The Cathedral

I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

By Dr. Jim Ferguson
My life is so different than it used to be. I had a rewarding career in medicine, but I could never go back. The Teacher said, “There is a time for everything” (Ecclesiastes 3:1), and it was my time to retire before I became obsolete.
Now, I have a new career as a novelist and as an essayist/columnist for The Knoxville Focus. During my medical career, I longed to have time for reflection. Now I have “creative” time because my kids are raised and I’m no longer working sixty hours a week caring for patients.
And since I have a thousand-word essay due at the end of each week, I’m always alert for a storyline. Recently, (January 16) I wrote about Martin Luther, the German priest who precipitated the Protestant Reformation. This week’s focus is easy as we remember Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) who was integral to America’s civil rights movement. Interestingly, MLK’s father, Michael King Sr., revered Martin Luther and changed his name and his son’s to that of the 16th-century protestant reformer.
In college, I was a science guy and had few opportunities to take courses outside my pre-med curriculum. However, I did take art history as an elective and my worldview changed. I even served as a docent leading groups visiting the Knoxville Museum of Art. I especially remember the Auguste Rodin show. For many years I had a copy of Rodin’s most famous sculpture, The Thinker, sitting on my office desk. Sometimes patients would ask if I do surgery, and I’ve been known to quip, “No, I’m more of a thinker than a cutter.”
I thought about art last week with the unveiling of a controversial sculpture in Boston celebrating MLK. Entitled The Embrace, the sculpture was to depict MLK and his wife embracing after he was nominated for the Nobel peace prize. From one perspective you can visualize the embrace. However, in other views, the sculpture elicits what some described as a phallus.
In art, there is a difference between representation and interpretation. Non-representational abstract art is the interpretive vision of the artist and is not necessarily intended to represent an identifiable object. An example is a drip painting of Jackson Pollock.
It is said that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. I am not criticizing or defending the artistic interpretation of the MLK sculpture. In this politically correct world, criticism of Dr. King is “not tolerated” by those who claim they are, “oh so tolerant.” Instead, I offer a beautiful and evocative work of sculpted art by Rodin entitled The Cathedral (pictured).
In the high Middle-ages cathedrals were constructed using flying buttresses to support soaring outer walls. This allowed the creation of inspiring, cavernous inner spaces to evoke, “Surely the Lord is in this place” (Genesis 28:16). Such architectural innovation was reverential because most people in those days lived in relative squalor, could not read or write and did not understand Catholic masses which were conducted in Latin.
The Cathedral sculpture resides in the Parisian Musée Rodin. My reproduction is approximately half the Rodin original, but I think you can appreciate the “inner space” created by the intertwining of two right hands. Only two people are capable of making such a connection. This is evocative art!
It would be nice to stay in the lofty realm of art. However, like Peter, James and John who wanted to stay on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matthew 17), I live in the valley below. And the stench of the Biden classified document scandal with links to influence peddling in Ukraine is suffocating. This scandal is far worse than Watergate. The Dems want no part of this, so I find it curious that the documents were only found when Biden said he was going to run again in 2024. The only thing that has saved our POTUS from the 25th Amendment so far is his blathering, cackling sidekick. But it won’t save him from the document scandal and the Ukrainian connection.
In 1824 another “corrupt bargain” was struck. Neither Andrew Jackson, John Quincy Adams, William Crawford or Henry Clay had received a majority of electoral votes and as a result the selection of president went to the House of Representatives. Constitutionally, Crawford was excluded and then Speaker of the House Henry Clay allegedly cut a deal with John Q to elect John Quincy Adams as president. Days later, Henry Clay became Adam’s secretary of state. Jackson was furious and later led a populist comeback to win the presidency in 1828. The 2023 Dems should be careful. A populist comeback 100 years later by Donald Trump may be in the works.
For a long time, I thought Democrats were just misguided, but now I believe this bunch in power is corrupt, incompetent and is burning down our country. People blather on about bipartisan cooperation, but how do you reach across the aisle to an AOC and her anti-Semitic Squad, Sheila Jackson Lee and her racist hate speech bill or Hank Johnson who once worried that the overpopulation of Guam would cause the island to tip over?
It is now proven that Christopher Wray and the FBI colluded to suppress the Hunter Biden laptop story on FakeBook and Twitter which altered the outcome of the 2020 election. Recall that 12% of registered Democrats would have changed their vote if the New York Post bombshell story had not been suppressed. Even the so-called group of 50 intelligent agents, who alleged the laptop was Russian disinformation, now admit that the laptop was real and was in the FBI’s possession for more than a year prior to the 2020 election.
So where do we go from here? The truth must come out if we are ever to return to the “cathedral of democracy” the Founders created for us 234 years ago.
Last week’s essay was entitled “Turning Point.” Let’s pray that revelations are forthcoming, justice is done and healing can begin.