Teddy Roosevelt and the modern Bildersturm


Archive Photo Courtesy of the Dickinson State University Theodore Roosevelt Center

MINOT, N.D. — When it comes to Catholicism, I don’t have a dog in the hunt.

I was raised a Lutheran but left the church and spirituality behind in adulthood. And some of the uglier elements of Catholicism’s legacy, from the mass graves at boarding schools to the Magdalene laundries in Ireland , are atrocious.

Yet even I can look upon great works of Catholic art, like Michelangelo’s Pieta or the Chartres Cathedral , and feel awed by a sense of what Catholicism, for all its manifest failings, aspires to be.

The Catholics, those great lovers of icons, have often been a target of iconoclasm. Violent uprisings such as the Protestant-prosecuted Bildersturm destroyed many great works of masters and left scars visible on some of Europe’s most beautiful buildings that can still be seen today.

We will never see those works with modern eyes. They’re lost to us.

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