Touted as "The One" during his first presidential election in 2008, after which Louis Farrakhan dubbed Barack Obama the "messiah," the Commander-in-Chief was hailed as "our lord and savior" by Jamie Foxx at the Soul Train Music Awards this week. While many think the entertainer has taken Obama adulation too far, some Christian leaders dismiss the words as show of sheer ignorance.
Just a harmless jab at humor or an intentional call for reverence of what many consider to be a modern-day icon? Not quite. Some influential conservatives have a whole different take.
And one of America's most acclaimed evangelists concurs that a lack of knowledge and discernment is Foxx's main charge.
"The Name of God and the Name of Jesus are commonly used as cuss words," Ray Comfort, founder and CEO of Living Waters Publications, pointed out to OneNewsNow. "That's clearly blasphemy. But I don't even know if I would call Jamie Foxx's words 'blasphemy.' I think it's more like 'stupidity.'"
Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights president Bill Donohue sees this lack of knowledge nothing short of amazing.
"Foxx's epiphany is startling," Donohue stated. "It just goes to show that even though Obama did not succeed in stopping the oceans from rising [as he promised to do in 2008], he did succeed in convincing Jamie Foxx, and no doubt legions of others, that God exists. Whether God can survive an ACLU lawsuit accusing him of violating church and state grounds remains to be seen."
Beck pulled the stunt not in response to the comedian-turned-rapper's words, but to symbolize the hypocrisy of how America and the media appear to tolerate irreverent "art," such as Michael D'Antuono's "Truth" painting of Obama portrayed as Jesus, with a crown of thorns on his head in a crucified position.
That painting is currently showcased in an art exhibit titled "Artists on the Stump ─ the Road to the White House 2012" at Boston's Bunker Hill Community College Art Gallery ─ four years after public outrage kept it from appearing in New York.
Ridiculing what some consider art, Beck appeared on television Tuesday pretending to be a French artist uncovering his mock masterpiece called "Obama in Pee Pee," which he jokingly said was valued at $25,000.
"I like to call this 'Flobama,'" Beck jested. "I have been working on a masterpiece. I have been working on something for quite a while. When I say quite a while, I mean all day, small little doses all day. I drank a lot of water when I did this."
Alongside this presentation on Beck's website, The Blaze, what some might consider a disclaimer appears.
"Beck decided that submerging an Obama 'bobblehead' doll in urine (later revealed to be completely fake) was necessary to convey his artistic message," the statement reads. "He of course realizes this will be controversial and that many will find his use of the Obama figurine to be disrespectful. The idea, for Beck however, is not to be untoward, but through irony, to highlight the hypocrisy of those who would shout in defiance at defacing the image of a sitting U.S. president, but not that of an image so sacred to Christianity - the world's largest religion."
The jar with the Obama figurine and yellow fluid was meant to remind people of American "artist" and photographer Andres Serrano, who passed off as art a photo of a crucifix submersed in a jar of his urine and cow blood ─ for which he received $15,000 in 1987 from the taxpayer-funded National Endowment for the Arts.
Earlier this year in February, President Obama sanctioned $155 million in taxpayer funds for the National Endowment of the Arts at the New York Museum of Art, where Serrano's "Piss Christ" was displayed.
Beck continued to use his faux piece of art to expose the hypocrisy of Muslims threatening those who insult their prophet Muhammad, as he notes on his website:
"If his image were defaced in the same way as Christ's has been so many times, the backlash could indeed be deadly and lead to the 'artist' in question pursued by U.S. law enforcement, as was the case for the creators of the YouTube video 'Innocence of Muslims.'"