Christ Breaks the Rifle

On August 27th, Jaxon Washburn posted this image:

“Christ breaks the rifle” by Otto Pankok, 1950
“Otto Pankok was a German printmaker defamed by the Nazis as a ‘degenerate artist’ because his central theme was the sufferings of the oppressed. His work clearly reveals the influence of van Gogh, whom he revered. In 1950 he created the woodcut, “Christ breaks the rifle” which was later used by the German Christian peace movement leading up to the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989.” —Michael Frost

This post was a response to the sermon that Jeffery R. Holland gave just 4 days earlier. The sermon put a lot of emphasis on musket fire to be defenders of the faith. To post an image of Christ breaking a musket in response to that sermon sends an even bigger message.

Among the hundreds of comments on Jaxon’s posts was this comment from Kyle Ashworth:

You beat me to it, Jaxon. I sent this image (with a little update) to the printer for some t-shirts.

Kyle Ashworth is the host of the Latter Gay Stories Podcast, and the stated goal of this podcast is “to create a space where LGBTQ or SSA individuals and their families and allies can acknowledge, explore and honor shared experiences.” Since Holland’s talk implied the need for gunfire, mostly aimed at queer folks, this has become a particularly difficult sermon to cope with.

Just a couple days later, on September 3rd, Kyle’s shirts arrived.

It became clear to me that this was being adopted as a cultural symbol for queer Mormons.

I immediately bought one of these shirts here and mine arrived on September 30th!

I decided to hop on this train of adopting it as a symbol for the time being. I wanted to create a vectorized version of this artwork. I found the highest quality pixelized version and traced every element on the image.

I added one little twist to my version: I used my rainbow color palette.

We queer folks deserve to live in peace, without the fear of either literal or metaphorical musket fire.

Click on the image to pull it up