Monday 6 December 2010

Lions and Lambs

The Peaceable Kingdom is a powerful millennialist image. It graced the seals of two church bodies that I'm aware of, the one I hardly dare mention following a recent pigeon-hole post on Jim West's blog, the other is the Community of Christ (formerly RLDS church.) A print of Edward Hick's artwork - he painted around sixty versions on the theme - hangs on a wall in my home, a reminder of times past. Hick's paintings testify to his Quaker faith, and hope for colonial America as a blessed land. They are light years removed from the awful kitsch that has since sprung up in its wake.

Over at Scott Bailey's blog is this sweet picture. Sweet as in saccharine loaded. But could it perhaps be thought to depict something other than what the artist consciously intended? Gives a whole new angle to the expression "dumb sheep" doesn't it... somehow appropriate in view of how it was used in that certain church referred to above (not the RLDS/COC - they're basically a very decent bunch.)

Actually, I feel a caption contest coming on. The trick is to create something that is both apt, and readable by your grandmother with little more than an arched eyebrow. Submissions must meet both criteria.


  1. Whataya mean, it's just a little personal counselling!!

  2. The Lion shall lie with the Lamb – in the Biblical sense.

  3. The lions have always screwed the sheep, have they not?

    It might be a safe bet that Isaiah 11:6 is not referring to actual, literal animals.

  4. "Er... actually, Leo, what I had in mind was more along the lines of Isaiah than Leviticus..."

  5. The Quaker version is much more palatable than any literalist Left Behind donkey crap.

    According to Eddie Hick's brother Elias, "The Peaceable Kingdom" was NOT in the clouds, NOT in some far-distant future, but in the present, and (here's the important part, folks, pay attention) in the people who choose to do good in the world. Be it by opposing war, feeding the homeless, or any of the other social activism efforts that Friends the world over still engage in.

    Well. It's more palatable to me. If the Bible-thumpers are happy to look up in the sky for a literalized Christ-a-comin', ignoring everything and everyone around them, for a future "kingdom" that is not only false, it's a, well. Go right ahead.

    In the meantime I'll be over here with the people who are actually, actively, trying to bring "The Peaceable Kingdom" to life. In this life. In this world. And, would you believe, some of them are even Christian enough to pass muster with you people!

  6. PH, I for one feel suitably chastened, but I'm not sure why... May I raise an ascerbic eyebrow and ask just WHO you mean by "you people."?

  7. And, now, having actually read the blog post linked to in the original article, I facepalm mightily. Er, just delete that previous little screed, would you Gavin? Thanks muchly. :-P

  8. Well, since you're up bright and early this morning (and approving comments right quickish), I meant the Bible-thumping fundagelicals, some of whom have been known to preach in this space before; and some of whom are preaching mightily, to deaf ears, in other parts of the ex-CoG blogosphere right now....

  9. Actually, out here in the deepest South it's just after 5pm, and I'm back from a hard day at the chalk face.

  10. A simbaaaaaa-otic relationship

    And the Lord said, "Let there me liolambs"

    Succumbing to the cute tuft of hair on Mr. Lion's forehead, Lambelina Jolie becomes an Ambassador for world peace.

    This baaaaaaaad position is not HWA-approved. Is this one of the "changes"?

    "Whatchu lookin' at, Willis?"

  11. "Jesus paid my bill for this. WHAT AN AWESOME DUDE!"