Where's the Violence? TIME Publishes ‘Elephant Dung Madonna’ Photo

No Muslims were insulted in the making of this TIME article.

If Christianity is the subject, TIME gives a crap … literally.

This Friday, TIME published a story about a 1996 painting of the Madonna by contemporary British artist Chris Ofili. ‘The Holy Virgin Mary’ is encrusted with elephant dung and surrounded by cutouts of female genitalia from porn magazines. It’s a degrading, insulting portrayal. Naturally, TIME published a color photo of it.

Time spent most of the article noting Ofili’s accomplishments, from his winning of the Turner Prize to the increasing value of the painting. An auction house in London has now estimated it to be worth over $2 million.

Other than briefly mentioning then-NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s protest of the painting when it was on display in Brooklyn in 1999, the article doesn’t mention any negativity associated with the work of ‘art,’ though it was highly controversial in the late 1990s. But then, nobody was beheaded over it.

No doubt if this piece had depicted the Buddha or Muhammed, Time would have spent paragraph upon paragraph declaiming its insensitivity and offensiveness. And you can be certain no photo of the work would be included.

The profiles in courage at TIME don’t have to show respect for a central Christian figure, so no holds barred. The chances of radical Catholics gunning for them in their office are pretty much zero.