On May 2nd, Swedish far-left MEP Malin Björk distinguished herself in the European Parliament by inaugurating a photographic exhibition featuring openly provocative and anti-Christian pictures—depicting a Christ who is sometimes black, sometimes homosexual, and surrounded by apostles who have become LGBT militants. Several conservative MEPs of different nationalities seized on the scandal to denounce the provocation.
The exhibition took place in the European Parliament in Brussels, around the so-called works of art by the Swedish lesbian photographer Elisabeth Ohlson, who makes no secret of her LGBT activism and has already organised other exhibitions of an openly provocative nature. By depicting the person of Christ in this way, she intends to prove that the son of God revered by Christians “supports gay rights.” She casually explains on Twitter that since art history is full of representations of Christ surrounded by heterosexual people, there is no need to be upset about twelve unfortunate clichés.
Protests were soon heard from Europe’s conservative political class. Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini made his disapproval known on his Facebook account: “Art?” “No, just vulgarity and disrespect.” The same was echoed by Spanish MEP Jorge Buxadé, a member of the VOX party, who called the display “disgusting and miserable” in a tweet.
French MP Nicolas Bay, a former member of the Rassemblement National who rallied to Éric Zemmour, wrote to the president of the Parliament Roberta Metsola to ask for the withdrawal of the photographs, explaining that “some of the pictures carry an insulting message towards the Christian religion and Christ, which many believers could legitimately consider blasphemous.” He points out that the liberty taken towards Christian believers would obviously not be considered appropriate towards Muslim believers—recalling in passing the deaths of the French press cartoonists murdered for having caricatured Mohammed. He writes:
Malin Björk would obviously never dare to invite an artist who caricatured Mohammed, the prophet of Islam, or defaced a Koran, especially with such outrageous messages. People have died in Europe for daring to do so.
35 MEPs have co-signed the letter drafted by Nicolas Bay. This impromptu coalition brings together 22 MEPs from the ECR group, 11 non-attached MEPs, Estonian MEP Jaak Madison from the ID group, and French MEP François-Xavier Bellamy—the only representative for the EPP group. Within the ID group, the French delegation of the Rassemblement National independently sent a letter to the Parliament’s quaestor signed by the head of the delegation, MEP Jean-Paul Garraud, in which he denounced the climate of Christianophobia encouraged by such an exhibition: “At a time when churches are being burned down or vandalised in large numbers in Europe, promoting an exhibition that insults the Catholic religion is particularly inappropriate.”
As the Catholic World Report website points out, arranging this exhibition within the walls of the European Parliament should be seen in the light of the stubbornness with which the Brussels institution has refused for years to allow the installation of nativity scenes at Christmas time, on the grounds that it might be “potentially offensive.”
The exhibition ended on Friday, May 5th, but highlighted once again the complacency of the European institutions about one of the many facets of progressive ideology, and the fragility of the conservative—minority—response to such attacks.