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Porno or Art?

The mixture of sex and art has been prolific through out the whole of human history, from our earliest tribal times when our ancient ancestors made fertility idols out of clay to the modern age with images of masturbation wrapped in paintings. Society has created a very thin and movable line between what is porn and what is art and like many of the social conflicts of our society, they occasionally boil over.

Like for instance a recent event at the Wright Elementary School in Des Moines (IA).

Art teacher, Karen Maresh, decided to show this YouTube video containing images of several paintings by artist Keith Haring. Many of the images are sexual and homoerotic in nature. One of the students then went home to their mother and told her that their teacher had made them watch a video that was “gross.” The mother then notified the police. The teacher is on paid administrative leave while the situation is being investigated.

This of course has stirred up the local right wing pot.

Emily Geiger over at the Iowa Republican says...
First, let’s talk a little bit about this artist. He was an openly gay artist that made graffiti art mainstream, was an outspoken advocate for the gay community, died of AIDS in 1990, and drew several pictures depicting cartoon character-like figures with relatively detailed male genitalia.

Sound like the kind of guy you want your 9-year-old learning about?

Me either.
Emily also makes the suggestion that…
Perhaps they should hear from members of the community to convince them to hold this “teacher” accountable for her actions.
This coming from someone who advocates letting people vote on the civil rights of minority groups.

It gets even nastier in the comments.

Peggy states…
Karen Maresh peddles kiddie porn on your tax dollar!
While Waywardson actually suggests that this teacher should be put to death.
I am appalled. Disgusted. And honestly believe that subjecting children to such images should be punishable by death. This teacher has mentally and spiritually RAPED these children. And if it were mine, which would never set foot in a state run daycare and corruption camp, I would have to consider how much time I could serve and get away with, after claiming a crime of rage and passion blowing her g-dam head off. That is how I feel.

Naturally, I take steps to avoid being put in the position of having to kill anyone, except when in Uniform and under lawful orders to do so.

Why do I feel this way? Because my heart knows the damage she had done is permanent. It can be mitigated, but the image will stick in these children’s minds forever. It will have an effect, however slight, on their choices for a first kiss, marriage, and how they raise their children and generations to follow. For this curse, this unrepairable damage for what may be THOUSANDS of children and families, she is fully deserving of death. Only such a punishment is fitting to the crime. Because, there is no punishment in this world capable of undoing this crime, we are left only to send her to the next world to get it.
Emphasis is mine.

Now, I certainly believe that the video has no place being shown in school, art or not; and I even stated so, and then was immediately attacked by one of the other regular commenters that I often get into arguments with; but I can’t even fathom what kind of a mind it would take to actually suggest that this teacher be put to death for this.

And here I thought that worst of the right was in people like Glenn Beck and Ann Coulter.