Monday, December 26, 2011

Artistic idolatry in the U.S. Capitol

I finished reading The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown. Given so much of his material is of dubious scientific and historical accuracy I was curious to verify his claims about The Apotheosis of Washington, the giant mural on the dome of the U.S. Capitol building. In this case he is correct, it does depict George Washington becoming a god!

Maureen Dowd's scathing review of the book in The New York Times is also worth reading. Here is some of the beginning
 the terrifying thing about “The Lost Symbol” is that Brown — who did not flinch when the Vatican both condemned the “The Da Vinci Code” and curtailed the filming of “Angels & Demons” in Rome — clearly got spooked by that other powerful, secretive ancient sect, the Masons.
His book is a desperate attempt to ingratiate himself with the Masons, rather than to interpret the bizarre Masonic rites and symbols that illuminate — as in Illuminati! — how the ultimate elite private boys’ club has conspired to shape the nation’s capital and Western civilization ever since George Washington laid the cornerstone for the Capitol building in a Masonic ritual wearing full Masonic regalia, including a darling little fringed satin apron. If the Masons are more intimidating than the Vatican, if Brown has now become part of their semiotic smoke screen, then all I can say is, God help us all.

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