Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Jesus painting in the courthouse lobby

When I first heard that the ACLU wanted to take down a picture of Jesus from a courthouse lobby in Louisiana, this Jesus picture flashed in mind and I thought, "Maybe it's a good thing if it's removed." But then I saw this story with a shot of the Jesus painting and I realized that it was an icon of Christ. It does have religious significance for some but for others it's actually art from the Middle Ages and so has both historic and artistic significance.

Can't we have art on the walls of our courts? Why must we remove all vestiges of our Western heritage from our shared public space? Are those who are offended by art the ones who rule what we do in our society? How we decorate our government buildings? The word "Philistine" comes to mind.

I thought that the quote from the mayor about the ACLU was pretty insightful:

The American Civil Liberties Union sued Judge Jim Lamz of Slidell, La., earlier this month for refusing to take down a portrait of Jesus Christ above the words "To know peace, obey these laws" displayed in a courthouse lobby. The judge says he believes the picture is legal, and the mayor of the city — the mayor and the town are also named in the lawsuit — called the ACLU "America's Taliban."
And it looks like they might be using an art defense:
"The clear secular purpose for this thing was to decorate the walls," Johnson said. "This is not some sort of ulterior motive to advance Christianity."
BTW, if you think that I'm posting this because I support paintings/icons of Jesus on courthouse walls, you couldn't be further from the truth and demonstrate that you don't get the "Reformed" part of the title of our blog (for help understanding, go here).

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