Constitutional Doublecross

(11 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)


Constitutional Doublecross ©2008 Emily Duffy Photo by Sibila Savage

Dimensions: 58.75″ x 41.25″ x 4.50″.

Description: Paper cross mounted on maroon velvet in gold wood frame.

Materials: Wood, shredded of reproductions the U.S. Constitution and relevant newspaper clippings (woven together), velvet, gold paint, GOP logo, glass beads.

I began this sculpture four years ago. I remember that because I sat weaving the cross together while watching the 2004 Winter Olympics on television. Watching young athletes from around the world assemble together without trying to kill each other always makes me wonder why their governments can’t get along as well.

America was one year into Bush’s preemptive Iraq war, and was bullying the entire world to follow him. His cabinet and staff were busy breaking international laws (and those of human decency) and defying our own historic goals of liberty and justice. I couldn’t make sense of why so many self-proclaimed “good Christians” wanted to kill and destroy so much of the world. I still don’t understand that enormous contradiction in their ideology.


Constitutional Doublecross
– Detail of Elephant ©2008 Emily Duffy Photo by Sibila Savage

The inspiration (or revulsion) that inspired this piece was the intentional blurring of the boundary between Church and State by leaders of the Republican Party. This takeover was instigated by so called “neo-conservatives” who were warmly embraced by Ronald Reagan in the 1980s. This group came to absolute power with George W. Bush’s presidency in 2001.


Constitutional Doublecross – Detail of bottom of cross ©2008 Emily Duffy Photo by Sibila Savage

Between 1775 and 1791 Americans conceived, fought for, and established a new nation. This new nation, as Thomas Jefferson explained in the Declaration of Independence in 1776, was based on the proposition that all persons are created equal, that they have inherent natural rights to “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness,” that “to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,” and that “it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish” any form of government that does not secure the rights of the people.

Although the new Constitution represented the greatest single advance in the long evolution of democracy and freedom, it was viewed by many, including Jefferson, as containing a serious defect, the absence of an explicit bill of rights. Ratification of the new charter of government hinged on the promises of politicians to add a bill of rights to the Constitution as soon as possible; promises carried out by the First Congress, which in 1789 proposed amendments which were ratified by the states by the end of 1791. – Source


Constitutional Doublecross – Detail with Ashcroft ©2008 Emily Duffy Photo by Sibila Savage

The Constitution they created limited the federal government to purely secular matters. Further, Article VI of the Constitution, in an important departure from colonial practice, stipulated that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” The same article also prohibited mandatory oaths, by providing that all members of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches “both of the United States and of the several states” may be bound by either an “oath or affirmation” (italics supplied) to support the Constitution.

Thus the Constitution implies the principle of separation of church and state.  – Source


Constitutional Doublecross – Detail of side ©2008 Emily Duffy Photo by Sibila Savage

This radical right wing takeover of the GOP began decades ago concurrent with the founding and funding of “neo-conservative” think tanks and fundamentalist Christian mega-churches.

The film Jesus Camp does a great job of documenting the mentality of the people on the religious side of this repressive movement, and why they must be stopped from imposing their beliefs on the rest of us.


Constitutional Doublecross
– Detail of child ©2008 Emily Duffy Photo by Sibila Savage


Read more about protecting the boundaries between Church and State in American government:

Americans United

People for the American Way

Americans for Religious Liberty

Interfaith Alliance

NOTE: You’re welcome to share my artwork and comments with anyone you think might appreciate them. But I ask that you give proper credit of these copyrighted works and link them back to this blog. None of this artwork may be used by others for profit of any kind.

Please help spread the link to this blog everywhere you can. This artwork was created for the purpose of making Americans think carefully about the kind of country they want this to be when they vote on November 4, 2008. Do they want a continuation of 8 years of fear, war, division, hate, economic drain, isolationism, and denial of science, climate change, and basic reality? If not, they need to vote for, support, donate to, and cover the back of the Democratic candidate, Barack Obama.


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    • EmilyD on September 18, 2008 at 02:14

    I have another one featuring the U.S. Constitution which I’ll post later tonight both there and here. Happy Constitution Day…let’s band together to save it.

    • robodd on September 18, 2008 at 02:56
  1. i hate to use words like ‘minimal’ or ‘simplicity’ to describe something which clearly took a lot of time and effort to produce….but it is just those things which allow it to cut straight through to the point.  very well done.

  2. …thank you Emily D.

  3. I came to the part where Junior Bush was informed, prior to the invasion, that Iraq had no WMDs.

    “…This was the Iraqi intelligence chief. He knew all there was to know.”

    I ask if the intelligence was passed to the CIA and the White House.

    “Of course. Passed instantly, at the very highest levels.”

    “And whad did we say,” I ask. “Or, I guess, what did Bush say?”

    He said, Fuck it. We’re going in.”

    War criminal?  

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