What Censorship Looks Like at Christian College: Ruffles, Pants, and Skirts in the Paintings and Murals of Great Masters
For many centuries, it was religion that prompted brilliant people to create their masterpieces. It was during the construction of churches that architects revealed their talents, and most of the artists whom we now consider classics painted their paintings and created murals commissioned by churches. Recently, a student at a Christian college in Florida showed how they are now teaching art in a religious institution.
We are talking about Pensacola Christian College, which is located in the southeastern United States, that is, on the territory of the so-called “Bible Belt” – a region where religion plays one of the main aspects of culture, and where the population is traditionally quite religious.
As stated on the college’s website, training in this institution aims to give young people a higher education and teach them how to serve Jesus Christ, as well as “contribute to the work of Christ through proper Christian-traditional humanitarian education, which develops students spiritually, intellectually, morally, culturally and socially. ”
One of the students of this college recently published on imgur.com photographs of one of the books from which students receive the same “proper humanitarian education”. As it turned out, the college specifically worried that all the “indecent images” were tightly “adjusted.” Simply put – skirts and pants were added to all the naked people depicted, all the female portraits were “added” with frills with a black marker, so that the dresses were more modest. Even the famous “Mona Lisa” by Da Vinci was censored – it seemed to college workers that her neckline was unacceptably deep.
Even the angels and Adam himself acquired new-fashioned black shorts from a black marker on the page with the image of Michelangelo’s famous creation of “Adam”. The fact that the real fresco without censorship is in the very center of the Vatican on public display did not confuse college teachers. “Now I wonder how they have classes on the depiction of a human figure? – writes one of the commentators. “Why study the structure of the body if it is still hidden in all the paintings by clothes?”
Under a post with these photos, other Internet users began to share their experience of censorship in a religious society. “When I was little, we also reviewed all books and crossed out those on which there is a red color (because it is the color of the devil) and painted over everything that seemed uncultured or chaste. According to a rather harsh interpretation of the Book of Exodus 20: 4, we believed that any image of a person is an attempt to become God. In such a society, I grew up. So, it seems to me that the teachers in this college have not yet revealed their potential – their censorship could be even more serious. ”
“I grew up in a Mennonite society (it’s kind of Amish) and we just checked all the encyclopedias at school,” recalls another commentator. “They cut pieces out of a newspaper and stuck them on a photograph where they wanted to close something.”
However, strict censorship is committed not only by religious communities, but also by communities guided by a particular party line. So, in Soviet times, works that did not correspond to the ideology being propagated fell under the ban, and they could only be read in Samizdat or by taking a copy bought abroad and secretly brought to the Land of the Soviets.