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blondekosmic15
Church vs State Battle~
January 8, 2013 at 2:11 AM

This Portrait of Jesus in an Ohio Middle School Sparks Major Church vs. State Battle

FFRF Demands Removal of Jesus Portrait From Jackson Middle School | Ohio

A replica of the photo of Jesus that is hanging in Jackson Middle School (Photo Credit: Jackson County Daily)

Atheists are demanding that an Ohio school district remove an image of Jesus Christ that is currently hanging inside of Jackson Middle School. The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) claims that the portrait is potentially alienating non-Christian students and faculty, alike, and that it shows a public endorsement of Christianity over other faiths.

Despite these allegations, District Superintendent Phil Howard is refusing to remove the image unless he receives orders from a judge or the school board. The picture of Jesus and its posting is a decades-old student gift and initiative.

Currently, it is displayed in the school’s “Hall of Honor,” among pictures of other well-known individuals. According to WKKJ, the images featured in this hallway depict “influential figures and distinguished alumni.”

“A lot of things are permissible so long as they are student-led or student-initiated,” Howard explained, noting that pupils gave the image, thus allowing for it to hang.

The portrait was given to the school by a group of students in 1947. But after decades of hanging on the school’s walls without incident, the FFRF sent a letter on Jan. 2 to demand that it be taken down, charging that it is a violation of the First Amendment.

The Jackson County Daily reports that an anonymous source likely complained about the presence of the image, sending information about its presence to the Madison, Wisconsin-based organization:

It is believed that someone locally forwarded a photo of the picture to the foundation’s Staff Attorney Rebecca S. Markert, of Madison, Wisconsin. [...]

Markert protected the identity of the person who sent the information and would not divulge any information in regards to if this person was from Jackson. She indicated the foundation is a national membership organization that receives tips about church and state violations from all over the country and that they protect the identities of those individuals who make the reports. She also implied that many of the foundation’s members themselves are somewhat secretive because they don’t want to be outed in their communities as atheists.

In the letter, FFRF attorney Markert wrote that the image turns any student or staff member who does not embrace Jesus Christ “into an outsider.”

“If a large portrait of Jesus were to hang in Jackson Middle School, an objective observer would have no doubt that it had the district’s stamp of approval,” she added (read the full letter here).

FFRF Demands Removal of Jesus Portrait From Jackson Middle School | Ohio

Despite these claims, Howard is doubling down and has no intentions of complying.

“I’m certainly not going to run down there and take the picture down because some group from Madison, Wisconsin, who knows nothing about the culture of our community or why the picture is even there, wants me to take it down,” proclaimed the superintendent.

The debate is currently at a standstill, as the FFRF awaits a response from the district.

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/church-vs-state-battle-erupts-over-middle-schools-portrait-of-jesus-christ-unconstitutional/

Replies

  • pinkcsmtlgy
    January 10, 2013 at 7:37 AM

    I say let the picture stay. It was a gift from a former student and is with other pictures. I would also say this about other religious figures that happen to be on the wall.

  • VeronicaTex
    January 10, 2013 at 8:09 AM

    As another poster said, this picture was there long before any of us was born.

    I have yet to see real documentation of any people objecting at the time of the gift being made.

    All this is years later, after the fact.

    It does not make a bit of sense to me for people in this day in age to make issue of this picture, now.

    In my humble opinion, it is not wanting religious equality at all. It is subtle bullying, trying to hedge in, where Christianity has been well-established.

    I can guarantee you, Christians are very aware of what these other Religions and Atheism represent .

    As a parent, who is Christian, I understand completely their concerns.

    May the children of these complaining parents learn to deal with it, as the rest of us have, when religion WAS removed !!!!!!

    In addition, as a Roman Catholic, in grade school I learned to be silent when the additional part was added at the end of the Our Father.  I did it respectfully.  At times I was ostrosized for being in the minority, but as you see I survived.

    Veronica-Christian



  • mikiemom
    January 10, 2013 at 8:50 AM

    These people would lose their ever loving mind if the school included a spell casting class lol

    Quoting romalove:


    Quoting jcribb16:

    And that is because the gov't stepped in to schools, in the past.  Once they did that, then they could control what would be taught.  In the process over the years, they removed God, who was included in all curriculm, in the way of daily prayer, memorizing scripture of encouragement, learning, and purpose for life, including Godly morals and convictions.  

    Once God has been erased, BY THE GOV'T, many of these morals and values, such as negative behavior, shootings, aggression, violence, and respect for authority, have increased steadily through today.  Taxes had NOTHING to do with it, and are now, also, being pushed on by people, like you, who are part of this wiping out of God's morals and values.  You refuse to look at the crux of the matter and how far the gov't has overstepped its boundaries and is furthering its agenda to do so in everything.

    Quoting LucyMom08:

     A public school is a government sponsored and supported institution...

    Are you going to address the rest of my comment?

    Quoting blondekosmic15:

     

    Quoting LucyMom08:

     If you don't want there to be a separation of church and state, churches need to start paying taxes...they want to play like everyone else, they can pay like everyone else...

    The Founding Fathers did not establish separation of church and state as some of you interpret the Constitution. They were concerned about ONE Religion governing this nation, not removing God from public places.

     


    Those things they "erased" didn't belong there in the first place.

    We have erased other things over time too that shouldn't have been.

    People can be as religious as they like.  They can learn scripture, pray, etc.

    They can't be taught it in a public school.

    What would be the point of teaching non-Christian kids scripture?  It would be a meaningless exercise and a waste of educational time that could be used for something the children need to learn.  

    It would also be a good way to divide the kids into "Christians" and "others".  Don't think for a second this wouldn't happen.

    But thankfully we have the First Amendment which protects ALL the children from having to have religion forced on them in a public school.



  • romalove
    January 10, 2013 at 8:51 AM


    Quoting mikiemom:

    These people would lose their ever loving mind if the school included a spell casting class lol

    Quoting romalove:


    Quoting jcribb16:

    And that is because the gov't stepped in to schools, in the past.  Once they did that, then they could control what would be taught.  In the process over the years, they removed God, who was included in all curriculm, in the way of daily prayer, memorizing scripture of encouragement, learning, and purpose for life, including Godly morals and convictions.  

    Once God has been erased, BY THE GOV'T, many of these morals and values, such as negative behavior, shootings, aggression, violence, and respect for authority, have increased steadily through today.  Taxes had NOTHING to do with it, and are now, also, being pushed on by people, like you, who are part of this wiping out of God's morals and values.  You refuse to look at the crux of the matter and how far the gov't has overstepped its boundaries and is furthering its agenda to do so in everything.

    Quoting LucyMom08:

     A public school is a government sponsored and supported institution...

    Are you going to address the rest of my comment?

    Quoting blondekosmic15:

     

    Quoting LucyMom08:

     If you don't want there to be a separation of church and state, churches need to start paying taxes...they want to play like everyone else, they can pay like everyone else...

    The Founding Fathers did not establish separation of church and state as some of you interpret the Constitution. They were concerned about ONE Religion governing this nation, not removing God from public places.

     


    Those things they "erased" didn't belong there in the first place.

    We have erased other things over time too that shouldn't have been.

    People can be as religious as they like.  They can learn scripture, pray, etc.

    They can't be taught it in a public school.

    What would be the point of teaching non-Christian kids scripture?  It would be a meaningless exercise and a waste of educational time that could be used for something the children need to learn.  

    It would also be a good way to divide the kids into "Christians" and "others".  Don't think for a second this wouldn't happen.

    But thankfully we have the First Amendment which protects ALL the children from having to have religion forced on them in a public school.



    Or stop school and pray towards Mecca when Muslims are supposed to.


  • gsprofval
    January 10, 2013 at 9:21 AM

    Hopefully, the community will keep the picture of Jesus since He IS an influentialy person in the community!!

  • blondekosmic15
    January 10, 2013 at 11:23 AM

     

    Quoting VeronicaTex:

    As another poster said, this picture was there long before any of us was born.

    I have yet to see real documentation of any people objecting at the time of the gift being made.

    All this is years later, after the fact.

    Exactly....

    It does not make a bit of sense to me for people in this day in age to make issue of this picture, now.

    In my humble opinion, it is not wanting religious equality at all. It is subtle bullying, trying to hedge in, where Christianity has been well-established.

    I can guarantee you, Christians are very aware of what these other Religions and Atheism represent .

    As a parent, who is Christian, I understand completely their concerns.

    May the children of these complaining parents learn to deal with it, as the rest of us have, when religion WAS removed !!!!!!

    In addition, as a Roman Catholic, in grade school I learned to be silent when the additional part was added at the end of the Our Father.  I did it respectfully.  At times I was ostrosized for being in the minority, but as you see I survived.

    Veronica-Christian

     


     

  • kimmyt0810
    January 10, 2013 at 11:31 AM

    I'm a Christian but I believe the seperation of church and state is a good thing. God and Jesus have no place in public school, if you want your kids to pray at school, fine by me but don't make everyone pray at the same time. If you want everyone to pray to the same God, send your kids to a private school that matches your beliefs. 

  • romalove
    January 10, 2013 at 11:36 AM


    Quoting kimmyt0810:

    I'm a Christian but I believe the seperation of church and state is a good thing. God and Jesus have no place in public school, if you want your kids to pray at school, fine by me but don't make everyone pray at the same time. If you want everyone to pray to the same God, send your kids to a private school that matches your beliefs. 

    Welcome to the forum.  :-)

  • kimmyt0810
    January 10, 2013 at 11:40 AM

    Thanks :)

  • VeronicaTex
    January 10, 2013 at 11:41 AM

    clappingVeronica

    Quoting blondekosmic15:

     

    Quoting VeronicaTex:

    As another poster said, this picture was there long before any of us was born.

    I have yet to see real documentation of any people objecting at the time of the gift being made.

    All this is years later, after the fact.

    Exactly....

    It does not make a bit of sense to me for people in this day in age to make issue of this picture, now.

    In my humble opinion, it is not wanting religious equality at all. It is subtle bullying, trying to hedge in, where Christianity has been well-established.

    I can guarantee you, Christians are very aware of what these other Religions and Atheism represent .

    As a parent, who is Christian, I understand completely their concerns.

    May the children of these complaining parents learn to deal with it, as the rest of us have, when religion WAS removed !!!!!!

    In addition, as a Roman Catholic, in grade school I learned to be silent when the additional part was added at the end of the Our Father.  I did it respectfully.  At times I was ostrosized for being in the minority, but as you see I survived.

    Veronica-Christian



     


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