Chelsea Clinton on Confederate Statues: Christians Don’t Memorialize the Devil for His Rebellion

AP Photo/Adrian Sainz, File
AP Photo/Adrian Sainz, File

Bill and Hillary Clinton’s daughter, Chelsea, has been spending a lot of time on Twitter during the last year attempting to expound on all manner of topics to show how engaged she is, but her attempt to compare Confederate statues to the worship of the devil did not fare so well.

The younger Clinton took to her Twitter account on Thursday to try to mix Biblical themes with Confederate themes, saying, “The story of Lucifer-who rebelled against God-is part of many Christians’ traditions.” Then she added that she never saw a statue of “Lucifer” in a church:

Some feel that Chelsea is attempting to set up a basis for a run for office by using her Twitter account to show how brilliant she is, but this particular tweet landed with a thud.

Whether or not you consider statues to Confederate generals an act of evil, Chelsea’s point fell short just by dint of historical fact. The truth is, Lucifer has appeared in art, paintings, and sculptures — many of them appearing in churches and religious texts — since Christianity began.

One of the most famous is the sculpture simply entitled Lucifer, by artist Guillaume Geefs. Today, it stands in the Cathedral of St. Paul in Liège, Belgium.

Also, in the ceiling flourish in the Norwich Cathedral in Norwich, Norfolk, in England, one can find a depiction of a Christian wielding a golden sword while fighting the devil.

A bas-relief entitled The Harrowing of Hell, depicting a victorious Christ standing on the defeated body of Satan also appears on the walls of the UK’s Lincoln Cathedral.

There is also Luca Giordano’s painting of Archangel Michael and Fallen Angels, Vienna, which was originally commissioned in 1666 as a church altarpiece. It stood in the chapel of St. Louis in Vienna’s Minorite Church in the late seventeenth century.

There have even been new works of art depicting Satan. A piece entitled Lucifer (Morningstar), by artist Paul Fryer, was exhibited in 2014 in The Holy Trinity Church in Marylebone, Westminster.

Finally, also in 2014, Stanford’s Cantor Art Center even held an exhibition of 40 works of art portraying Satan that spanned 500 years.

The list of paintings, friezes, reliefs, statues, and other art depicting Lucifer is long, indeed, and many of these pieces of art were commissioned for Christian churches.

Clearly, Chelsea Clinton really had no idea what she was talking about, and many of her Twitter followers slapped her down for it.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.


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