It is unsurprising that the bookstore at the Mormon-owned Brigham Young University would routinely deem certain materials too controversial to stock. But this week, "too controversial" refers not to Andre Serrano's "Piss Christ" or David Wojnarowicz's "A Fire In My Belly," but to "One Nation Under God," the work of a conservative, Christian artist. Painter Jon McNaughton's piece, which depicts Jesus holding up a scroll of the United States Constitution as American historical figures look on, was taken off the shelves of the Provo, Utah school's bookstore last week amid cries of "censorship."
The Salt Lake Tribune discussed the school's action with BYU spokesperson Carri Jenkins, who noted: "The primary focus of the bookstore is to sell religious art...This painting has received some negative feedback in the past." McNaughton responded by removing the rest of his work from the bookstore, saying that the school had caved to "liberals" and that "It's only offensive to people who do not believe the Constitution is divinely inspired."