lesbian, miller brewing company, moral outrage, outreach, religion, san fransisco, sermon on the mount, signs, sin, transgendered[/tags]

15 thoughts on “Moral Outrage: Folsom Street Sinnage … er … Signage

  1. Elaine Hooton

    You raise a very good point. The poster won’t send anyone to hell, but the anger “we” have shown just might cause one or more people to not ever consider repenting. The thing is that the painting isn’t sacred, but because it is a “sacred scene”, as Christians, we think we own it or something. Which is rather silly, isn’t it? But it is a pretty awful poster. It would be awful no matter what painting it was mocking, though.

  2. carl

    Rich I don’t know about this one. Are you implying that we can’t expect sinners to act like Christians simply because they have not been regenerated by the indwelling of the Holy Ghost?

    That possibly we should be less focused on what the sinners are doing and more focused on what Christ would have us do?

    Come on! We should march against these people. Lets call up fred phelps.
    {/sarcastic rant}

    Carlton Pearson. Just wanted to be the first to mention him. have you added his name to your meta keywords yet by the way?

  3. Carissa

    I too sense much laughter from Hell. Sometimes well meaning Christians advance the devil’s plans without even realizing it. However I do feel that they were justified in protesting it since coporate sponorship is involved. Sometimes people just need reminding that some things just go too far, even if it’s only for decency’s sake.

  4. John


    I have to disagree. This is not about feeling persecuted, at least to me (So your scriptures don’t apply). It’s also not about sin or advocating for or condemning a lifestyle. It’s about taste and appropriateness and respect, which is something the left is always screeching over. They want “Debbie Has Two Mommies” taught to our children and cry when we try to “impose our religious views” on them. This is exactly the same thing. Just like the Maplethorp crucifix in jar of urine “art” exhibit of years past, where is the sense of respect for religious icons? Yes, we have freedom of speech (art) in this country, but that doesn’t mean that there is no boundary for religious or cultural sensitivity. And those who are insensitive should be made aware that they crossed the line. I don’t see this as being a fight we should not have picked – anybody should have known such a religious picture would cause an outcry (and maybe that’s why they chose it?). This should be condemned! Just as the “Petraeus/Betray-us” add should be condemned. If not, the moral fiber and social standards of decency erode without any notice. I want someone to notice!

  5. Common Swift

    I’m disgusted by that sorry poster. I was also disgusted when the Last Supper was depicted with dogs, clowns, zombies (eating Christ), legos, and rats. What happened to the rightious indignation with THOSE depictions? I post on several gay blogs and, and almost across the board, the sentiment in the “comments” section is how rude and provoking that poster was, but certain Christians are going to see that poster as how ALL gays hate Christ and the Gospel; some of those here are a perfect example of that immature mindset. Demonize me yet again because of what some in the gay comminity did, I’m used to it.

  6. John

    Common Swift,

    I don’t know what you’re reading, but I don’t see anyone “demonizing” “all” gays over this poster. “Certain Christians” may see a lot of things, just like certain gays think this picture is amusing/inspiring/whatever. There is no single-mindedness when defining the “Christian community” (unfortunately). It seems like you’re just milking the victim card.

  7. Common Swift

    You should see what your friends are saying before you speak John. World Net Daily, Focus On the Family, Concerned Women of America, and even the Catholic League have used this poster controversy to attack the gay community at large. It’s ironic you say I played the victim card when many in the Church harp about how the “heathens and homosexuals” are trying to take away your “freedom of religious expression” with hate crime laws.

  8. John


    How do you know who my “friends” are. Looks like you’re doing the demonizing now. Go ahead, I’m used to it.
    Point of order, however, you made the statement that “some of those here are a perfect example of that immature mindset”. That is what I was responding to. I didn’t/don’t see any comments “here” demonizing “all” gays. But again, it appears you are demonizing all Christians for what others on A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT BLOG are saying.
    Like you, I guess “certain [gays] are going to see [inflammatory reactions] as how ALL [christians] hate [gays]”. So sad.

  9. Common Swift


    Listen, how can you be “demonized” if as a Christian you “love your neighbor as yourself?” Who’s demonizing you so often that you are used to it? It’s when the Church DOESN’T follow that commandment is what repels people from finding salvation and brings reproach on the name of our Savior. I made a general statement on the actions of many Christians who, let’s face it, just don’t like gay people and than try to use the Word of God to back up that bias. If you aren’t one of ‘those’ Christians why are you so defensive?

    As for the “immature mindset” comment, I have debated some here on a previous post and those postings are what I was referencing so try not to jump the gun buddy.

    These are not just blogs I’m talking about John, but mega political groups with tens of millions of followers with friends in high places. Look ‘em up on the internet if you think they are just simple “blogs.”

  10. John

    Who’s demonizing me so often that I’m used to it? Are you serious? Last I checked, your friends call fundamentalist Christians the same as fundamentalist muslims who are suicide bombers (Rosie O’donnel). Now that’s demonizing. The list could go on forever with the MSM and their view of Christians. Please!

    I’m not minimizing the other “blogs” (or any other news outlet/Christian media/etc), I’m just trying to stay focused on comments on this blog. That would be helpful for a coherent dialogue.

    As to “if I’m not one of those Christians why am I so defensive” – you, yourself, stated “some of those here are a perfect example…” Maybe if you actually were specific in your allegations I would not feel the need to defend what was said, which in my opinion, was not demonizing of all gays (again). You’re the only one that seems to be defensive out of all of the posts prior to our discussion.

    I have nothing further to contribute to the original post.

  11. Common Swift

    And Rosie/MSM speaks for all of us? Your doing what you just accused me of doing. If people like Rosie give her opinion, that is HER opinion, take it or leave it. One the other hand Church leaders are in a unique position in telling there parishioners and followers on how to vote and feel about issues that effect them. If James Dobson tells people there is a “culture war” between Christians and gays, they are going to follow with a chorus of AMEN’S! Without really asking themselves “is this Christ-like?”

    Why do gays say the things they say about most Christians? As someone who is in a way in both camps (Gay Christian) I used to believe it was a tit for tat between the more vocal within the gay community and the Christian community, I don’t see that way any more. Over time I have come to see most of it as real un-God like nastiness coming from many who call Christ Savior with the gay community just responding back and hypocrisy from the Church plays no small element of it. Name calling on both sides is wrong, but it is up to CHRISTIANS to come with the ‘olive branch’ FIRST to start the healing and I just don’t see that maturity from the Church yet.

    John, Your first post to me was accusing me of “milking the victim card.” You turned my first post about how some Christians are using this Folsom Street poster for a larger, more nefarious aim, and turned it around as a personal attack on me. Pointing out the faults of the Church in respect to his fellow man does not make me your enemy, it makes me your friend.

  12. John

    On point 1, you are correct, I intentionally did what you did to show you that it would cause you to become defensive, so “If you aren’t one of ‘those’ [Gays] why are you so defensive?” I knew exactly what I was doing and hoped you would get it as well. Either way, your reaction should demonstrate to you why I reacted when you did it.

    On point 2, to me, church leaders are no different than Rosie O’donnel, unless you think most Christians are unthinking, blindly following any self-appointed spokesman out there. Yes, a lot of people listen to Dobson, I do occassionally. But that doesn’t mean I agree with him on everything or will take his opinion as if it were gospel (just like you and Rosie or the MSM). PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Get some perspective on this. Maybe the concensus that you observe is based on something other than just Dobson’s convincing argument or his seductive voice that lulls listeners into some kind of zombie state. It may be that they simply agree with him and he has a platform to speak what they think (this is very similar to conservative talk radio – which comes first? The chicken or the egg?) If you believe all Christians will do what Dobson et al dictate, than there’s no reasoning with you and I beg you not to reply.

    On point 3, There may just be an irreconcilable view of God or Christianity that we cannot get past. I don’t know about an olive branch or what that would look like. All your responses have illustrated to me that you really have a chip on your shoulder (victim card) and I don’t know that any kind gesture your way would be interpreted by you as intended. Sorry if this sounds unChrist-like. But there is a culture war going on. As to where you stand and where I stand, I can’t say. But again, this may be irreconcilable at its current level of ad hominum arguments. And if you claim to be a Christian, where’s your olive branch to the church?

    As to your last paragraph, the only reason there was anything personal mentioned in my response to your post is because you made it personal (“Demonize ME yet again because of what some in the gay comminity did, I’M used to it.” – Unless this statement was your way of speaking for the whole gay community, I don’t know how else, other than personal, you meant it). This is exactly what I mean when I say you play the victim card. If no one was attacking you personally, why did you take it that way? (Before I ever responded). Yes, critique and pointing out error is always beneficial and always welcome. That is not what your original post was doing however. If that’s what you intended, I invite you to strive harder to be more articulate with your posts. That is my critique for you.

    Your friend,

  13. Common Swift

    I’m wondering how much you say is from sincerity or just to argue back.

    On your point one; If you look at my first post you will see I said “certain” Christians. If I had said ALL Christians I could see your point, but I didn’t. How can I generalize all Christians if I’m one too? If you had said “certain” gays demonize Christians, I would definitely agree with you, but you generalized with “your friends,” something I didn’t do.

    About your second point; Are you seriously saying Rosie ‘O Donnel has as much pool as a James Dobson? Now THAT requires a Please!!!!!!!!!!!! She’s just a celebrity while he is a religious figure that borders on being a religious icon, moral leader to God knows how many Christians. The harshest criticism of ‘O Donnel comes from most gays who wish she would just shut up and go away. Dobson (so you DO listen to him) was recently caught twisting scientific data of several researchers to suit his own anti-gay (gee, what a surprise) agenda. Did ANYONE in his camp or anyone from other Christian circles say “Hey, wait a minute, isn’t that baring false witness?” I’m talking to you too John. If you claim Dobson only represents the platform of how people already feel, why does he tell you what to vote on and who through his Focus On the Family? I’m not just talking about Dobson either. Countless religious organizations like the Family Research Council send out letters to Churchs on telling them how there parishioners should vote and YES they do follow blindly. After all, THEY are the leaders in the forefront of this made up “culture war” as you put it.

    Your 3rd point: What kind gesture are you talking about John? the one where you say I’m “milking the victim card” or the one where you said I have a “chip on my shoulder?” You have a lousy way of showing kind gestures if that’s the case. You said: “As to your last paragraph, the only reason there was anything personal mentioned in my response to your post is because you made it personal…” Real Christian response there John.

    The olive branch I would like to see from the Church goes something along the lines of: “Sorry for not giving you the forgiveness we give ourselves, sorry for the rhetoric of seeing you as an enemy that needs to be defeated from our pulpits, sorry for making the sin of Homosexuality (if you believe that) a “Greater than” sin, sorry for not loving you as myself, as a Christian, I should know better.” That would be a good start John.

    Your pal (I’m trying to be funny here),


  14. Gene Seibel

    Our words say we want the lost to accept Jesus and His forgivness. Our actions say we want the lost to behave in a specific way. Which is it? Forced “good” behaviour is meaningless and worthless.

  15. Rich Post author

    Wow, I just only now realized that I never weighed in here. What a tempest in a blogging tea-pot, and now the steam and heat have cooled down after half a year of inactivity. Well, I’m glad about that, anyhow. I can only blame my moving around the country and taking on different jobs for my inattention. Sorry.

    Swift, I know John personally, he’s a friend to both me and my wife and supported us both through our moves and my joblessness. He’s baby-sat for us, and attended church with us. I know him to be a godly, honest, and gentle person. I hope you have cut him some slack: he’s impassioned because he’s … well … impassioned.

    John, I don’t know “Common Swift” personally, but despite beliefs and orientation on sexuality (which he knows I wish and pray were otherwise), he is a believer and has been a frequent contributor to this blog — sometimes rushing to my defense! I’ve found him to be similarly impassioned in areas he has a lot to defend. I hope you’ve cut him some slack, too, and have prayed for him.

    I hate to see arguments flare up — and I should’ve stepped in to tone things down and helped redirect it toward conversation and dialog. But I once more confess to distraction.

    As it turns out, the poster neither doubled the ranks of homosexuals nor did it send evangelical jack-booted troops marching in the streets of San Fransisco. Thank God. It did provide brief fodder for a blog post. Perhaps I shouldn’t be so thankful. :: grin ::



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