Why Fund the Champions of Dung?

When Thomas Edison declared that genius was one part inspiration, and 99 parts perspiration, he could not have imagined how today's "modern artist" would take that metaphor and make it reality. Instead of inspiration, today's art-gallery version of the shock jock replaces inspiration with perspiration. And dung.

In their latest attempt to prove there is no culture in their counter-culture, "arts advocates" are championing the newest tasteless art exhibit, titled "Sensation," coming soon to the Brooklyn Museum of Art. The museum somehow prides itself on displaying as fine art pig carcasses in formaldehyde; dead flies and maggots, killed by a bug zapper, next to the rotting head of a cow the flies had been devouring; "multiply genitaled mannequins"; and a sculpture made of frozen blood drawn from the "artist." But by far, the prize of the exhibit was a portrait of the Virgin Mary, surrounded by lacquered elephant dung and cutouts from pornographic magazines.

Even New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, a lonely pro-gay, pro-abortion voice in the Republican Party, was openly disgusted and announced he would withhold city funding from the champions of dung if they did not remove the exhibit. The New York Post reported their response: "Defying Mayor Giuliani, the Brooklyn Museum of Art decided yesterday to go ahead with a controversial exhibit that includes a dung-stained portrait of the Virgin Mary - and filed suit to stop the city from cutting off public funding."

While Giuliani was a profile in courage for outraged Catholics and stunned taxpayers, Hillary Clinton proved what a doctrinaire leftist she really is. First she avoided comment while her staffers whispered to reporters that Giuliani was embarrassing himself. Forced to make a stand as the controversy grew, she declared that the museum should not be punished, even though she "shares" the feeling that "parts" of the exhibit were "deeply offensive," and she would not attend it. Oh, spare us. In Hillary's village, these shocking exhibits are just peachy. (The New York Times just reported her budding new relationship with Eve Ensler, author of "The Vagina Monologues.")

Just listen to her liberal soulmates who aren't running for office. They find defiling the Blessed Virgin utterly noncontroversial. Veronica Vera of Feminists for Free Expression wondered: "What makes dung, what makes feces such a terrible thing? Freud says defecating is our first creative act." A New York Daily News critic found the exhibit "about as sensational as Beanie Babies." Since the painting of the Virgin was so bad, he claimed "There are no recognizable icons to justify anyone claiming serious offense." A New York Times critic with a taste for Orwellian double talk claimed the dung-lacquerer "described seeing paintings of the Virgin Mary and noticing 'how sexually charged they are,' an observation that is perfectly fair...One man's blasphemy is another man's faith."

Are all these people really that out of touch with the special bond Roman Catholics have with the Mother of Christ? No. Defiling this great role model of Christian selflessness and obedience to God is not to be equivocated with Beanie Babies, and discussing her as if she were a centerfold is not "perfectly fair." The "artist" and the museum are reflecting their hatred for what they see as antiquated forces of oppression like the Catholic Church. This was meant as an anti-Catholic insult. This is the new radical chic in the world of "art."

In facing the museum down, Giuliani had something important to inject into the First Amendment debate: "You don't have a right to government subsidy for desecrating somebody else's religion." The Founding Fathers, who sought to avoid the establishment of a state church, have been twisted beyond recognition by liberals into supporters of the establishment of government-subsidized religion-bashing. He should be seen as an advocate for the First Amendment, and against the strange concept of a right to subsidized subversion, using tax dollars to undermine many taxpayers' most precious beliefs.

The mayor reflects the public will, never mind common sense. Even if some voters don't object to pachyderm-poo art, if New York held a referendum on whether this exhibit was a worthwhile expenditure of several million tax dollars, would the curators win? No, but that majority and its values are held in contempt by the supposedly "enlightened" art world.

Hillary shares that contempt, and has exposed herself as the champion of arrogantly unaccountable government-funded hate art, a defender of the perverted partisans of Secretion Chic. Giuliani ought to take his stand - and her stand - on the Brooklyn Museum to the soap boxes and the airwaves of the coming Senate campaign. Nothing better illustrates what would be the driving values of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.