National Park “Art” and Judgment

It’s not art, it’s vandalism. It’s not chalk, it’s paint.


The buzz around the internet and social media today, aside from ebola, the shooting in Canada and ISIS…an artist who has defaced national parks in the name of art. And apparently she’s left a trail of this “art” in several states. National Parks press release.

“According to her Instagram feed, Nocket has been traveling quite extensively – she has photos tagged from all over the West, including stops in Carrizo Plain National Monument, Sequoia, Bryce, Zion, Grand Staircase-Escalante, Grand Canyon, Canyonlands, Rocky Mountain and Joshua Tree National ParksSadly there are those who choose to deface and disrespect God’s creation and justify it by calling it art. Good news is the National Park Service knows who it is and is investigating the matter.” – Modern Hiker 

Of course throughout social media everyone has their comments and opinions, and many are crude and very judgmental. In no way am I justifying her actions. It’s a federal offense to deface federal land or property and she needs to be held accountable. But all the social media buzz about Casey Nocket, the alleged artist, has me reflecting this evening on Jesus and the reason He came. I’m reminded because of his grace and forgiveness I’m not judged harshly but instead loved and forgiven. I’m reminded that true repentance brings about freedom from guilt and shame.

2 Corinthians 7:10 – Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.

Since the news of Casey Nocket’s “art” in National Parks she has removed most of her social media platforms. Yes, as some have implied, she could be trying to hide her crime since she did post her artwork on her Instagram account. But without knowing her I’m not going to pass that judgment. Maybe, just maybe she’s removed all her social media accounts, even her Facebook, out of shame and guilt. Maybe she’s regretting her actions and has realized what she’s done.

Sure, you may not like what she did. I don’t like it either and just the other day while hiking a local state park I saw graffiti plastered all over a well known look out point. But whatever our thoughts and feelings are regarding her actions we need to be careful how we judge others, and social media is NOT the best place to determine who someone is or their action even if they are wrong.

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? … Matthew 7

2 thoughts on “National Park “Art” and Judgment

  1. I think you may be missing an important point. She is not stupid for posting her vandalism pics online. In today’s mediated reality, the posting of an act online is as important as the act itself. They are one and the same. I would bet that she wouldn’t have vandalized the parks had there not been the opportunity to brag about it online. Narcissus did not love himself or anyone else. A Narcissist is one who is FIXATED on their own IMAGE. What one does is not as important as how one LOOKS while they’re doing it. How this girl reacts to the flood of negative press she is getting (put #caseynocket into twitter) will define whether she is a narcissist or a borderline psychopath. Now we here in the USA LOOOOOVE our psychopaths: most CEOs, business professionals, artists, and tabloid fixtures display at least some elements of psychopathic personalities. I’d like to believe that this girl – and that’s what she is – who is 21 going on 12 and who already has a criminal record for possession – knows that she did wrong and will come clean. But in our YOLO society, where psychopathy is encouraged, she will no doubt get more emotional validation by taking the psychopath’s route. Emotionally immature people get a kick out of doing “bad” things, and they get addicted to it and wind up behind bars. I hope I’m wrong and she’ll have the good sense to give herself up and be genuinely remorseful.

    1. I hear what you’re saying and I’m not implying she’s stupid for posting what she did. I’m sure it was done intentional and for a reason, as misguided her reasons would be. The point of this post is for us to ask ourselves; “do we have a right to judge her and to attack her with such cruel language via social media. What she did and then chose to post for the world to see was wrong, but are others just as wrong for posting for the world to see their colorful language to describe her, her actions and what should happen to her? Sin is sin, no matter what, and how we respond to sin is important. If she’s truly sorry for what she did I pray her heart is guided in the direction of repentance and then forgiveness. But let me go back to what the point of this post is about, it’s not necessarily about her, but rather us and how we respond to sin no matter who it is. We are a very judgmental society and social media has made it easier to judge and put others down without knowing them and all from a simple key stroke and by hiding behind a keyboard. Before we choose to pick at someones faults so bluntly on social media, we need to take a look at ourselves first.

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