July 5, 2007

ACLU Opposes Jesus Painting in Louisiana Courthouse

The town of Slidell, LA, is not too far from me. I can get there in an hour. Given my familiarity with the widespread Christian extremism in this area, I was not surprised by news that the ACLU is suing Slidell due to the latest local attempt to violate separation of church and state. The suit concerns a painting of Jee-zuhs in a city courthouse.

The ACLU correctly points out that hanging a painting of Jee-zuhs in a courthouse lobby is a constitutional violation. That they actually have to bring suits like this in 2007 is a testament to the level of religious idiocy we have achieved in America.

First, the ACLU asked the Slidell City Court to remove the painting voluntarily. Doing so would have avoided any legal action and certainly would have been the right thing to do.
"We did not file this lawsuit because the ACLU is anti-religion ... We did file this lawsuit because we believe this display is clearly in violation of the law," said Vincent Booth, president and acting executive director of the Louisiana ACLU chapter.
I will never understand how anyone can claim, as the Slidell folks are trying to do here, that depictions of Jee-zuhs or any other Christian symbols are in any way "inclusive." How would they feel about a solitary symbol of a non-Christian religion in their public buildings?

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