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Why am I doing this?

When I conceived this series of paintings, I had to carefully weigh the value of the point I wanted to make against the likelihood that some people would be offended. My main target is dogma, and the uncritical acceptance, and even abuse of, religious doctrine.

If someone wants to believe in whatever religious doctrine they choose, isn't that their business, and their right, to do so? There's a taboo against saying anything critical about anyone's religion. This is well-intentioned, because so many people throughout history have been persecuted on account of their religion. But that persecution happened, to a large extent, because of the very dogmatic thinking I'm trying to point out. Persecutions of various religions have often happened on behalf of other religions. This is no accident, because many religions are premised in the belief that their religion can only be true if everyone else's religion is untrue. Dogma is rigid, and it can be dangerous.

So I'm saying that religion doesn't automatically deserve respect. Religions need to be examined to see which parts are worthy of respect, and which parts aren't. Those religious groups that use the Bible to discriminate against women, and gays, and people of other religions, have no authority when that same Bible endorses slavery, and stoning, and gang rape.

And what the hell, I might as well have some fun with it...

Dick Detzner

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