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Church Removes Same-Sex Adam & Eve Painting After Making Waves

Church Removes Same-Sex Adam & Eve Painting After Making Waves

Church Removes Same-Sex Adam & Eve Painting After Making Waves

Did they have a good reason?


A church in Sweden made headlines across the world when it hung a painting depicting gay couples in the Garden of Eden in defiance of the common conservative refrain “It’s Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.” Now, after less than two weeks on display, the painting has been taken down.

St. Paul Lutheran Church in Malmö received the painting, called Paradise, from gay artist Elisabeth Ohlson Wallin. The artwork features two men embracing next to two women embracing, apples on display in between them. They’re surrounded by gender-nonconforming people, and what appears to be a trans woman whose lower body takes on the form of a snake watches them from above in a tree, dangling a smaller snake over the couples.



Paradise was first put up on December 1, but the church says it decided to take the painting down because they were worried about how it portrayed trans people.

“The fact that there are two homosexual couples in the artwork is completely uncontroversial,” the diocese said in a statement. “But the fact that there is a snake, which traditionally symbolizes evil, and that it turns into a trans person could lead to the interpretation that a trans person is evil or the devil.”

“The Swedish Church can absolutely not stand for that.”

If true, it sounds like a conscientious decision made to ensure nobody feels looked down upon by the church.

However, Wallin is skeptical about the reasoning given for the removal of her work.

“I think they blamed the snake as the reason to take the altarpiece down,” she told Queerty. “I think they don’t want LGBT pictures inside the holy church room. Sweden, like a lot of other countries in the world, has a lot of strong, right-wing opinions about art.”

The church’s pastor, Sofia Tunebro, has also expressed disappointment over the decision to remove the painting.

“We’ve been marrying gay couples for 10 years, and with this artwork, it was a bit like hanging up a wedding photo in the church,” she said.

The church reportedly hasn’t decided if they will hang Paradise in a less visible space yet, or leave it down altogether. But Wallin says she plans on creating a new version of the painting, one without the snake, to see if the church will hang that instead.

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