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Anti-religious or Blasphemous Art Exhibits Essay (Critical Writing)

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Updated: Jan 3rd, 2022

Artistic exhibits show diverse and unique artistic expressions that have cultural, ethnic, religious, educational, political and even personal symbolism. The art represent various values and beliefs of diverse cultures, sects, religions and other existing groups that share common values and beliefs. The interpretation or misinterpretation of these arts results into controversies as to whether they are anti-religious or blasphemous in their expression and nature. Therefore, the government should not ban art exhibits if it deems to be anti-religious or blasphemous for their interpretation is relative, not absolute.

An artistic expression is similar to a written or verbal expression of one’s belief and values. According to the article 19 of the Universal Declaration of the Human Rights, “everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; the right includes freedom to hold opinion without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media regardless of frontiers” (MacArthur 17). The artistic rights of expressions have legal protection; hence, the government has a duty to protect and defend them; not to ban them. Diverse cultures and religions should have freedom to exercise their artistic expressions without any undue interference from the government.

Since the artistic expression is a media of expression, everybody has inalienable right to receive or impart the artistic expressions without any interference. Whether the art is a personal, a religious or a cultural expression, people should have freedom to express their beliefs, values and opinions within the limits of the laws so long as they do not interfere with other’s religions or cultures. Therefore, the government ban or interference with the arts deemed to be anti-religious or blasphemous is an infringement of the article 19 of the Universal Declaration of the Human Rights.

Everyone has freedom to worship and the state or a government should not aid or show preferential treatment of one religion to others because government and religion are separate and different entities (MacArthur 12). If the government interferes or bans artistic expressions of one religion and preserves the rest, then, the government shows partiality and restriction of the fundamental freedom of worship. The United States Bill of Rights provides for the freedom of worship as the inalienable human right.

Diverse cultures and religions have complex and ambiguous artistic expressions that can have literal and metaphorical interpretation. Thus, the interpretation of the art exhibits is quite ambiguous and one can make false interpretation to vilify an artistic expression as anti-religious or blasphemous. Moreover, if an art is perceived as anti-religious or blasphemous, there should be tolerance and appreciation of the diverse religions and cultures in the society; otherwise, the depiction of other religions’ artistic expressions as anti-religion or blasphemous is not only a restriction of freedom to worship but also may result into inter-religious war. Inter-religion tolerance is necessary to allow minor religions express themselves, as they seem to be under pressure from the mainstream religions.

Since there is freedom of expression and worship, the government should not ban or interfere with art exhibits simply because they appear anti-religious or blasphemous. The diversity of the religions and cultures reflects the complexity and ambiguity of the artistic expression in that, any interpretation is very prone to biasness. Hence, any interferences or banning of artistic expressions will mean that the government is anti-religious and has no respect for the freedom of expression and worship as fundamental human right.

Works Cited

MacArthur, Roderick. “Art, Religion and Hatred: Religious Intolerance in Russia and its Effects on Art.” Article 19 Global Campaign for Free Expression, 2005. Web.

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IvyPanda. 2022. "Anti-religious or Blasphemous Art Exhibits." January 3, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/anti-religious-or-blasphemous-art-exhibits/.

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IvyPanda. (2022) 'Anti-religious or Blasphemous Art Exhibits'. 3 January.

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