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12 Dec, 2019 15:24

‘Many unanswered questions’: Swedish church removes LGBT-themed altarpiece… but NOT for the reason you may think

‘Many unanswered questions’: Swedish church removes LGBT-themed altarpiece… but NOT for the reason you may think

After two weeks of deliberation, a church in Sweden decided that a newly-acquired LGBT-friendly painting was too problematic to serve as its altarpiece. Its depiction of Adam and Eve as two same-sex couples was not the issue.

The St. Paul’s Church in the southern city of Malmo accepted the painting as its altarpiece on the first day of Advent two weeks ago. The artwork by Swedish photographer and artist Elisabeth Ohlson Wallin was meant to symbolize inclusivity. It predictably generated a lot of buzz, attracting both praise and controversy online.

After analyzing the feedback, the church has decided to take down the painting and move it to a “different location” outside the altar room, pastor Per Svensson revealed on Wednesday.

And no, it was not the re-imagining of the Biblical story of Adam and Eve as a tale of two nude same-sex couples in the Garden of Eden that pushed the church officials to move the painting. That part is “completely uncontroversial,” Svensson said.

Also on rt.com Sweden’s sexualized LGBT church altar is not ‘inclusive,’ it’s driving people away from modern Christianity

The pastor, however, had an issue with the serpent that tempted Adam and Eve to try the forbidden fruit. In the painting, it was depicted as a transgender person. “The serpent traditionally symbolizes evil, and turning it into a transgender person can mean that a transgender person is evil or is the devil,” Svensson explained.

“The Church of Sweden certainly cannot stand by that.”

Furthermore, the painting contains apples, a Biblical symbol of knowledge, the pastor added. This invites a question about the kind of knowledge the painting portrays, along with “so many different interpretations” that make the imagery problematic, Svensson said.

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