ACLU seeks removal of Ohio school's Jesus portrait


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  • Bored to the point of THIS! Ogden, UT
    Feb. 12, 2013 8:22 a.m.

    I can't believe we're debating this!

    What year is it again?

  • Rural sport fan DUCHESNE, UT
    Feb. 11, 2013 4:12 p.m.

    Isn't it funny that the ACLU gets into things like this, while our social studies textbooks are full of pictures of Buddha, various Hindu gods, as well as Greek and Roman gods, not to mention famous people who based their world views and actions on religious concepts, like Mother Teresa or Mahatma Ghandi; we have holidays named after Christian clergymen like Martin Luther King Jr, and other holidays based on the popular dates to celebrate Christ's birth and resurrection; our calendar is full of the names of Norse gods, and yet NO ONE is suggesting we tear down any pictures of ANY of those people...except Jesus and Santa?

    Odd, isn't it?

  • Middle of the Road Home Town USA, UT
    Feb. 11, 2013 9:15 a.m.

    This is so ironic. If the atheists don't believe in God or Jesus then why should it matter? They obviously recognize the portrait as Jesus or they wouldn't be so Rumpelstilsin about it. Jumping up and down along with the ACLU. And who is to say that is who it is since it is a painting and not an actual photograph.

    It must be a reminder of the good HE did and who he was that they are upset about. This whole ACLU idea to take it down infringes on the religious freedom of the religious,not the other way around.

    They need to put up a CTR shield and it would do the same to remind the ones who honor GOD to choose the right.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    Feb. 11, 2013 8:57 a.m.

    Not that this settles the debate in any way, but that portrait is a copy of a painting by Warner Sallman. It is estimated that there are over 500 MILLION reproductions of it in the world today. US soldiers carried the pocket version around with them in WWII. (Imagine that. Jewish soldiers seemed to somehow tolerate it.) In 1944 alone 14 million copies were made.
    Perhaps there is something to this Jesus fellow that may be worthy of study, even if just for its historical value.

  • xert Santa Monica, CA
    Feb. 11, 2013 8:48 a.m.

    Get it out of there now (BTW--I love Jesus).

  • m.g. scott LAYTON, UT
    Feb. 10, 2013 9:20 p.m.

    We all know that there are some state laws that Congress does not endorse. For instance, the recent gun laws in New York that allow for only 7 rounds per ammunition clip. That is a state law, not a federal law. And it probably will stay that way.
    Now to my point. The 1st Amendment says that "Congress" shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, nor "prohibiting" the free exercise thereof. Therefore I believe that the Congress (which is the federal law) is supposed to take a neutral position on religion and it should be up to the individule states to determine what religious expression is acceptable in the state run public schools. Much too much is made of the establishment clause and the so called seperation of church and state. It's more like seperation of church and federal government. Clearly the federal government has no interest in promoting or demoting religion. They're supposed to stay out of it. The wording of the 1st amendment makes that clear. I only wish so called scholars would bother to read it that way.

  • m.g. scott LAYTON, UT
    Feb. 10, 2013 8:50 p.m.

    There is no known picture of Jesus Christ. And as one pointed out, a blond haired blue eyed Jesus is highly unlikely, so what is all the fuss about?

  • Jack Aurora, CO
    Feb. 10, 2013 11:57 a.m.

    It's not a portrait, it's a artist rendering of what he or she envisions Jesus to look like. There are many out there and not all look the same.

  • Midwest Mom Soldiers Grove, WI
    Feb. 10, 2013 10:51 a.m.

    I am a Christian and I believe that this action was appropriate. I would not wish for school officials to be teaching my children their idea of religion. That is the province of family. I'm sure that many of my Christian brothers and sisters would call for the removal of a picture of the prophet Mohammed. One way this kind of display might work would be to have representations of many religions and promote a discussion of how religion informs our collective morality. That would be an education indeed.

  • Tolstoy salt lake, UT
    Feb. 9, 2013 1:37 p.m.

    Again bill the only way you can truly have freedom of religion is for the government to remain neutral otherwise you elevate one above all others. Having a portrait of Jesus in a school is not neutral it is showing preference for one religion over all others. Despite various attempts throughout history to distort or history and constitution we are not nor have we every been a Christian Nation. You are free to believe Jesus is your redeemer but do not force that on my children.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    Feb. 9, 2013 12:21 p.m.

    @Joe blow

    Tolstoy, You must prove it violates the constituion.

    Joe blow, Jefferson was writing to concerned baptists ministers that governemtn would interfere in religion and churches,

    The wall block government. not the people, perhaps you read the whole letter and it's context,

    not the spew the false and abrideged lestest version.

    Under Jeffeson, versions of bible were pritned by congress, misionaories were sent to the indians, even the koran was translagted and published.

    And schools were never considered the government, as they should be properly viewed they were local community concerns.

    If you believe schools are the government then that is an argument on the overreach of federal government.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Feb. 9, 2013 8:57 a.m.

    The thing is everyone brings up Thomas Jefferson and his comments. What they fail to state is the context of his words. He was speaking to a group of Baptists at the time when he mention church and state. It wasn't to take religion out of the public square that so many want to happen, basically taking the freedom away from some practicing their religion. Thomas Jefferson like many of his peers believed in Jesus Christ but not in the teachings of that day.

    The Constitution of the United States in no uncertain terms never states a separation of Church and State. It just isn't there. Where some speak of Jefferson, others speak of John Adams who basically stated that a state without religion is dummed to failure.

    No matter what your messiah, Mr. Obama, says this is still a Christian country founded on Christian Principles. It is right and only fitting that a picture of Jesus Christ is in any school in this country. Unlike Maude I would much prefer children use Christ as their role model over any other person. After all he is the redeemer and savior of the world.

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    Feb. 8, 2013 4:22 p.m.

    @ redshirt: According to many Christian religions, Jesus dislikes homosexuals and thought slavery was okay. I don't think he is a proper role model for kids. And the fact that you ask how his image promotes one religion over another and then follow it up with the statement that kids should follow his teachings - and, indeed will follow his teaching since his picture is the one being displayed, kind of shows the flaw in your reasoning while answering your question.

  • spring street SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Feb. 8, 2013 3:55 p.m.

    not answered? really? Tolstoy answered your question, and Maud answered your question and now you are dodging, care to try again?

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Feb. 8, 2013 3:45 p.m.

    To "spring street" your ilk has yet to answer the central question. How are Christian beliefs being promoted with a picture of Jesus? Are students being told to worhsip him, or that they must be Christian?

    How is a picture promotion of beliefs? If that is the case, then good luck teaching most of history becuase you will see lots of pictures of religious icons and people.

  • spring street SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Feb. 8, 2013 3:31 p.m.

    So then you really see no difference between on the one hand teaching kids that Utah was settled by LDS people and/or that Jewish people killed during the holocaust (along with many other groups for other reasons) due to their ethnicity and religion then displaying a portrait of jesus? the first two talk about the religion and/or ethnicity as they relate to history not their beliefs systems the third is about promotion of christian belief's.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Feb. 8, 2013 3:01 p.m.

    To "Maudine" slow down the selective reading. I never said that a picture of Jesus promotes one religion above another. I asked how a picture of Jesus forces you to be Christian, that is different.

    I can't tell you why they did not hang another picture there, you would have to ask the people who first hung it up.

    Lets look at it this way. Would you rather have your kids follow what Jesus taught (regardless of if you believe he is the Son of God) or rather he emulate somebody from Hollywood? Think of historical figures you would want your children to emulate, is Jesus really that bad of a person?

    If you want to look at it from a historical perspective, why are you not stopping the school from removing art that is protected under "Freedom of Speech"?

    Which is more important to you "freedom of religion" or "freedom of speech"?

    To "Tolstoy" and how do we teach Utah history, or world history without teaching about religion? By removing christian, jewish, and any other traditional religion from the public view, you have by default established secular humanism.

  • Tolstoy salt lake, UT
    Feb. 8, 2013 2:04 p.m.

    It does not force someone to be Christian but it does indicate that the school holds Christianity above all other religions which is a violation of the constitution and the key reason for the declaration of our independence and the revolutionary war.

    So you really think allowing a student to CHOOSE to leave their regular schooling (which they do for all religious beliefs not just muslims) to attend a religious activity of their CHOOSING is the same as forcing all children to face the fact that this school holds christianity above all other religions?

    I like your selective use of the one definition so lets see where it leads us then, please tell me how using your very selective definition of secular humanism that schools actually promote it?

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    Feb. 8, 2013 2:00 p.m.

    @ RedShirt: It is interesting that in one post you argue that the ACLU is discriminating against Christians and Jews and then in the next post you want to know how a picture of Jesus promotes one religious viewpoint over another.

    Here is a hint: Jews don't believe in Jesus. Oh sure, there may have been a man named Jesus who lived at some point 2000 years ago, but he was just a man - there was nothing special about him, he wasn't even a prophet.

    Why have a picture of Jesus, but not a picture of Moses? Why is there not a picture of Mohammad? Why isn't there a prominent picture of Zeus or Hercules? Why not have a picture of Socrates hanging there?

    And if this picture does not promote a specific religion or set of religious beliefs, if it truly is just a "historical" picture, then why are so many Christians upset about its pending removal? If it has no meaning, why not just take it down and get on with life?

    @ Chris B: If it is just a random man, why do you care if it is taken down?

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 8, 2013 1:39 p.m.

    I think the school should just call it a picture of a random person.

    The bitter liberals can't prove that any picture of any man ever is Jesus because no one knows what he really looked like. Just because this particular picture looks similar to what other people have drawn and called Jesus, doesn't mean the liberals can prove this is an example of shoving Christianity at anyone.

    Just call the picture a picture of a random man and tell the libs to deal with it.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Feb. 8, 2013 1:30 p.m.

    The constitution proscribes congress (and by extension, any government agency) from making any laws concerning the establishment of religion. by seeking the removal of the portrait, the ACLU is asking the court to pass a rule concerning the establishment of religion, contrary to the 1st amendment. In other words, the law should be neutral - requiring the removal of the portrait is hostile, not neutral.

    how does the display of a portrait promote a view? Should we then ban every display of Santa Claus, who knows all concerning children and can be multiple places at teh same time? those are certainly god-like traits.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Feb. 8, 2013 1:13 p.m.

    To "Tolstoy" how does a picture of Jesus promote one religious view over another? What religious liberty is being violated?

    Does having a picture of Jesus in a school force you to be christian?

    No liberty or freedom is violated by a picture of Jesus?

    We already have religion in schools, and it is handled quite nicely. See "Maryland school allows Muslim students to leave class to pray" at NBC news. They have religion in school, and nobody complains.

    Actually secularhumanism is a religion. One definition is (merrium webster) "a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith". Secular humanism is a religion, like it or not.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Feb. 8, 2013 1:02 p.m.

    Can somebody tell me where in the Constitution it states that there is a separation between church and state?"

    That phrase was used by Thomas Jefferson in describing what the constitution meant. He also used the phrase "wall of separation" when referring what the constitution meant.

    So, no, that phrase is not specifically in the constitution, but is used to clarify what Jefferson believed the constitution meant.

    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;"

    To me, this means that all religions get equal rights. If one permits Christian symbolism in a taxpayer funded place, then they must also permit Muslim or Buddhism symbolism if challenged.

    Wouldnt allowing a picture of Jesus and not Allah, constitute "respecting an establishment of religion"?

  • Tolstoy salt lake, UT
    Feb. 8, 2013 12:46 p.m.

    It does not state there is a separation but please tell me how promoting one religious view over another is not a violation of religious liberty, the reason that many stress the necessity of a separation is that any lack of it leads to an elevation of one belief or a few beliefs above all others. Please tell us how you have religion in schools without giving preference of one over the other? As has been pointed out to you before no matter how hard you try to torture the meaning secularism and humanism are not religions and protecting minority religious views from dominate groups is not discrimination.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Feb. 8, 2013 11:49 a.m.

    Can somebody tell me where in the Constitution it states that there is a separation between church and state? The closest that I can find is that we can't have a state religion.

    The bigger question is why do all of you liberals and the ACLU support athiesism or secular humanism as the religion of choice? Why do you discriminate against Christians and Jews?

  • Tolstoy salt lake, UT
    Feb. 8, 2013 9:52 a.m.

    Your ins of right it protects ALL religious beliefs (not just yours) which means we do not elevate one above all others which having a portrait of Jesus in school does.

  • 3grandslams Iowa City, IA
    Feb. 8, 2013 8:02 a.m.

    The Constitution protects religion, not hides it. If in any place this picture should be protected is in public schools that receive Federal money.

  • IMAN Marlborough, MA
    Feb. 8, 2013 7:51 a.m.

    Big proprs to the ACLU! They are concerned with ALL americans rights. Not just some.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Feb. 8, 2013 7:28 a.m.

    I am amused that in portraits, Jesus is always portrayed as a fair skinned American looking man.

    Seriously, what are the chances of that?

  • SME Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 8, 2013 7:02 a.m.

    The ACLU was founded with the intent to remove all religious expression from public life, unlike many organizations, they have remained true to their original purpose.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 7, 2013 11:12 p.m.

    I know an excellent place for a portrait of Jesus.

    In a church.

  • The Scientist Provo, UT
    Feb. 7, 2013 8:50 p.m.

    Take it down.