The attack on God thought art


#1

***The attack on God thought art
*

From Saint Thomas Aquinas we learn that beauty is that which when seen pleases. This being the case then, ugliness can be defined as that, which when seen, displeases or nauseates the observer.

Today, there are many people who suffer from a serious lack of good things to appreciate. This is because our present day American culture is becoming more and more devoid of refinement and beauty. These two necessary ingredients of any healthy society have been eroded away by an insidious tide of vulgarity and ugliness which has gone on, mostly unnoticed, for many years, and has now dulled the sensitivities of a large segment of our population.

Traditionally, the object of art is beauty, and the purpose of that beauty is to elevate the mind and soul of the beholder toward God, the source of all beauty and goodness. Beauty gives us hope and inspiration, and ultimately, just as the skill and talent of a great artist can be known from his work, so to can the grandeur of God be discerned from the beauty of His creations.

Today, however, almost every aspect of our society, from paintings, sculpture, theater, and building architecture to clothing, music, TV shows, movies, etc, has been negatively influenced by this assault against beauty. One of the most noticeable forms of this is the blaring rock type music that saturates our everyday world: at the gas station; the grocery store; the mall; etc, we are constantly bombarded with noise. Even the human body has become a victim of this new art of ugliness.

Now it is not my intention to be disrespectful or offensive to anyone, but we need to look at the situation objectively. Once we were a nation of beautiful people, both morally and in the way we dressed and presented ourselves, but now that is not the case. The basic design of our bodies has not changed, but the way dress them, decorate them, and act with them, has. We have become a nation of slobs, not only in the way we dress, but also, in the way we think: no discipline of body, no discipline of mind.

Just compare the way people dressed 50 - 60 years ago (suit and tie for the gentleman, and pretty dresses for the ladies and young girls), with the way the average person does today (T- shirts & Jeans, often with holes in them, shorts, flip-flops, or barely any clothing at all). This new manner of “dress”, reveals much more than just bare or decorated skin, it also shows the moral confusion of much of our society. God made the human body beautiful, but modern sinful man, in his misguided quest for identity, has, through his embrace of the body art culture, done his best to destroy that beauty.

Much of today’s “art” no longer has as its purpose the conveying of beauty, but only to shock, sensationalize and offend the viewer. Often, it’s underlying purpose is the conveying of some personal or political message or agenda. It forms a secular, godless culture that undermines our values and attacks our Faith. Is it any surprise that in America’s culture of death, we see so many elements of this culture of ugliness. A society that has rejected God, and allowed itself to become immersed in sin, is incapable of distinguishing between right and wrong, and is unable to recognize the inherent beauty of a newborn child, as opposed to the grotesque reality of abortion, oftentimes choosing the latter over the former.

This lack of comprehension of beauty has also infected the Church, and is most noticeable in the style of modern Church architecture and artwork, and in our liturgy. One need only contrast the true inspirational beauty the Gothic and Romanesque styles of the past, with the blah, banal designs of most modern day churches. Whereas the former, with their magnificent stained-glass windows and artwork, emphasized the vertical and lifted our hearts and minds to God, modern-day churches with their horizontal emphasis, and distorted artwork, are depressing and do little, if anything, to inspire the hearts of the observer.

In our forms of worship, the average Novus Ordo liturgy pales in comparison with the beauty of the Latin Tridentine (extraordinary form) Mass, whose return to active use is now a source of great joy for many Catholics.

Let me conclude by asking two questions. Does sin really affect the beauty of nature? Yes, absolutely! But then, who is ultimately behind this attack on the beauty of God and his creatures? It is Satan, formerly known as Lucifer, a once shining member of the highest order of angels. This once beautiful creature, who had been destined for an eternity of unbelievable joy and happiness in heaven, has, because of the malice of sin, condemned himself, and his followers, to an eternity of unspeakable misery in hell. Most hideous in appearance, were we able to see him, and malevolent in nature, Satan and his demonic horde, their wills forever fixed in opposition to God, ferment a raging hatred against Him and all His creation – especially man. Satan is the ultimate link between sin and ugliness, for he is the father of both. **

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#2

Correct me if I’m wrong but did you make this or did you copy this off christianforums? (I took the liberty of googling the title).

Anyways, I think I’ll craft my own criticism of this.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Also, keep in mind what God has to say about judging by appearances.

1 Samuel 16:7
*But the LORD said to Samuel: “Do not judge from his appearance or from his lofty stature, because I have rejected him. Not as man sees does God see, because man sees the appearance but the LORD looks into the heart.”
*
For over 11 out of the 22 years of my life, from age 7 to 18, from Grade I to my Senior year in high school, my appearance was a major cause for people to mock me. I was bullied, jeered, and humiliated because I chose not to care about conforming to the A-crowd definition of “cool” and offended the vain fashionistas (whose very definition of beauty is exactly the same as this article’s).

Even today, I still get people (even my own family) who think my value as a person is to be determined solely by what I wear. Quite frankly, it disgusts me.

What disturbs me though is I see the exact sort of mentality in people who think the 1950s had a better sense of “fashion” than we do today. Finding this similarity is remarkably simple actually. You just replace one generation’s definition of beauty with that of another.

Need I even mention that physical beauty can be a prime cause for infidelity? What about all those magazines with the pretty blonde models on the covers? Heck, let’s not even have a body shot. Let’s just have the face. Ever thought of putting yourself in the shoes of an old man and how’d he feel when he sees a magazine with Justin Bieber or Brad Pitt on the cover and then looks at his own reflection? Think about it folks.

Old churches actually creep me out. I’ve been to a few of them here in fact. It’s even worse when it’s night time. If I ever get the unfortunate chance of seeing one in such a haunting hour, you’ll hear this playing in my head.

Oh and uh, followed by my imitation of cartoon character Shaggy Rogers.

Once? Sorry but Satan’s still capable of disguising himself as a beautiful angel of light. Also, isn’t it more theologically sound to say that such entities have no physical appearance? I rest my case.

P.S.

As for that bit about music, I think I’ll just sit back and wait for CAF’s resident rockers to deal with that one. However, may I just say that what I’ve said about beauty also applies somewhat to music too. One man’s noise is another man’s symphony. :cool:


#3

i can understand were your coming from about the rock n roll music like bands such as godsmack, screwdriver etc and other satanic/atheistic bands but there are some good rock bands out there like skillet for an example there christian rock
youtube.com/watch?v=zuyupBmHfVQ


#4

[quote="CountrySteve, post:3, topic:242138"]
i can understand were your coming from about the rock n roll music like bands such as godsmack, screwdriver etc and other satanic/atheistic bands but there are some good rock bands out there like skillet for an example there christian rock
youtube.com/watch?v=zuyupBmHfVQ

[/quote]

Absolutely LOVE Skillet!!!!!

:thumbsup:


#5

[quote="TheRealJuliane, post:4, topic:242138"]
Absolutely LOVE Skillet!!!!!

:thumbsup:

[/quote]

hey do you know any other good christian bands?


#6

Yep.

Try Kutless. Now, I like their harder stuff, but they seem to have gotten a little softer lately, maybe to get more air time on praise and worship radio?

Not What You See

Switchfoot is good too. Those are just the 3 off the top of my head. I think there’s a metal thread around here somewhere.


#7

[quote="TheRealJuliane, post:6, topic:242138"]
Yep.

Try Kutless. Now, I like their harder stuff, but they seem to have gotten a little softer lately, maybe to get more air time on praise and worship radio?

Not What You See

Switchfoot is good too. Those are just the 3 off the top of my head. I think there's a metal thread around here somewhere.

[/quote]

thank you i think im already falling in love with the band XD


#8

Only a new group that is trying to get started. See: theladiesofcecilia.com/


#9

All that matters today is economics. Its the God Mammon and its ruining everything from relationships to sport. Its not surprising then that art is affected. All that counts is economic success.


#10

*

[quote="Lost_Wanderer, post:2, topic:242138"]
Correct me if I'm wrong but did you make this or did you copy this off christianforums? (I took the liberty of googling the title).

Anyways, I think I'll craft my own criticism of this.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Also, keep in mind what God has to say about judging by appearances.

[/quote]

**Dear lostwanderer:

Many times a person will post an article on more than one forum. Why do you ask?

In regards to your comment about “judging”. The article is not referring to any specific individual, but to our society in general. For example, if I made the following statement: If the standards of morals in a country or age is low, you may be sure that it is because the women of that country or age are lax in their morals. Would you say that I am improperly judging people, or am I just making a factual statement about the moral climate of the country?

If I were to look at all the bad things being done by the ACLU or Planned Parenthood, and I conclude that these are immoral organizations, would I be accused of judging?

Making judgments is part of life. It is also part of human nature that people do not like to be told that they are doing wrong; and when they are told, their defense is to accuse the person who is correcting them, of judging. But God does require us to make such judgments and to correct those individuals. The first two spiritual works of mercy state that we are to admonish the sinner, and instruct the ignorant.

In scripture God calls to the sinner and says “You shall surely die” (eternal death)’ because of your sins, and He says to us that if we give the sinner no warning, or do not try to tell him or her that they must turn away from and repent of their sinful living, so they may have life (eternal happiness in Heaven), then we will be held responsible for the loss of that person.

“When I say to the wicked, You shall surely die; and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at your hand”. (Ezekiel 3:18)

To put it another way; it is far better to suffer the displeasure & scorn of men for having spoken the truth than to incur the wrath of God for having said or done nothing. I do not wish to have the “blood” of anyone’s damnation on my hands when I appear for judgment.

.***


#11

My comments weren’t about individuals either but rather your article’s rash and shallow mentality that physical appearances are sufficient information to make judgment about a non-external value such as a moral climate.

Apples and oranges. You are comparing the act of judging a person as inferior because he/she wears glasses with the act of judging a person because he/she committed a crime.

Well then allow me to instruct you who apparently is ignorant of the phrase, “Do not judge a book by its cover.” Your entire post is purely an overreacting rabble in defense of judgment when in fact, what I am specifically criticizing is your article’s promotion of shallow perception.

Again, I implore you to read 1 Samuel 16:7 if you think that external beauty is somehow a competent indication of internal value.


#12

Dear LostWanderer:

It seems to me that you have missed the point entirely. America has never been a perfect nation of a Utopian nature. We've always had moral issues to contend with throughout our nation's history. The point I am making is that in former times we basically a good, God fearing society with some imperfections. Today we are a godless society where we have institutionalized our sins and imperfections (such as abortion), and they have become the rule, not the exception. When a society begins to fall apart, its decline in moral standards is accompanied by its decline in artistic standards.

Also, you did not answer the questions I asked.


#13

[quote="zeland, post:1, topic:242138"]


From Saint Thomas Aquinas we learn that beauty*** is that which when seen pleases. This being the case then, ugliness can be defined as that, which when seen, displeases or nauseates the observer.

And art shows both the profane and the sacred. It also reflects beauty and ugliness.

These two necessary ingredients of any healthy society have been eroded away by an insidious tide of vulgarity and ugliness which has gone on, mostly unnoticed, for many years, and has now dulled the sensitivities of a large segment of our population.

this presupposes that the masses had an appreciation for art in the past. Art has always been a luxury of the rich. That said, good art will persist and bad art will be forgotten... eventually. Remember, at one point Gothic art was considered extremely ugly.

Traditionally, the object of art is beauty,

I'd disagree with this. The object of decoration is beauty. But art isn't under that constraint.

and the purpose of that beauty is to elevate the mind and soul of the beholder toward God, the source of all beauty and goodness.

Beauty can be used to those ends but it isn't necessary. Beauty is pleasurable.

Today, however, almost every aspect of our society, from paintings, sculpture, theater, and building architecture to clothing, music, TV shows, movies, etc, has been negatively influenced by this assault against beauty.Even the human body has become a victim of this new art of ugliness

.

Depends on where you get your art. If you are relying on the major media they really aren't interested in art or music but in viewer numbers. Shocking material attracts more viewers, sort of like going after the gawkers of the car accident instead of those enjoying the beautiful scenery. Some drivers notice the scenery, some don't but I bet all notice the car wreck.

Separating Art from Decoration requires a certain amount of education. I will agree that education has deteriorated hugely in the USA.

Once we were a nation of beautiful people, both morally and in the way we dressed and presented ourselves, but now that is not the case. .

The only real difference is the change in major media. Believe it or not there was an awful lot of nastiness in society, both in dress and deportment. It just wasn't publicized. Beware of seeing the past through rose colored glasses. What you saw was a standard that wasn't exactly pursued but was touted.

Just compare the way people dressed 50 - 60 years ago (

50 - 60 years ago is 1960-70. Dress would depend on who you are talking about.

God made the human body beautiful, but modern sinful man, in his misguided quest for identity, has, through his embrace of the body art culture, done his best to destroy that beauty.

again, nothing new under the sun.

Much of today’s “art” no longer has as its purpose the conveying of beauty, but only to shock, sensationalize and offend the viewer. Often, it’s underlying purpose is the conveying of some personal or political message or agenda. It forms a secular, godless culture that undermines our values and attacks our Faith

.

You paint with too broad a brush (no pun intended). There is a great deal of beautiful art being made but not all art needs to be beautiful. The Greeks and Romans created some of the most beautiful art in the world all of which glorified man. Doesn't make it bad art because it is godless.

Is it any surprise that in America’s culture of death

, we see so many elements of this culture of ugliness. A society that has rejected God, and allowed itself to become immersed in sin, is incapable of distinguishing between right and wrong, and is unable to recognize the inherent beauty of a newborn child, as opposed to the grotesque reality of abortion, oftentimes choosing the latter over the former.

can you name any society that didn't reflect this? We are no more sinful than any previous time, including the time when the Church had no religious rivals.

This lack of comprehension of beauty has also infected the Church, and is most noticeable in the style of modern Church architecture and artwork, and in our liturgy.

it is a cliche but Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

One need only contrast the true inspirational beauty the Gothic and Romanesque styles of the past, with the blah, banal designs of most modern day churches

.

yet at one time these styles were the height of ugliness.

Whereas the former, with their magnificent stained-glass windows and artwork, emphasized the vertical and lifted our hearts and minds to God, modern-day churches with their horizontal emphasis, and distorted artwork, are depressing and do little, if anything, to inspire the hearts of the observer.

you can't make that sweeping of a statement. For some people find modern design very beautiful and inspirational.

In our forms of worship, the average Novus Ordo liturgy pales in comparison with the beauty of the Latin Tridentine (extraordinary form) Mass, whose return to active use is now a source of great joy for many Catholics.

I find the Novus Ordo quite beautiful. The Latin means nothing to me. I say that even though I had several years of Latin in High School more than 40 yrs ago. I don't speak Latin, I don't think in Latin. It could be Greek for all I know. Understanding has far more beauty for me.

Let me conclude by asking two questions. Does sin really affect the beauty of nature?

No, sin only affects the viewer not what is viewed.

Art is more than a pretty picture.

[/quote]


#14

[quote="zeland, post:12, topic:242138"]
It seems to me that you have missed the point entirely. America has never been a perfect nation of a Utopian nature. We've always had moral issues to contend with throughout our nation's history. The point I am making is that in former times we basically a good, God fearing society with some imperfections. Today we are a godless society where we have institutionalized our sins and imperfections (such as abortion), and they have become the rule, not the exception. When a society begins to fall apart, its decline in moral standards is accompanied by its decline in artistic standards.

[/quote]

I'm with vsedriver when I say I really don't care for your bemoaning because no matter how many steps man takes morally forward, he takes another step in a different direction. That's the curse of our fallen nature and it will always be till the end of time.

My issue with your article is how you're trying to tie a moral climate to the arts. For your information, the world of the arts is where relativism is valid and is a totally different world of thought from morality. There is no such thing as 'good' or 'bad' art/music/fiction. There's only popularized taste and opinion. You cannot tie art with morality. They are two different subjects. There is no bad or good color/shape/story/tone. There is only red, yellow, b-flat, c-flat, Lord of the Rings, and Star Wars.

From my time studying the different modes of literary criticism out there (and suffering migraines in the process), I can definitely say I am glad that views like that simply stick to literature and don't try to apply themselves to real world ethics.

[quote="zeland, post:12, topic:242138"]
Also, you did not answer the questions I asked.

[/quote]

Because they are irrelevant. I don't care for your parroted complaints about how decadent society is today because it's always been like that, whatever the time period. Here, allow me to shatter your dearly held beliefs about the times that supposedly had 'better art' and 'better moral climates'.

1950s - Let's see, you had Cold War conflicts. Racism was more rampant.

1940s - WWII. Nuff said.

1930s - Great Depression and feels tap on shoulder Oh hello Mr. Capone! looks back but then double takes Ngyak! D8 makes like Curly Howard upon seeing tommy gun

1800s - Colonial imperialism and slavery at its finest.

Medieval Ages - Wars, wars, and more wars. In some places, writers such as myself would be likely to be accused of witchcraft.

Ancient Rome - Isn't this where the word orgy first originated and that being a Christian meant being thrown to the lions?

Care to go further back in time? There's more dirt to dig up if you want more.


#15

I'm sorry, but my bf looks incredible with his (insert comic character here) tee and blue jeans. With a suit and tie he'd just look stuffy. I think he'd still look great but I think the move to " casual " is nice. 60 years ago it would of been highly innapropriate for us to climb a mountian, eat on a sandy beach, or even fish in the atire you suggest. And those are things i couldnt dream of life without. That is undying beauty to me. I am glad we took the focus off apparel and put it on finding out who a person is.


#16

you have hit the nail on the head! Art is not subject to morals. Art can be judged on two criteria: concept and execution

great art is good in both
good art is good in one but not the other
bad art fails in both

and all art falls into degrees of both.

if you ask an uneducated person why Rembrandt is a great painter they will say he paints pretty pictures. Well, lots of people can paint pretty pictures. If you don’t know what it is that makes Rembrandt a Dutch Master then you might want to rethink your ability to critique art.

as far as morality goes… there’s nothing new under the sun, but we have better communications systems so a lot of evil is seeing the light of day.


#17

This is true. In Ireland we are blessed in that we have the Gaelic Athletic Association which fosters amateur sport and has thousands of people freely giving their time to kids. My 8 year old Godson joined his club this year and loves it. A relationship apart from money, built on community and on personal input from volunteers.

So preciojs. So worthwhile. So truly beautiful to see a hundred kids being helped in this way on a training evening.


#18

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