- Posted April 28, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
SURFING MADONNA STRUGGLES FOR ACCEPTANCE..FROM SACRAMENTO!
The beauteous Surfing Madonna has been turned down twice now, as her supporters seek approval for a permanent Madonna home at Moonlight Beach in Encintas, from powerful politicos in Sacramento.
According to a story in the San Diego Union/Tribune, "Citing the artwork’s religious nature & hesitant to overturn an earlier denial by the Department of Parks & Recreation, an Assembly committee on Tuesday rejected legislation that would have permitted the stained-glass mosaic to be installed at the oceanfront park." So it has come to this--politics and buck passing in Sacramento!
As of now, artist Mark Patterson & the city of Encinitas will look for another location, most likely on city property or private land. The hoped-for location for the 10 foot high mosaic--the entrance to Moonlight State Beach-- is on state park land & requires an okay from committees up in the state capitol. But Madonna fans have been slapped down before & we are becoming quite resourcefully adept at moving the Madonna agenda along, come what may.
After the city of Encinitas took the advice of it's arts committee this past January & approved a Madonna placement at Moonlight Beach, the buck was then passed to the State Parks and Recreation Dept., which denied the request due to questions regarding the suitability of the Madonna as a religious image on public land.. At that point, legislation was introduced by Assemblyman Martin Garrick, R-Solana Beach. He noted the artwork was not overtly religious and that it symbolized the local coastal community’s conservation and ocean-lifestyle.
The Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee Chairman Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, agreed. He said the artwork promoted a “secular conservation message.” Still, he didn’t want to step on the toes of the Parks Department decision. That was the end of that--Garrick’s bill failed.
Ironically enough, one Hispanic member of the committee, Roger Hernandez, said the depiction of the Madonna was disrespectful! Hernandez, D-West Covina, opposed the mosaic’s depiction of a religious figure. “The way she is imaged here is disrespectful to the people of my culture, my background,” said Hernandez, who said he was raised in a Catholic household. The one politician who might have been inclined to see the value in the Virgin de Guadalupe depiction dismisses it outright.
The Committee Chairman's lukewarm support was also disheartening. Committee Chairman Huffman couched his reluctance to overstep the authority of the Parks Dept. decision by showering praise on the Madonna. “I think this is a secular conservation message. It is lighthearted. I don’t think this should offend anyone’s religious sensibilities. I’m completely with you as far as that goes.” Nevertheless, Huffman continued, “I'm not comfortable with the precedent of dictating” to the Department of Parks and Recreation.
The odyssey of the stained glass mosaic continues. Encinitas resident and friend Bill Cavanaugh launched a Facebook campaign to save the mosaic. He implores these politicians to realize just how much “the world has embraced the mosaic and its message: save the ocean " But Cavanaugh is losing patience with these bureaucrats. He noted on the Madonna Facebook page that "the various political groups..City of Encinitas, State of California Attorney General, State Parks and Parks Committee are out of touch with the people who pay their salary.....US...we the people need to reply to their ignorance by voting out members of City Council and State Government who ignore our wishes."
One final aside: This slap in the face to the Surfing Madonna comes on her first birthday. Ironically, the decision came almost one year to the day the mosaic first mysteriously appeared on April 22, 2011-- Good Friday & Earth Day .
The best way to keep the Madonna faith is to accept that the process of winning approval for it also means accepting what comes with it: the utter absurdities of bureaucracy & politics.