By Jack Minor
The general lack of national media coverage concerning the Loveland art display that many Christians say is blasphemous stands in stark contrast to the media frenzy that developed surrounding a pastor who threatened to burn the Koran.
When Pastor Terry Jones of the non-denominational Dove Center in Gainesville, Florida announced he was going to burn a Koran, the story was covered in almost every major newspaper in America as well as many television and radio outlets. The story even became part of a political discussion with President Obama and General Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, both publicly urging the pastor not to burn a Koran.
In contrast, the controversial artwork called “The Misadventures of the Romantic Cannibals”, at the Loveland Museum, is just as deeply offensive to Christians as the burning of the Koran is to Muslims. The lithograph features a panel showing what many have said is Jesus Christ in a sexual act with another man.
What is interesting is to observe the difference in coverage or lack thereof by various media outlets. A Google search of the terms “Loveland art Jesus oral sex” reveals the story has been covered only in a few major media outlets outside of the state; the Los Angeles Times, Examiner, and Fox news. Locally the story has been covered in the Denver Post, the Coloradan, 9News and KDVR Fox 31. The remaining coverage is from individual blog sites.
By contrast a Google search of the terms “pastor Florida burned Koran” reveals articles from the New York Times, the New York daily news, MSNBC, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, ABC news, Reuters, USA Today, business week.com, Wall Street Journal, Washington Times, Fort Worth Star telegram, the Times of India, the New York Post and the Guardian.
When asked about the media silence regarding this exhibit and the coverage given to the Koran burning several area pastors were vocal in their comments.
Pastor Steven Grant of Destiny Christian Church said, “The local media seems to be avoiding the blasphemous artwork in Loveland, despite the fact that it involves state funding. That alone would seem to be newsworthy, but apparently Christianity is worth ignoring while other religions and issues are considered newsworthy.”
Matt Walters, Pastor of Faith Bible Baptist Church, said, “They want to downplay this by calling it art. I would like to see someone do a similar painting of Mohamed and then sit back and see what the media reaction would be. I suspect it would be different then what we are seeing here.”
News of plans to burn the Koran sparked violence among the international Muslim community, however, there has not been similar outbreaks among the Christian community. A woman from Montana was arrested for defacing the lithograph with a crowbar; however, the event appears to have been an isolated incident. Loveland police spokesman Tim Brown confirmed that with the exception of this incident there have not been any arrests resulting from protests of the exhibit.