Gioia is a Catholic and was the Chairman of the National Endowment of the Arts. In the follow-up question he adds this insightful comment: “By comparison, American Protestant writing has often tried to present good people doing good things. Occasionally a masterpiece such as Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead appears, but it is a harder task to realize.” Gioia is thinking about poetry and prose but I’d wager his critique can be applied to other art forms. While he’s correct to point out the theological differences between Protestants and Catholics I’m not sure Protestantism is devoid of the theology that can lead to great art. But then he does level his critique towards American protestants and we, it must be admitted, have not always made the best art.