One Nation Under God, a painting by a Christian artist that depicts Jesus Christ holding the United States constitution while an evolutionary academic, Hollywood actor and “liberal news reporter” huddle at his feet, is generating mirth and praise online.
Jon McNaughton, the Utah-based artist behind the piece, says that the idea came to him in a vision during last year’s US elections. The impressively detailed oil painting divides the American people in two, with God-fearing “ordinary folk” on Christ’s right, and figures representing the secular values that McNaughton believes are undermining the country on his left.
The artist says that the painting is intended to highlight the Christian roots of the US constitution. Around Christ are arranged some of the Founding Fathers and other American patriots including George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S Grant, the civil war general.
But McNaughton’s goal may be partially undermined by his inclusion of Thomas Paine, the religion-hating political pamphleteer, and Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the US and the man who drafted the nation’s constitution. Jefferson argued passionately for the division of church and state and attacked religious superstition, leading some historians to conclude that his views approached atheism.
One Nation Under God painting: