Friday, October 1, 2010

Mural not just Christian message

Your Sept. 29 issue ran a photo of me completing a public mural in Hailey, "Swords into Plowshares." Whereas I am grateful for the recognition, I was also concerned that the caption for the photo focused extensively on the Biblical origins of that phrase. Although the "Plowshares" image is a particularly eloquent metaphor rooted in Judeo-Christian culture, the sentiments expressed have counterparts in religious texts from any of the world's great traditions. I emphasize this because it was decidedly not my intention to create a "religious" message.

My belief is that all the religions of the world express near identical messages, and that only because each is couched in the language and imagery of a specific locale, do the messages sometimes appear to conflict.

Perhaps the biggest challenge to mankind, at this nexus of history, is to rise above the prejudice that any particular religion has monopoly on truth. As we view photographs of our planet floating in space, it should be clear that there are no "chosen" groups. We have all been "chosen" equally to be here, now.

To reiterate, it is not the intent of my artwork to present a specifically "Christian" message, but rather to present a universal human sentiment of hope for a more peaceful world.

Tom Teitge


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