Methodist Church Condemns ‘The Spear’


For immediate release

 Methodist Church Condemns ‘The Spear’

The Methodist Church of Southern Africa condemns unreservedly the undignified nude portrayal of the state president in what is termed a work of art. 

Everyone is entitled to their democratic right to freedom of expression as enshrined in the constitution. However,   the exercise of an individual’s right to free expression assumes that it will not be an infringement on other peoples’ right to exercise the same under the framework of the law. Therefore, artistic freedom must be underpinned not only by responsibility, but also by the respect of the individual, his family and socio-cultural values.

The office of the president is a democratic, legal and moral construct. It embodies the best of the aspirations of the majority of South Africans, notwithstanding those who might be opposed to the person holding that office. Assuming therefore, that the state president as an individual does not always command unanimity, this should not give licence to defending forms of expression that might offend and be open to diverse interpretations because of their lack of clarity.

Nowhere in the world would forms of expression that border on demeaning the person and office of the president be allowed to stand and we believe that the same dignity and restraint must be extended to the president of the republic regardless our view of his private life.

South Africa, the rainbow nation, comprises of people from various ethnic groups. Artistic representation must show sensitivity and a deep understanding of the value systems of the different ethnic groups that make up this formidable nation. We hope that artists of different persuasions appreciate that the concept of vulgar nudity is offensive to the African psyche and does not command universal acceptance as it would in some Western societies. END

 

Released by the Methodist Church of Southern Africa

 Office of the Presiding Bishop, Rev Zipho Siwa

For more information contact: Ms B Moyo-Bango

Email: bongi@methchurch.org.za

Cell: 078 131 5137