"Our role as artist is more controversial now because there are those, claiming the absolute authority of religion, who detest much of our work as much as they detest most of our politics. Instead of rationally debating subjects like abortion or gay rights, they condemn as immoral those who favor choices and tolerance. They disown their own dark side and magnify everyone else's until, at the extreme, doctors are murdered in the name of protecting life. I wonder, who is this God they invoke, who is so petty and mean? Is God really against gun control and food stamps for poor children?"
excerpt from "The Artist as Citizen" by Barbra Streisand
delivered February 3, 1995 at John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
"Behold the son of God! Coward! And if the cold
Heels of the divine feet trampled on my shoulders,
I'd call you coward still! That fly-specked forehead!
Socrates, Jesus: righteous both! Stupid Saviors!
Respect me, Accursed forever in nights of blood!
"Oh make him go away, with his tonsils tied
Tightly in a scarf of shame, sweet as sugar
On a rotten tooth, sucking my boredom, satisfied-
Like a bitch who's just been jumped by horny doggies
Licks a piece of entrail dangling from her side.
"Forget your filthy charities, you hypocrite;
I hate the look in your runny rag-doll eyes!
Whining for papa like a snot-nosed kid,
An idiot waiting for music from on high!
Savior, your statuary gut is full of shit!"..
"The Savior Bumped Upon His Heavy Butt"
from his book A Season in Hell
I work all day like a monk
and at night wander about like an alleycat
looking for love...I'll propose
to the Church that I be made a saint.
In fact I respond to mystification
with mildness. I watch the lynch-mob
as through a camera-eye.
With the calm courage of a scientist,
I watch myself being massacred.
I seem to feel hate and yet I write
verses full of painstaking love.
I study treachery as a fatal phenomenon,
almost as if I were not its object.
I pity the young fascists,
and the old ones, whom I consider forms
of the most horrible evil, I oppose
only with the violence of reason.
Passive as a bird that sees all, in flight,
and carries in its heart,
rising in the sky,
an unforgiving conscience.
"I Work All Day"
Pier Paolo Pasolini