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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/

by on Jan. 8, 2013 at 2:11 AM
Replies (351-360):
blondekosmic15
by Blonde on Jan. 10, 2013 at 11:46 AM
3 moms liked this

 

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. 

Thank you for your opinion, kimmy. I am a Christian. I respectively disagree concerning separation of Church n' State. I believe when prayer was deprived in schools, God's presence and protection is denied. I do not believe students should be forced to pray to God but given time to honor their personal beliefs if they are not Christian. No one should be ridiculed for their faith or if they choose not to believe in God. When violence takes place @ schools we can't blame God when we have pushed him out. God and Jesus have the right to be everywhere including schools and gov't facilites. God created this world, everything in it, irrespective of those who do not believe in his existence~

blondekosmic15
by Blonde on Jan. 10, 2013 at 11:53 AM
3 moms liked this

 

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.

          clapping

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.

 


 

Debrowsky
by Silver Member on Jan. 10, 2013 at 12:31 PM
2 moms liked this


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.

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



This is what it's really all about.  plain and simple.

kimmyt0810
by Member on Jan. 10, 2013 at 12:40 PM
1 mom liked this

Send your kids to a private Christian school that will pray and talk about God and Jesus, we as Christians should not force people who do not believe to participate in our religious practices just like I wouldn't want someone who was Jewish or Musilm to make me participate in their religious practices. In a country free to worship whatever God you chose (or chose not to worship period), one religion should not have more influence than another.

Quoting blondekosmic15:

 

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. 

Thank you for your opinion, kimmy. I am a Christian. I respectively disagree concerning separation of Church n' State. I believe when prayer was deprived in schools, God's presence and protection is denied. I do not believe students should be forced to pray to God but given time to honor their personal beliefs if they are not Christian. No one should be ridiculed for their faith or if they choose not to believe in God. When violence takes place @ schools we can't blame God when we have pushed him out. God and Jesus have the right to be everywhere including schools and gov't facilites. God created this world, everything in it, irrespective of those who do not believe in his existence~

romalove
by SenseandSensibility on Jan. 10, 2013 at 12:41 PM

you rock

Quoting kimmyt0810:

Send your kids to a private Christian school that will pray and talk about God and Jesus, we as Christians should not force people who do not believe to participate in our religious practices just like I wouldn't want someone who was Jewish or Musilm to make me participate in their religious practices. In a country free to worship whatever God you chose (or chose not to worship period), one religion should not have more influence than another.

Quoting blondekosmic15:

 

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. 

Thank you for your opinion, kimmy. I am a Christian. I respectively disagree concerning separation of Church n' State. I believe when prayer was deprived in schools, God's presence and protection is denied. I do not believe students should be forced to pray to God but given time to honor their personal beliefs if they are not Christian. No one should be ridiculed for their faith or if they choose not to believe in God. When violence takes place @ schools we can't blame God when we have pushed him out. God and Jesus have the right to be everywhere including schools and gov't facilites. God created this world, everything in it, irrespective of those who do not believe in his existence~


blondekosmic15
by Blonde on Jan. 10, 2013 at 12:52 PM
1 mom liked this

 

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.

According to who!? Your personal opinion has no more merit than millions of Americans now and those who came before you.

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

Again your selfish opinion. Violence, immorality, breakdown of the family etc. has increased because of individuals such as yourself who deny God's existence and his proper place in our society. If you had your way roma, you would erase God from everywhere.

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

The Scriptures remind us, you do not hide your faith because Jesus will not acknowledge you on judgment day if you are shameful about God. No one is claiming Christians should parade thru the streets and corriders of gov't facilities reciting prayers but a lesson from the Founding Fathers reveal a Nation absent of God & prayer is vulnerable to her enemies domestic and foreign. You will reap what you sow, roma....

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

No one is forcing anyone to pray in school. A picture of Jesus is a threat to someone such as yourself because you desire a world completely absent of God. You pretend to be tolerant of Christians but you are the most intolerent.

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.  

Your perception is distorted because no one expects kids who are not Christian to learn Scripture. Your reasons for excluding God are based upon a false premise of Christianity being taught in public schools and other faiths being ignored. Your fears are meaningless and self-seeking.

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.

Those who misinterpret the Constitution under the guise of freedom from religion play a significant role in dividing this Nation. Pls do not allude yourself into thinking you are innocent in this respect.

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

Again, no one is forcing anyone to pray, learn Scripture, be singled out due to a picture of Jesus displayed in the school. The beautiful picture was inspired by students many yrs ago and well accepted by students and teachers for the past decades. Jesus is surrounded by other popular figures and respected individuals. If ppl espouse charity in their hearts, the picture would NOT be an issue. Those who do not believe in God would be happy for their Christian neighbor. My point earlier, selfishness and insensitivity commonplace for many.

quote>

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.


 

romalove
by SenseandSensibility on Jan. 10, 2013 at 12:54 PM


Quoting blondekosmic15:

 

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.

According to who!? Your personal opinion has no more merit than millions of Americans now and those who came before you.

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

Again your selfish opinion. Violence, immorality, breakdown of the family etc. has increased because of individuals such as yourself who deny God's existence and his proper place in our society. If you had your way roma, you would erase God from everywhere.

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

The Scriptures remind us, you do not hide your faith because Jesus will not acknowledge you on judgment day if you are shameful about God. No one is claiming Christians should parade thru the streets and corriders of gov't facilities reciting prayers but a lesson from the Founding Fathers reveal a Nation absent of God & prayer is vulnerable to her enemies domestic and foreign. You will reap what you sow, roma....

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

No one is forcing anyone to pray in school. A picture of Jesus is a threat to someone such as yourself because you desire a world completely absent of God. You pretend to be tolerant of Christians but you are the most intolerent.

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.  

Your perception is distorted because no one expects kids who are not Christian to learn Scripture. Your reasons for excluding God are based upon a false premise of Christianity being taught in public schools and other faiths being ignored. Your fears are meaningless and self-seeking.

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.

Those who misinterpret the Constitution under the guise of freedom from religion play a significant role in dividing this Nation. Pls do not allude yourself into thinking you are innocent in this respect.

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

Again, no one is forcing anyone to pray, learn Scripture, be singled out due to a picture of Jesus displayed in the school. The beautiful picture was inspired by students many yrs ago and well accepted by students and teachers for the past decades. Jesus is surrounded by other popular figures and respected individuals. If ppl espouse charity in their hearts, the picture would NOT be an issue. Those who do not believe in God would be happy for their Christian neighbor. My point earlier, selfishness and insensitivity commonplace for many.

quote>

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.


 

You have convinced me that you are selfish and intolerant.

On that basis, I am not engaging you on this topic anymore.

You and your "millions" can have a nice day.

itsmesteph11
by on Jan. 10, 2013 at 12:56 PM

 Whiners

VeronicaTex
by on Jan. 10, 2013 at 1:21 PM
2 moms liked this

By the same token I as a Christian could gently suggest that complaining parents send their children to other places than even the Public School.

This seems more to be a parental concern for their own wants, rather than seeking that a child blend in the best they can with an all ready established system, whether or not you agree with it.

Furthermore, about harrassing and bullying:  How would the other students know your children are not Christian, if it weren't for you and possibly your children proclaiming it?

While I absolutely am against harassing or bullying of any kind, I would believe that in this case "Silence is Golden".  

My child was a Roman Catholic in a Montessori school.  Even though, working with her (Down Syndrome, non-verbal) where my Religion was very much part of her life and how I related to her in all ways:  I was forbidden to talk about it on the campus.

Can you imagine that?  

It worked out later, in that I withdrew her because she was getting aggressive and she was getting out of hand,  out of my sight and possible intervention.  I had NO input whatsoever.

It worked out perfectly.  

I have her with me 24/7.  

I am able to raise her as a Roman Catholic, be a Roman Catholic mother to her all day long, and  am "lifeskilling her" as I can as a former teacher, using Behavior Modification.

Why swim upstream against the current?  

Why not compromise, or remove your children?

Live in peace, your way!!!!

Veronica

Quoting kimmyt0810:

Send your kids to a private Christian school that will pray and talk about God and Jesus, we as Christians should not force people who do not believe to participate in our religious practices just like I wouldn't want someone who was Jewish or Musilm to make me participate in their religious practices. In a country free to worship whatever God you chose (or chose not to worship period), one religion should not have more influence than another.

Quoting blondekosmic15:

 

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. 

Thank you for your opinion, kimmy. I am a Christian. I respectively disagree concerning separation of Church n' State. I believe when prayer was deprived in schools, God's presence and protection is denied. I do not believe students should be forced to pray to God but given time to honor their personal beliefs if they are not Christian. No one should be ridiculed for their faith or if they choose not to believe in God. When violence takes place @ schools we can't blame God when we have pushed him out. God and Jesus have the right to be everywhere including schools and gov't facilites. God created this world, everything in it, irrespective of those who do not believe in his existence~


blondekosmic15
by Blonde on Jan. 10, 2013 at 1:23 PM
2 moms liked this

 

Quoting kimmyt0810:

Send your kids to a private Christian school that will pray and talk about God and Jesus, we as Christians should not force people who do not believe to participate in our religious practices just like I wouldn't want someone who was Jewish or Musilm to make me participate in their religious practices. In a country free to worship whatever God you chose (or chose not to worship period), one religion should not have more influence than another.

Pls enlighten me which public schools are FORCING all students to comply with religious doctrine and prayer? Your perception of Chritianity and Christians is very sad, kimmy. What practices are being initiated @ public schools that you feel are infringing on the Constitutional rights of all students? I was baptized a Christian more than 50 yrs ago. I attended public schools the majority of my academic yrs. Only in recent generations are some individuals resentful of God being mentioned in school. True tolerance offers respect to those who may not share your beliefs without compromising your own beliefs and love for God. The absence of God opens the door for his enemy. Be prepared if this is the path you choose. Where does God say, kick me out to appease the opinions of others? I am not suggesting a time solely for Christian prayer. Inclusiveness provides time for everyone to share their respective beliefs. Jesus invites us. He never forces us to love Him. Christians who imitate Christ invite....we do not force or ostracize those who do not believe. I am amazed @ those who think differing cultures and religions are a new phenomena in America, in our public schools. Many yrs ago students and adults were not resentful of Christianity and God even when they embraced atheism or practiced a different religion. Signs of the times...this is biblical.

Quoting blondekosmic15:

 

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. 

Thank you for your opinion, kimmy. I am a Christian. I respectively disagree concerning separation of Church n' State. I believe when prayer was deprived in schools, God's presence and protection is denied. I do not believe students should be forced to pray to God but given time to honor their personal beliefs if they are not Christian. No one should be ridiculed for their faith or if they choose not to believe in God. When violence takes place @ schools we can't blame God when we have pushed him out. God and Jesus have the right to be everywhere including schools and gov't facilites. God created this world, everything in it, irrespective of those who do not believe in his existence~

 

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