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Lawmakers Ask Brooklyn Museum To Pull ‘Christianity-Bashing’ Film ‘A Fire In My Belly’

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Hide/Seek

Clip from video ‘A Fire In My Belly’ (Photo: Brooklyn Museum)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) - Seven New York lawmakers are asking the Brooklyn Museum not to show a film depicting ants crawling on a crucifix.

In a letter to museum Director Arnold Lehman, the lawmakers object to a film called “A Fire in My Belly” by the late David Wojnarowicz and call it “Christianity-bashing.”

The film, which briefly shows ants marching across a crucifix, is among 100 pieces in a show “Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture,” that opens Friday. The exhibition explores gender and sexual identity in American art.

Warning: Some may find the following images disturbing

The film was pulled from the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., when the exhibition was shown there last year.

Last week, Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio said a sacrilege is about to go on display at the museum with the debut. “You take any sacred thing, and make fun of it or treat it with disrespect, that’s sacrilegious,” DiMarzio told CBS 2’s Tony Aiello.

When Hide/Seek was shown last year in Washington D.C., it included a video called “A Fire In My Belly,”

“Since the population of Brooklyn is a good percent, Catholic, 40 percent, I think we should object,” DiMarzio said.

But it’s not just Catholic leaders who are complaining.

“There has to be lines of respect that are drawn. And like someone said, they wouldn’t do this to Mohammed. It’s just that Christians haven’t, you know, expressed outrage the way that some other communities would,” Christian Cultural Center Pastor A.R. Bernard said.

The letter is signed by Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro and six others.

Neither Bishop DiMarzio nor Pastor Bernard said they plan to call for a boycott or hold any kind of protest on the plaza at the museum. They think that would give the Brooklyn museum exactly what it’s looking for — publicity.

The kind of publicity it hasn’t seen since 1999, when the “Sensation” exhibition featured a controversial image of the Virgin Mary that included pornography and elephant dung.

The museum said it encourages anyone with concerns about the work to view it in person.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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