McNaughton's response to liberal criticisms of "One Nation Under God."
I would like to take a minute to explain some of the points of confusion for those who wish to interpret my picture.
- Each figure including Christ represents a symbol. Everything about the painting is symbolic.
I don't pretend to know what Christ looks like. As I stated in my
interview, I wanted to create an image that would instantly be
recognizable as Jesus. I am not painting an anthropological Jesus.
Nobody would recognize him if I painted him that way.
figures in the background have been the source of great debate. Let me
make myself clear from my writing that just because they stand behind
Christ, does not mean they are devout Christians evoking all to come
unto Jesus and be baptized?! What I am saying is that they represent
those who have influenced our country and our Constitution in a
positive way. Many of these men and women gave their lives so we could
have the liberties we enjoy. We are now at a time when these liberties
are in peril. Our government has grown so big and powerful that the
rights of the individual are at risk. This is what the Constitution was
about—to limit the size of government. The patriotic heroes who stand
behind Christ and the Constitution are pleading with us to defend the
cause of liberty. Except for the pregnant woman in the lower left
corner, these people symbolize those who have pushed our country
towards Socialism. (The pregnant woman's place in the painting is
explained on the website.)
- In connection to my
last statement, I knew when I painted this picture that Thomas Payne
(so sorry I offended some of you for spelling his name wrong), and
Thomas Jefferson were Deists. That was irrelevant to me. I believe God
brings about His purposes through different people. Even those who
aren't baptized or following the accepted Christian religion.
only have I received flack for this painting from Liberals, but also
from the Right as well. Why did you include JFK? Why Lincoln? Why Teddy
Roosevelt? I painted this picture to reflect my personal feelings about
America. This is not a Republican painting. This is not anything other
than one artist's personal feelings about his love for Christ, this
country and a desire to make a point about where we are headed. I hoped
that this painting would encourage dialogue and debate. It is important
that you understand my position before you make assumptions.
of the most ridiculous criticisms I have read is that I don't have
enough minorities in the painting. The way people throw around the word
"racist" these days is overkill. From the beginning of the painting I
chose to include a variety for ethnicities under the "Strong Americans"
category. I also used different races in the background where I could.
One of the most important positions in the painting is where the black
U. S. soldier is standing. Originally, I had Martin Luther King Jr.
here. He was so important for his leadership in the Civil Rights
Movement. I removed him because of copyright issues with the King
Foundation. Although disappointed, I thought a good substitute would be
- Some of the chatter going around on
these liberal blog sites I feel is unfounded. One of the things I said
to myself from the beginning was the knee jerk reaction some people
would have to the painting would be very revealing as to which side
they personally stood in the picture. If you don't believe the
Constitution was inspired of God, fine. We will agree to disagree.
so called "art experts" feel that a true painting should not be
explained, but left to the viewer to interpret. I may not reveal all my
thoughts, but I want the world to know what I think and feel—that's why
I painted it! Great art causes one to feel. To feel deeply. I knew this
painting would evoke emotion on both sides. I knew it was a unique
concept, having never been painted before. I don't care if the
composition is outdated or whether some other artist may have painted
their composition better than me. The message stands alone.
Satan? I don't for a second believe he looks like that, but I do
believe he is real. Again, the image is symbolic. Having Satan near
these people doesn't mean that they are Satanic. If you believe in God,
surely you would believe in a Satan.
- OK, how
could McNaughton be so ignorant about Charles Darwin and "Origin of the
Species?" Yes, I have read the book and yes I do believe in many of the
theories it espouses. What?! No, I don't' think the book should be
burned and kicked out of the school curriculum. Some of the rebuttals I
have heard in regard to this subject in my painting are unfounded. I
believe that this book is a standard that the left uses to push
Christianity out of the Educational Forum. I believe that we need faith
in our schools. I believe that I did not evolve from an ape. You may
disagree, but that is how I feel. Do I believe Evolution should be
taught? Yes. Should Christian thought or any other religion be allowed
to be discussed without reservation? Yes, as long as it doesn't
infringe on the rights of others.
This is my personal witness and testimony as to the state of this
nation. If you would like to ask more questions about my painting, I
invite you to do so. I would be pleased to answer any honest questions
regarding, "One Nation Under God."
tightly holds his "Origin of Species" book by Charles Darwin. This
represents the liberal lefts control of our educational system. His
smug expression describes the attitude of many of the educational
elite. There is no room for God in education. There is contempt for any
other viewpoints. Humanism dominates the educational system of America
and I believe that is wrong. Notice that he is the only one sitting on
the top step. He tries to place himself on an equal footing with God,
but he is still nothing next to the intelligence of the Creator.