Courtesy of Michael Bérubé:
Well, Michael certainly does. Here's a snippet of his analysis:
So I’m not going to say anything about these people or their businesses or their beliefs. I just have an innocent question about the inspirational painting on the office wall of Riverview Community Bank president Duane Kropuenske, which is reproduced on the Magazine‘s front cover. The painting is titled “Unending Riches” and it’s a portrait of Jesus standing with two businessmen in what is clearly an executive office. In the background is a generic cityscape, framed in a large window. The businessman on the right seems to be introducing the businessman on the left to Christ, who’s shaking hands and wearing white robes.
OK, so check out what’s on the wall behind the shoulder of the guy on the left. It’s another inspirational painting of some kind! Have you ever seen anything like this before? A piece of inspirational workplace art that includes, in a mise en abyme, another piece of inspirational workplace art? It’s too weird. And more important, why would this particular office need an inspirational painting in the first place? I mean, Jesus Christ Himself works for them!! They’ve already got the power of the Almighty right there, standing behind the desk with the laptop—what more do they need?? Are you trying to tell me that even the firm that employs the Son of God has to festoon its office walls with “motivational” posters?
I just think that’s blasphemous.
While Michael lays the irony on with a trowel, I actually think he's right. It is blasphemous, but not for Michael's reasons. As I noted in an earlier post, once we acclimate ourselves to a culturally comfortable Jesus, we lose the power of who he was and what he said. And that is a blasphemy.
ADDENDUM: Oh, and let us please not leave out the plain fact that it's just extraordinarily bad art!