WESTERN CIVILIZATION AND CHRISTIANITY (1965)
"A Catholic artist who is anti-war!" I thought, seeing the photo of the above sculpture. "I've never heard of him!"
But when I read the piece, it turned out that Ferrari was rabidly anti-Catholic His art was fueled by outrage at the abuses of war, government, and the Church. In 2004, he had "displayed statues of the Virgin Mary in a blender, little saints in baby bottles and Christ figures in a toaster to demonstrate his belief that people are force-fed religion." Pope Francis (at the time Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires) had condemned the exhibition as blasphemy.
While for Ferrari the sculpture was an (entirely deserved) indictment of the West for our ceaseless waging of war in the name of Christ, I saw the sculpture as a reflection of the fact that when we wage war, we kill Christ all over again. For Ferrari, the operative emotion was rage; for me, it was sorrow.
Ferrari apparently started a club for "the impious, heretics, apostates, blasphemous, atheists, pagans, agnostics, and infidels." I get it. I often feel closer to that camp than to the camp that weeps over the unborn and in the next breath approves arming 19-year-olds with M-16s. Still, to refuse to acknowledge that Pol Pot, Hitler, Stalin, and the Kim clan of North Korea managed to handily starve, massacre, torture and enslave millions of people with no religion at all is its own kind of hypocrisy. And for all our hypocrisy, for all the violence the West has perpetrated, it may well be our belief in Chris, tepid though it may be, that has prevented us--so far--from perpetrating a complete no-holds-barred psycho bloodbath.
We all hunger and thirst for righteousness but the Crucifixion put to rest for all time the notion that the way to sate that hunger is murder. "Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do, Christ said, on the Cross, of his murderers.
The intersection of the Cross is where we all meet. And Ferrari was right about one thing: more and more, it seems we are going to meet--the light versus the dark, goodness versus evil, the truth versus the lie of war--across the wings of a fighter plane.