I had never heard of Jon McNaughton before, but when I saw the image attached to David Morgan‘s recent piece at Religion & Politics I recognized his work immediately. McNaughton is the painter of “One Nation Under God,” a painting that has become quite popular among the so-called teavangelicals. (You should also check out his “The Forgotten Man” and “Wake Up America!). According to the editors of Religion & Politics:
In McNaughton, Morgan finds something old: a jeremiad against the current American political establishment. He also finds something new: a coalition of evangelical Christians and conservative Mormons, a union that could prove highly influential in the 2012 presidential contest.
Here is a taste of his piece:
A few years ago, political commentators wondered if a new partnership was emerging in American politics between evangelicals and Catholics. But neither group has turned out to be as monolithic as some expected. One Nation Under God, The Forgotten Man and Wake Up America! suggest a new coalition, one personified in Glenn Beck (and now perhaps Mitt Romney): a union among conservative evangelicals and Mormons. It is noteworthy that Joseph Smith is not among the worthies who step forth from the mist of the American past. But we do see at least one Mormon: among the righteous stands a black male college student—perhaps a counterintuitive choice to represent McNaughton’s own faith, as black men were banned from the Mormon priesthood until 1978. This man holds a copy of a book by the oft-described “faith-based political theorist” Willard Cleon Skousen, a writer frequently touted by Beck. The Five Thousand Year Leap (1981) proclaimed that the Constitution was inspired by the freedom fighters of the Bible, not the free thinkers of the Enlightenment. The cause around which the new coalition gathers is the Christian Nation—although whether this alliance can endure remains to be seen. The artist himself told The National Review that he left the GOP during the presidency of George W. Bush, who, McNaughton said, “ruined the Republican Party.”