As it has become well-known in the past 20 or better years, there are certain groups who take it upon themselves to “protect” our rights. It sounds like a noble cause – a brave group of lawyers, preventing things like civil rights violations and ensuring alleged criminals receive counsel. However, that is the assumption of those groups, but not necessarily their actions.
In Jackson, Ohio, a portrait that had hung in a school since 1947 was recently removed, after the (Freedom From Religion Foundation) FFRF and (American Civil Liberties Union) ACLU filed lawsuits. The groups would have us believe that the portrait was heinous, and portrayed the sort of thing that should never be seen in schools. The expected backlash was so bad, the people who were supposed to have reported the portrait are still referred to as John Doe-plaintiffs by the groups. Nothing like invoking your rights while you cower, eh?
Just what was this awful, heinous, picture? What could cause so much outrage and belly aching? What could possibly be so inflammatory? Why this bust of Jesus Christ, which hung so long in the school:
Created in 1941 by a Chicago painter named Warner Sallman, the painting grew in popularity to become one of the most popular depictions of Christ of all time. The calming gaze was apparently too much for some though.
The painting was removed, even though the school was not ordered to take the work down, because the school’s insurance company refused to cover legal costs to argue the case in the courts. The superintendent then said the school could not afford the costs on their own, and ordered the picture to be taken down.
The painting actually was not owned by the school district itself. The painting belonged to a group who attended the high school, and was a Christian service group, the Hi-Y Club. The ACLU and FFRF claim the club gave the picture to the school district, but the district denied any such arrangement was ever made, and said that the painting still belonged to the group.
The main issue seems to be another attack on religion in general (Christ was a Jew, he was the basis for Catholicism and Christianity, and he is considered a prophet in Islam). There is no one religion being targeted. So, under the guise of protecting civil rights, and ensuring the continued separation of church and state (which is always a specious claim at best), the ACLU and FFRF have forced, through legal intimidation, the painting’s removal. To preserve free speech, they must quash…free speech.
Read more on the case via the Montreal Gazette.