CANCELLED: Artist Censored for Pro-Life Beliefs
My name is Brett Lempe, and I am pro-life. I am also an artist based in Centennial, Colorado. Recently I had a venue owner cancel an art show that we had been planning for months because of my beliefs around abortion. Not because the artwork that I was planning on displaying or the show itself was explicitly pro-life, but because I am a pro-life person. I am not as disappointed because I lost the show, I’m heartbroken because of the reason that it was lost. I have been asked to write an article explaining the situation and share some thoughts on it.
About 6 months ago, I saw a post my friend and venue owner had created on Facebook calling for artists to apply to be a part of month-long solo art shows that this venue would be hosting for local Denver artists. Having had a previous personal connection with the owner, and also desiring to get to display my work whenever I can, I immediately jumped on the opportunity.
We had an appointment and agreed on a the details of the show. He encouraged me to be as creative as possible, and I then began to work on the show almost immediately. A month and a half before the show was set to be on display, I receive the following text:
“Hey there, I wanted to start by saying I love you and I know you have been working hard on cranking out the paintings. I also wanted to say I respect your spiritual [path]
However we won’t be affiliated at all with a pro life message it is fundamentally against our beliefs and the goals of our community. That in mind we have to cancel the pending art show and opening.”
I was shocked, disappointed, yet proud all at the same time. I’m assuming he saw a few pro-life posts on my social media that then motivated him to cancel.
It is a shame that he never stopped to ask why I believe the way I do about the sanctity of life, or even try to have a dialogue. But, for the record, here is why I am pro-life:
I am pro-life because human life begins at conception. Biology is clear that, at conception, a unique organism comes into existence. Since this new life possesses human DNA and is the offspring of human parents, it can only legitimately be described as human.
Taking this life away, because the life is inconvenient to the parent(s), is wrong.
I’m not “forcing people to be pregnant” because I’m not forcing people to have sex.
And no, I’m not out on some crazy power trip attempting to control women. Any woman in my life would agree to that. I’m a gentleman. That’s why I believe we should protect vulnerable women and innocent children targeted by the abortion industry.
And no, it. is. not. your. body. Unless you want to claim that your body has two sets of DNA, two heads, two hearts, and two possibly different sets of reproductive organs. Which, you can go ahead and do that, but I still think taking human life away by force is wrong. Also, just because this life can only currently live inside your womb, doesn’t mean you should have the right to kill them.
Taking a human life away is, by definition, murder.
So because this is what I believe, the art show I had been planning for months has been cancelled.
If we take a brief glance at human history, we will witness many figures who were persecuted for standing for truth and love. Martin Luther King Jr., Abraham Lincoln, and Jesus Christ, to name a few. I’m not saying that the show getting cancelled was comparable to the discrimination that these figures faced. But my point is that these are great examples of how, when we stand for goodness and for life, we will suffer, we will be hurt in various ways, and we will be discriminated against. But that’s okay.
I am much more willing to suffer from persecution for standing for truth and love than to suffer from living a life based on lies for the sake of convenience. Having had this experience, I know now more that ever that, by standing to support life, I do not stand alone. I am extremely grateful for the support that I have gotten in response to this event, and now an explicitly pro-life art show based in Denver is already in the works!