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Religion and Politics

Ritter was raised a Roman Catholic although he was not religious in his adult life – Ritter led the life of a hedonistic artist. Some family members recount that he did frequent Catholic churches to reflect. Although his paintings were not overtly religious, many of his works did have a mystical quality. One example is "The Clown Funeral". In it, clowns are bearing one of their own, eyes closed but wearing a beautiful clown smile. Julian appears in self-portrait in the painting. Some compare this painting to El Greco's "El Entierro Del Conde de Orgaz" ("The Internment of the Count of Orgaz").

Julian had a spiritual reawakening as a result of his near-death experience on the voyage of the South Pacific. According to an article entitled "His Concept of God Underwent a Change" in an unknown publication, Julian is quoted as saying "There is a certain divine force. I know that now."

However, Julian was clear that this was not a notion of the conventional, church-bound God.

"I don't get down on my knees to pray. I am beyond that. To pray is to kneel in shame. I feel no shame before whatever that magnificent something IS out there."

Julian Ritter expounds on his spiritual reawakening

"I masturbated my soul all my life and now I have found my soul"

"Now I can hear, really hear the way a bird sings and see the way a leaf is constructed by nature. I see the beauty and the order of nature reflected in all things."

"And I see there is no difference in people - all people and all religions are equal."

"There is no difference between that which is black and that which is not"

"The only difference is that some people have expanded their souls and some have not"

"We need to communicate to the people of the world that we are all a unit of one."


Ritter was a well-read man whose favorite book was "The Story of the Human Race" by Henry Thomas (published Boston, Winchell-Thomas Company, 1935).

Ritter was conservative in his politics although he never voted or served jury duty. He felt that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt had sold the US out to the Russians. He also had no patience for Vietnam war protestors including his nephews and son. Despite being politically conservative, Julian was socially liberal - some might even call him a libertine.