President John F. Kennedy: Remarks at Amherst College, October 26, 1963
The following is an excerpt from a speech given by President John F. Kennedy on October 26, 1963 at Amherst College in Massachusetts, in honor of the poet Robert Frost...
If sometimes our great artists have been the most critical of our society, it is because their sensitivity and their concern for justice, which must motivate any true artist, makes him aware that our Nation falls short of its highest potential. I see little of more importance to the future of our country and our civilization than full recognition of the place of the artist.
If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him. We must never forget that art is not a form of propaganda; it is a form of truth. And as Mr. MacLeish once remarked of poets, there is nothing worse for our trade than to be in style. In free society art is not a weapon and it does not belong to the spheres of polemic and ideology. Artists are not engineers of the soul. It may be different elsewhere. But democratic society--in it, the highest duty of the writer, the composer, the artist is to remain true to himself and to let the chips fall where they may. In serving his vision of the truth, the artist best serves his nation. And the nation which disdains the mission of art invites the fate of Robert Frost's hired man, the fate of having "nothing to look backward to with pride, and nothing to look forward to with hope." Continue here....************************
Additional thoughts...(in 2010)
The above quotes are from people whose beliefs vary. Spiritual beliefs and doctrines and the basis of each of these could affect people's mindsets that lead to their actions and therefore it is very important that they need to be discerned. People may try their brand of solving many of the worlds problems by utilizing art and art forms guided by man's philosophies yet all these will fall short if they remove the Source of True Wisdom from the scene and the reality of the sinful nature of man.
Artists must have deep discernment especially about spiritual matters. A true Christian who happens to be an artist must work under the guidance of the Almighty God the Father through the Holy Spirit and grow in the true Christian faith through time with the help of the real brothers and sisters in Christ who possess the gifts of the Holy Spirit especially, in this case, about spiritual discernment.
Since time immemorial artists and craftsmen used their talents not only in every day matters but also in practices involving religion. But in true Christianity deep discernment is very important in obedience of the 2nd Commandment , a very important teaching in the Holy Bible supported by the many verses warning against the sins of idolatry.
As an example, I mentioned the movie the Passion of the Christ by Mel Gibson in my articles here just to drive my point regarding the sacrifice and death of Jesus Christ for our redemption and the extreme difficulties he went through for our sake in stark contrast to the fraternity culture of hazing and violence (as a means to assure the loyalty of would-be members to their brotherhood). The movie the Passion of the Christ showed too much torture and blood yet this portrayal is just to show, in my opinion, that Lord Jesus Christ's sufferings, the torture he went through, his death and resurrection have the holy reward waiting in the Eternal Kingdom while the frat culture of violence of all forms have nothing holy and life in eternal happiness, peace and contentment to promise.
Yet, in my journey in deeply discerning this importance of art and the role of artists I did deep research regarding the evangelical Bible-based Christian faith and have came across the following writings:
1. The Poison in the Passion by Terry Watkins
2. Problems With The Passion of The Christ
3. The Passion of the Christ — a Film by Mel Gibson
4. Mel Gibson’s Film: THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST
5.The Passion of Christ: Mel Gibson's Vivid Deception
In much deeper analysis, the practice of idolatry and the deceptive means by which doctrines of men are promoted to mislead the multitude of people to deviate from true Biblical teachings that would eventually lead them into the sins of idolatry inevitably spawn spiritual blindness the product of which are all forms of iniquity and confusion about right and wrong including, in this case, the fraternity culture of violence.
It is therefore very important to view the current problem of society (in my country the Philippines) regarding fraternity culture of violence in the light of the Holy Bible as the real source of Wisdom and Truth that will effectively and genuinely set the captives free. It is therefore necessary for young people to give time and study the Holy Bible seriously and deeply and, with the guidance of the Almighty God the Father with His grace, discern all things.
"31Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
"4And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God."
"28For they are a nation void of counsel, neither is there any understanding in them.104Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.
10A reproof entereth more into a wise man than an hundred stripes into a fool.