A Smithsonian exhibit that includes a video of ants crawling on a crucified Christ has triggered an unholy backlash -- with the head of the Catholic League fuming that the artwork is "hate speech."
"A Fire in My Belly," by the late artist David Wojnarowicz, is included in "Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture," a show at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery to run through Feb. 13.
Catholic League President Bill Donohue said the four-minute video "was designed to insult and inflict injury and assault the sensibilities of Christians," and he blasted the museum's federal funding.
"If the government can't fund the promotion of religion, it shouldn't be in the business of funding an animus to religion," he said. Smithsonian spokeswoman Linda St. Thomas declined to comment "on people's opinions on art," but noted that the museum, although 55 percent funded by Congress, raises its own money for exhibits.