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Half naked student dressed as the pope hands out condoms at CMU

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - Students at Carnegie Mellon say it's freedom of expression, but the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh calls it inappropriate and disrespectful.

At an annual art school parade, a female student dressed up as the pope, and was naked from the waist down while she passed out condoms.

Even more, witnesses say the woman had shaved her pubic hair in the shape of a cross.

"I think we all know that when we're growing up we do stupid things but to cross over the line in this instance shouldn't happen with anybody," Bishop David Zubik said.

CMU issued a statement, saying "We are continuing our review of the incident. If our community standards or laws were violated, we will take appropriate action."

Some Carnegie Mellon students we talked with saw no need for discipline.

"It's all in good fun and it's not meant to harm anyone," Ivy Kristov told KDKA's Andy Sheehan.

Bishop Zubik says the incident must be addressed.

"What I do want to have happen is for this person to learn an important lesson," Zubik said.

The University encourages individual thought and artistic expression but the Diocese believes this student not only crossed the line, but trampled all over it.

They are demanding some action.

And a national Catholic organization is now calling for the student's immediate suspension and other sanctions.

She dressed up as the pope from the waist up and paraded naked from the waist down - her public hair shaved in the shape of a cross.

Tuesday morning on NewsRadio 1020 KDKA Bishop David Zubik continued to express outrage.

"Certainly," Zubik said, "because even in terms of the symbol of the cross, it is the most sacred symbol for all Christians."

CMU reiterated its statement that the university is reviewing the incident and will take action if, "our community standards or laws were violated."

But the National Catholic League called for an immediate suspension of the student, noting that CMU recently suspended fraternity members for taking sexual pictures inside the frat and emailing them to other members.

"If CMU tolerates this incident, invoking no sanctions whatsoever, then it is opening a door it may regret," the organization said in a statement.

"What if instead of shaved pubic hair in the shape of a cross, a student chooses to depict a swastika?

CMU's decision not to suspend this female student, who publicly ridiculed Catholics and violated the local ordinance on public nudity, while invoking sanctions against the frat boys for offensive behavior behind closed doors, is legally problematic and morally indefensible."

"I'm an atheist, I thought it was funny to be honest," said student Daniel Kim.

Meanwhile, students KDKA's Andy Sheehan talked to Tuesday continued to brush off the incident as artistic freedom and fun, despite the shocking nature of the display.

What action the university will take is unclear.

What is clear is that the drumbeat for CMU to do something is getting louder.

by on May. 5, 2013 at 2:16 PM
Replies (41-50):
BellaByrdie
by Member on May. 5, 2013 at 9:58 PM

Gross.  

But Sorry but if Westboro has every right to do every disgusting thing it does this girls has the right to freedom of speech. 

Although had she been smart she should have worn a Nude Thong.  Then no one could Say OMG we her bush!!!!  And just glued a rhinestone cross to her crotch.  She would have looked nude at first glance.  wouldn't be violating any public ordinances AND she still would have gotten their panties in a bunch. 

Lizardannie1966
by on May. 5, 2013 at 10:07 PM
4 moms liked this

What the hell have we become?

It IS very offensive, disrespectful and inappropriate.

Because of her Constitutional rights, she gets to make a fool out of herself.

A story to tell the kiddies some day............. :/

doomshroom
by Bronze Member on May. 5, 2013 at 10:12 PM
lol that's hilarious.

its ridiculous that they want her to be punished for being blasphemous and disrespectful. I'm pretty sure that would be trampling all over her first amendment rights, all because someone was offended.
secondboy2012
by Member on May. 5, 2013 at 10:18 PM
It is not a catholic scool.

Quoting jllcali:

Is CMU a catholic college? If it's not, then the catholic church has no say in how the university handles this. CMU stated they are investigating.



I think the stunt was stupid and tacky, but the westboro baptist church is more detrimental to christianity in general than a kid's stupid and tacky stunt. Get those fuckers to STFU, then go after stupid college kids.
fireangel5
by Gold Member on May. 5, 2013 at 10:18 PM
2 moms liked this

Classy. Yes being disrepectful and mocking a group you don't like is all in good fun. Keep that in mind when someday its a group you belong to.

secondboy2012
by Member on May. 5, 2013 at 10:20 PM
It's only news because someone was offended. It happened days before it was ever in the local news ect. I believe she was encouraged by her professor to go ahead with this.
stacymomof2
by Ruby Member on May. 5, 2013 at 10:30 PM

I remember that story, I made a post about it.  The judge threw out the case because there was no evidence of the assault, there were words exchanged on tape and thats it.  The judge did give the guy a lecture, though, but it's not like the guy dressed up as zombie Mohammed had any legal consequence.

So really there is no legal consequences to any of the three things.

If this girl was naked from the waist down she should get a public indecency charge.  Otherwise it's free speech, no matter how offensive.

Quoting krysstizzle:


Quoting 12hellokitty:



Quoting krysstizzle:


Quoting 12hellokitty:



Quoting Clairwil:

Quoting SRUsarahSC:

I adore Bishop Zubik and he is 100 percent right. Had the student done this while wearing a hijab she would have been punished. 

I've seen that sort of assertion a lot.

Why do Christians keep claiming "If you'd done XXX against a Muslim figure rather than a Christian figure, the legal repercussions would have been worse" ?   What's the evidence?

Just several months ago Obama and several members of his administration publicly condemned a youtube trailer as disrespecting Islam. 

A few months before that a judge lectured an Atheist for dressing up as Zombie Muhammad which lead to confusing a Muslim man who thought it was within his right to punch the Atheist for blasphemy. 

Another time was when pieces of bacon were found on a field where Muslims were expected to gather, it was treated as a hate crime only to later be discovered animals had got into some trash. 


So...what were the legal ramifications, then?

The legal ramifications for the 1st one resulted in world wide violent protests calling for anyone who blasphemy's Islam to be beheaded.

The second one resulted in a man being assaulted by a Muslim who received no punishment.

The thrid resulted in a dot on CAIRS hate crimes map. 


The only one that can possibly be considered a legal ramification is, perhaps, the second one. So one example, kind of? Pretty intense. 



stacymomof2
by Ruby Member on May. 5, 2013 at 10:35 PM

Ah.  Well then unless the school has a rule about it then likely she hasn't even broken any ordinance.

Quoting cjsbmom:

No, Carnegie Mellon is not a Catholic college. 

There is some concern that she didn't really violate a public nudity ordinance because this happened on private property. She wasn't marching in a parade. She was on private property participating in an arts event. 

Quoting jllcali:

Is CMU a catholic college? If it's not, then the catholic church has no say in how the university handles this. CMU stated they are investigating.

I think the stunt was stupid and tacky, but the westboro baptist church is more detrimental to christianity in general than a kid's stupid and tacky stunt. Get those fuckers to STFU, then go after stupid college kids.



KreatingMe
by Bronze Member on May. 5, 2013 at 10:49 PM

Almost more than anything, I'm bothered that people think this is art. I can see possible symbolism to the cross in her bush, sex scandals in the church, women can't be priests, the virgin Mary. Who knows what her motivation, it may not have been along those lines at all, she may not have thought that far into it.  Whatever her reasons,I don't think it's particularly creative, imaginative or even clever. 

Clairwil
by Ruby Member on May. 6, 2013 at 1:49 AM
Quoting SRUsarahSC:
Quoting Clairwil:
Quoting SRUsarahSC:

I adore Bishop Zubik and he is 100 percent right. Had the student done this while wearing a hijab she would have been punished. 

I've seen that sort of assertion a lot.

Why do Christians keep claiming "If you'd done XXX against a Muslim figure rather than a Christian figure, the legal repercussions would have been worse" ?   What's the evidence?

The catholic religion is consistently mocked in the media and it's considered all in good fun.  Every other religion is given more respect. the hijab was the first example I thought of but I could have just as easily used a yamaka (spelling?) as an example....but women of Jewish faith don't use those and I don't know how to spell it.  The bishop also provided a good example of her shaving a swatiska rather than a cross. I was not meaning to slight muslims.

You truly think the Catholics have it harder than the Jews and Muslims?

Religious bias

Of the 1,480 victims of an anti-religious hate crime:

  • 63.2 percent were victims of an offender’s anti-Jewish bias.
  • 12.5 percent were victims of an anti-Islamic bias.
  • 5.7 percent were victims of an anti-Catholic bias.

(source: Hate crime statistics in the USA in 2011, from the FBI)


Now compare that to the numbers living in the USA:



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