"This Case of Conscience”:
Spiritual Flushing and the Remonstrance
In the new millennium, religion, its relation to the state and mutual respect are hot-button issues across the globe. In Flushing, Queens, this very conversation started 350 years ago with the Flushing Remonstrance. The Flushing Remonstrance was drafted in 1657 and signed by a group of Flushing residents who were offended by the persecution of religions outside the established Reformed Dutch Church. This document is considered by many to be a precursor to the Bill of Rights’ provision for freedom of religion. Throughout 2008, the Queens Borough President’s Office will offer cultural programming in conjunction with over 15 New York City (NYC) institutions to honor this most historic anniversary. To commemorate the homecoming of the Remonstrance, QMA will present the original document in conjunction with images of historical materials from the New York State Archives.
Image and text of Historical Flushing Remonstrance:
Wee desire therefore in this case not to judge least we be judged, neither to condemn least we be condemned, but rather let every man stand or fall to his own Master. Wee are bounde by the law to do good unto all men, especially to those of the household of faith. And though for the present we seem to be unsensible for the law and the Law giver, yet when death and the Law assault us, if wee have our advocate to seeke, who shall plead for us in this case of conscience betwixt God and our own souls; the powers of this world can neither attach us, neither excuse us, for if God justifye who can condemn and if God condemn there is none can justifye.
And for those jealousies and suspicions which some have of them, that they are destructive unto Magistracy and Ministerye, that cannot bee, for the Magistrate hath his sword in his hand and the Minister hath the sword in his hand, as witnesse those two great examples, which all Magistrates and Ministers are to follow, Moses and Christ, whom God raised up maintained and defended against all enemies both of flesh and spirit; and therefore that of God will stand, and that which is of man will come to nothing. And as the Lord hath taught Moses or the civil power to give an outward liberty in the state, by the law written in his heart designed for the good of all, and can truly judge who is good, who is evil, who is true and who is false, and can pass definitive sentence of life or death against that man which arises up against the fundamental law of the States General; soe he hath made his ministers a savor of life unto life and a savor of death unto death.
The law of love, peace and liberty in the states extending to Jews, Turks and Egyptians, as they are considered sons of Adam, which is the glory of the outward state of Holland, soe love, peace and liberty, extending to all in Christ Jesus, condemns hatred, war and bondage. And because our Saviour sayeth it is impossible but that offences will come, but woe unto him by whom they cometh, our desire is not to offend one of his little ones, in whatsoever form, name or title hee appears in, whether Presbyterian, Independent, Baptist or Quaker, but shall be glad to see anything of God in any of them, desiring to doe unto all men as we desire all men should doe unto us, which is the true law both of Church and State; for our Saviour sayeth this is the law and the prophets.
Therefore if any of these said persons come in love unto us, we cannot in conscience lay violent hands upon them, but give them free egresse and regresse unto our Town, and houses, as God shall persuade our consciences, for we are bounde by the law of God and man to doe good unto all men and evil to noe man. And this is according to the patent and charter of our Towne, given unto us in the name of the States General, which we are not willing to infringe, and violate, but shall houlde to our patent and shall remaine, your humble subjects, the inhabitants of Vlishing.
Written this 27th of December in the year 1657, by mee.
Edward Hart, Clericus
NYT article: A Colony with a Conscience by Kenneth T. Jackson
The wall and floor near the machine will be decorated with graphics to direct attention to the art installation, which uses the vending machine.
The Artist would like to acknowledge the religious leaders and their congregation who welcomed him with open arms and open mind. Thank you.
G. Padmanabhan,The Hindu Temple Society of North America, Šri Mahã Vallabha Ganapati Devasthãnam,
Tattfoo Tan, Share-A-Prayer, 2008
The mosaic of life in Flushing
Poets in the Galleries II
The Queens Museum of Art announces its second season of Poets in the Galleries, the interdisciplinary poetry series that utilizes the Museum's exhibition space as an invigorating site of exploration, interactive readings and discussion. Each Sunday a different poet will conduct a lively presentation in response to the Museum's current exhibition, "This case of Conscience": Spiritual Flushing and the Remonstrance. These gifted participants, all distinguished voices in the local, national and international literary scene, will share their poetry and responses to the works on view with Museum visitors. The ensuing dialogue will surely foster provocative intellectual exchanges and provide wide-rangeing audiences with new ways of accessing both the poetry on offer and the Museum's resources. "This Case of Conscience" lends itself especially well to the series by creating an open-ended forum in which all participants can explore the links between art and poetry, as well as related themes of religious freedom, mutual respect, diversity and spirituality.
Textpiece II is a new species of literature-gathering object specific to museums, galleries and other sites that are dedicated to exhibiting works of art. It is a specific print-object that collects diverse literary writing in relation to exhibitions. It is not a gallery guide, though for the duration of the exhibition Textpiece II will be made available to be experienced in the gallery space. It is not quite a "journal", a "magazine", a "chapbook", or any other type of print object already named and recognized. It is not quite "artwork for the page", but rather literary work for the gallery. All the writings appearing here are previously unpublished work.
Vijay Seshadri, Cate Marvin, Rigoberto Gonzålez, Tina Chang, Eleanor Lehman, Thomas Sayers Ellis
Thomas's poem relates directly to Share-A-Prayer
Thomas Sayers Ellis
You don't get what you pay
flattens, like Jesus, just
already miracle this, their