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Saturday, June 6, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Keep Government Out Of The Arts Cut The Funding How Can You Prosecute A Filth Merchant When The Government Subsidizes Such “Art”?

By D.F. Oliveria Opinion Writer

You don’t need to see Robert Mapplethorpe’s homoerotic photography or Andres Serrano’s infamous “Piss Christ” to realize the federal government has no business subsidizing “art.”

All you need is a respect for our forefathers’ wisdom, a love for unfettered art and a desire to see a balanced federal budget.

Ralph Waldo Emerson knew government sponsorship was dangerous for the arts, as did our Founding Fathers. Declared Emerson: “Beauty will not come at the call of the legislature. … It will come, as always, unannounced, and spring up between the feet of brave and earnest men.” Our forefathers rejected a motion at the Constitutional Convention calling for a subsidy because they wanted the arts to be free, like religion and the media.

The troubled history of the National Endowment for the (Obscene) Arts confirms these fears. In its 32 years of existence, the NEA has invited controversy by underwriting mediocrity, political correctness and obscenity.

Jan Breslauer, theater critic for the Los Angeles Times, observed that “private grantees are required to conform to the NEA’s specifications,” and the “art world’s version of affirmative action” has had “a profoundly corrosive effect on the American arts - pigeonholing artists and pressuring them to produce work that satisfies a politically correct agenda rather than their best creative instincts.”

In addition, the NEA has undermined efforts to control pornography, particularly smut involving children. How can you prosecute a filth merchant when the government subsidizes such “art” as a man nailing his genitals to a board, the lesbian experiences of young girls and a sex fantasy about Newt Gingrich’s mother?

America’s arts will survive without the NEA.

If anything, private funding for the arts has skyrocketed since Congress began cutting the NEA budget. Private funding jumped from $6.5 billion in 1991 to $10 billion last year. In fact, the NEA’s proposed budget of $99.5 million represents only a pittance when compared with giving to the arts by private citizens. It easily can be replaced.

Congress, which has spent this nation into a $5 trillion debt, should do what most of us do when faced with financial difficulty - cut unneeded frills, like the NEA.

, DataTimes MEMO: For opposing view, see headline: NEA helps bring art to children

The following fields overflowed: SUPCAT = COLUMN, EDITORIAL - From both sides

For opposing view, see headline: NEA helps bring art to children

The following fields overflowed: SUPCAT = COLUMN, EDITORIAL - From both sides

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