Kansas town laments forced removal of Jesus picture from school

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A picture of Jesus removed from a Kansas town of Chanute school. Photo courtesy KSNT News.

A picture of Jesus removed from a Kansas town of Chanute school. Photo courtesy KSNT News.

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(Reuters) Local churches and other groups are offering to house the portrait, which had hung in the school since at least the 1950s, and community leaders have been working to defuse anger over its removal.

  • Perry

    That’s not Jesus! It’s a painting of Kenny Loggins, and his music just reeks! No wonder the picture got pulled. It’d be nasal torture for kids to have it hanging there.

  • Jack

    “This country was founded on Christian beliefs. In God we trust. Now people want to come in and change all that. If they don’t like it let them leave.”

    Yep, Christian beliefs such as the goodness of slavery, white supremacy, the subordination of women, the exaltation of white christian men above all others regardless of behavior, etc…
    It’s over, Lynch. You aren’t getting your butt kissed anymore simply because your Jesus gave you a narcissistic personality. Deal with it.

  • The presence of the portrait is indefensible. Those people who are offended by its removal seem wed to the incorrect notion that we are a Christian nation. From that theme follows the expectation of Christian supremacy as public policy.

  • Richard Rush

    Instead of the townspeople channeling their efforts into anger, it would be more productive to work toward uncovering some legitimate evidence that God literally exists and that he produced a son. Otherwise, it’s all a myth. Our public schools should not be indoctrinating students with myths, and pretending they are literally true.

  • Tom Downs

    The Christian nation stuff came in with the Eisenhower administration. The In God We Trust motto was adopted at that time. It was an unintended consequence of the right-wing business community’s attempt to mobilize support through the churches for undoing the New Deal. They failed, but the politicians and social conservatives ever since have been using it to support their various agendas. Check out Kruse’s book One Nation Under God.

  • Richard2

    Before the American Revolution fewer than 20% of the colonists belonged to any church. And during the Revolution the vast majority of clergymen denounced the revolutionaries as enemies of God and King George, and prayed for the success of the royal armies. So if our Constitution does not mention God, it is probably because churches were then seen as the enemy.

  • Jon

    How could anyone think that a flagrant endorsement of a religion has any place in a public school? Oh, snap, I forgot about Christian privilege……..

  • Larry

    Actually as an argument taken seriously by those in positions of influence date much later than that.

    “The US is a Christian Nation therefore the 1st Amendment is really null and void” argument is fairly recent and the work of Dominionists in the early 90’s. Their chief nuncio being David Barton.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Barton_%28author%29

    Barton’s fictional take on American History is so ingrained in Evangelical rhetoric that many quote him without realizing it.

    http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/wallbuilders

  • Larry

    If the drafters of the Constitution wanted a direct and unambiguous reference to God and Christianity in it, they would have written one. They didn’t. The Constitution favors no religion and embraces them all. Bible thumpers like to pretend the Establishment Clause does not exist.

    That being said, the only valid argument for the portrait is coming from Perry. Its not really Jesus, its Kenny Loggins. DANGER ZONE!!!!

  • John

    The country was founded on a declaration of Independence and achieved a lasting form of government in the Constitution. A number of the founding fathers weighed in against the idea of founding on religion as at the time that meant “divine right of kings” to rule. What is being held up here is probably more sentimentality for kitsch Christian art … but with overtones in defense of that sentimentality of ugly privilege and entitlement. I don’t scorn those who look at this English-looking picture and think it is Jesus but it isn’t. Jesus was a Jewish man of a middle-eastern genetic origin. Get over it. If you want an American Jesus, go with the Mormon Jesus. He is a fair white-skinned yet rugged frontiersman of European extraction as is fitting for a Jesus of American invention.

  • Larry

    “The country was founded on a declaration of Independence and achieved a lasting form of government in the Constitution.”

    That is a completely nonsensical statement. One usually adopted by people who frequently lie about American History and the 1st Amendment. The Declaration of Independence carries no legal authority.
    http://www.salon.com/2015/08/23/meet_the_tea_partys_evangelical_quack_david_barton_is_glenn_becks_favorite_historian/

    The only thing you can say about religion and the founding fathers is that they set up a system designed not to show favoritism to any given faith, as a way to protect the religious practice of all.

    The Constitution as its name implies is what our government bases itself upon. It forms the basis of our laws and governmental actions. What is being held up here is a blatant public endorsement of religion in violation of Constitutional principles and law. It has no place in a public school. Your God doesn’t require tax dollars.

  • Shawnie5

    “Before the American Revolution fewer than 20% of the colonists belonged to any church. ”

    This much of your comment is quite true, for early America’s religious landscape reflected the sorry European one of apathetic and untaught common people on the one hand and clergy/bureaucrats snoozing at their posts on the other. The sharp and steady increase in religious practice thereafter is the reason why James Madison observed with satisfaction that “it is impossible to deny that Religion prevails with more zeal, and a more exemplary priesthood than it ever did when established and patronised by Public authority.” –Madison to Edward LIvingston, 1822.

  • Dominic

    Silly, stupid world. Just leave the picture up and classify it as an historical figure, the man who changed world history more than any other being. I wonder just how this portrait disturbs anybody. Are we replacing it with Obama’s face? Yuck.

  • Fran

    I am a Christian and I am not offended at all by the removal of the picture. No one today really knows what Jesus looked like when he was on earth; just those who were living then and saw him did.

    Jesus was a spirit person with his Father, God, before everything else was created (Colossians 1:13-16). He lowered himself from that position and became a lowly man (Hebrews 2:7-9). After Jesus’ death and resurrection, he again became a spirit person (1 Corinthians 15:45) in the heavens. His Father, God, is a Spirit (John 4:24), and so are angels spirit persons (Hebrews 1:13, 14).

    My point is: I don’t need a picture of how Jesus might have looked, since that is no longer applicable and not his most important aspect.

    The important thing NOW is exercising faith in Jesus as the son of God, Messiah, King of God’s kingdom and ransom sacrifice, so mankind may soon live forever on earth (John 17:3; John 3:16; 1Timothy 2:5,6). A picture is not necessary for that, but faith is.

  • Bob

    Fran, you should have said “excising” faith, not “exercising” it. Fixed that for you.

    Really, the whole Jesus-sacrifice story from your mythbook that you keep quote-dumping on us from, the foundation of your crazy superstition, is a steaming pile of bull back end output. How is it again that your omnipotent being couldn’t do his saving bit without the whole silly Jesus hoopla? And how was Jesus’ death a “sacrifice”, when an omnipotent being could just pop up a replacement son any time with less than a snap of his fingers? Pretty pathetic “god” that you’ve made for yourself there.

    Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
    Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
    http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

  • Bob

    It is a sad, pathetic story for humanity when religion prevails over reason, especially when the religion is one such as Christianity that is so obviously man-made and false in its tenets regarding divine beings and their claimed actions.

    Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
    Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
    http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

  • Dominic

    Jesus is also a historical figure, probably the most influential in changing mankind. So designate this portrait as an historical depiction of Jesus of Nazareth. Where’s the argument. People are just being malicious and hateful. Hope they don’t replace the painting with Obama. That’s the ultimate sacrilege.

  • Ted

    It’s funny how atheists think the allegorical and mythological nature of scripture is an argument against religious faith. Thinking Christians have accepted scripture as allegory since the earliest days of the church.

    Biblical Fundamentalism is an invention of very recent centuries, has no true roots in the church, and is beginning to die away, because are now seeing for the hateful lies it breeds.

  • Larry

    Its much more honest to say Jesus was probably a historical figure. But there is no way to confirm one way or another.

    There is little chance that credible evidence one way or the other would exist. Jesus was not a major figure in the Judean landscape until venerated postmortem.

    He would not have garnered much mention among the Roman occupiers. Mundane records of antiquity are few and far between outside of major metropolitan areas of the ancient world. Judea was more or less a curious backwater between Roman and Persian Empires.

    That being said, THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR THE PICTURE IN A PUBLIC SCHOOL WHATSOEVER.

  • Larry

    Why do you hate the 1st Amendment so much Dominic?

    Public schools are not in the business of supporting or endorsing any given religion.

    “I wonder just how this portrait disturbs anybody.”

    Because it tells the public that only Christians are welcomed at the school.

    Now I know many people of a theocratic bent don’t mind such a message, but it chafes with our laws and notions of religious freedom to have government engage in such sectarian cheer leading.

  • Fran

    Suzy,

    It is definitely an issue of having faith or the lack thereof! People need literal proof of some things before they will “believe” them. Sometimes even that won’t work, since not all eyewitnesses of Jesus’ miracles were moved to accept his teachings (John 12:9-11).

    Nothing I can say here can probably convince you about Jesus’ existence or his purpose for mankind.

    All I can say is that everyone on earth will soon be provided with that “proof” when God’s kingdom intervenes in man’s affairs through the “great tribulation” (Matthew 24:21) and “Armageddon” that follows (Revelation 16:14-16). The Bible foretold many would scoff that these and other things would actually take place (2Peter 3:1-10).

    At that time, you have the free will to make a “choice” as to whether you believe or not.

  • Ted

    That’s all just cult bullshi​t that you swallowed whole without checking on it Fran. You idio​t.

    There’s not a single detailed prediction in any of the bible parts you mention with a detailed date in the quote. Come on, get serious. Any con artist or fool can claim generally that bad things will come to pass. That isn’t proof of any god. We can toss out all your claims and your predictions too if all you are going to do is recite the JW party lines to us. Yes, you are that obvious.

    You must like the taste of cra​p or something to take in and put out so much of it so often.

  • Beegowl

    That makes me laugh. The whole thing would be hilarious if there weren’t crazy people willing to kill you in the name of their particular god. Reasonable citizens are trapped between the mouth frothing religionists and the scaredycat gun toters of America, and sometimes they’re the same bunch, which is even more frightening. History demonstrates how well religious nationalism plays out.

  • Dominic

    Oh no, Jesus did exist on the earth in the 1st Century. His Church cannot be avoided in studying Western Civilization. So He is a substantial person of history….not just a religious icon.
    Do we remove Martin Luther? Henry VIII? William Penn? Pilgrims? Constantine? All are connected in some way with religion, good or bad, with a root cause in the existence of Jesus. The portrait has been public for 60 years. Who is in danger? It is a “civil liberties” farce that the community should spit on.

  • larry

    Because you are a member of religion which has faith in such things, not because there is compelling objectively credible evidence to that effect.

    Whether Jesus existed or not is a matter of conjecture. Whether a religion formed around belief in him is not. Christians exist, its a given. But religions are not founded on things like facts or evidence. They are based on faith, belief in the absence of rational objective proof.

    There is nothing sillier than the apologia and lousy arguments by those who want to deny their faith. Those who make nonsensical arguments that their religious belief is based on objective criteria and rational appeals. It usually betrays a lack of trust and understanding as to what constitutes rational objective proof. It is far more honest to admit you believe because you have faith.

  • Robbie

    “This country was founded on Christian beliefs. In God we trust. Now people want to come in and change all that. If they don’t like it let them leave.”

    Last time I checked, “In God We Trust” was added in 1956. I’m pretty sure that’s way after when our country was founded!

  • Susan

    It’s a horrible picture. I didn’t realize that Jesus was Northern European.

    These people need a history lesson and a lesson on the Constitution. Most of the founders were Deists. The constitution forbids the establishment of a state religion.

  • Diogenes

    The bulk of the remarks here reflect a personal philosophical bias, not serious scholarship. Many of the arguments are merely popular assertions rather than facts. Given that this is a Religious Forum, it should astonish me that so many people who comment here are utterly irreligious, but it doesn’t. Whether you trust the authorship of the Bible or not, it is recorded in the Gospels, that the day would come when those hostile to Christ and His Church would think themselves in service to God by persecuting His people. Outright persecution has not occurred yet in this country, but the hate filled remarks offered here suggest it is not long in coming. It is but a short step from the rational to the irrational, I cite France’s Reign of Terror as evidence.

  • Dominic

    You lost me at “conjecture”.

  • Dominic

    And I didn’t realize Cleopatra looked like Elizabeth Taylor.
    This innocent picture has not caused the country to institute a state region. Grow up.

  • Susan

    It reflects an unwillingness to recognize Jesus was a Middle Eastern Jew. I don’t think we’re close to establishing a state religion, one should not take the constitution for granted.

  • Matt

    It takes a lot more faith not to disbelieve in Jesus Christ than to believe in Jesus Christ. The evidence of God is all around us each and every day. The evidence for Jesus is confirmed. He did exist. His miracles were real. His death confirmed! His resurrection documented. The Bibke is the breasted history book ever written. It’s unfortunate that Christians in the past five Christianity a bad name and have caused many to not want to give it the consideration it merits.

  • Matt

    I should have proofread my comment. My phone changed a few of the words and I was unaware. The first correction should be that it takes more faith not to believe in Jesus Christ than to believe in Jesus Christ. The second correction is that the Bible is the greatest history book ever written. And the last correction would be that it is unfortunate that Christians in the past have given Christianity a bad name. That is undeniable.

  • Larry

    There is nothing innocent about it. It sends a blatant message that those who are not Christians are unwelcome at the school. It is Christians marking their territory like dogs.

  • Larry

    You have no defense for what is so clearly a violation of the law here. If you want to send kids to a school with pictures of Jesus abound, pony up the dough and go to a Christian private school. A public school, dependent on public funds is not a place for the endorsement of any faith. You are making bad excuses for what is clearly Christians behaving badly.

  • Ryan

    You’ve very likely been told these things by adults in your life since you were young, but you should skeptically re-evaluate them. The world looks just as we would expect if there were NOT a benevolent creator. Walk through the burn unit of a children’s hospital and then try out your claim that evidence of God is all around. The evidence for Jesus is not confirmed; at best, his existence as a human is debatable. There is no reason to think his miracles, resurrection, or godliness are anything more than fairy tales. But don’t take my word for it; research the claims that you take for granted and you will find they are just propaganda. All religions operate this way.

  • Garson Abuita

    You can’t just “re-classify” it as a historical picture, any more than you could all the courthouse displays of the text of the Ten Commandments put up since the late 90s. These were all placed to demonstrate Christian hegemony, not history. By the way, no one’s suggesting putting up Obama’s picture except you (twice). Take your ODS pills and calm down.

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  • David

    Richard, you wouldn’t be referring to the myth of Evolution, would you? You know, the one whose adherents claim to “believe” that we all emerged from a “primordial soup,” where single-celled micro-organisms simply morphed into more complex creatures without evidence of the intermediate steps in the fossil records?

    Talk about hanging your whole life around unprovable dogma!

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  • “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father but by Me.”…Jesus Christ

  • Larry

    David, are you trying to demonstrate to people you are ignorant or trying to demonstrate you are a liar?

    Evolution is not a belief, it is a scientific theory. A framework for interpreting research which holds up to methodological and evidentiary scrutiny. Nobody has to believe in evolution, it is accepted on the basis of evidence presented.

    Your knowledge of it appears to be woefully lacking, therefore your comments demonstrate ignorance (willful) on your part.

    The “faith based” alternative to evolution, Creationism is nothing but creative dishonesty. Lying for the Lord. Creationists spin the lie that their religious belief is somehow objectively credible and based on evidence. Of course its untrue. They believe based on faith. No creationist could be dissuaded of their belief based on evidence, therefore any claims of proof of said believe is a load of flaming horsecrap.

    So which is it for you, David, ignorant or liar?

  • Larry

    David, are you trying to demonstrate to people you are ignorant or trying to demonstrate you are a dishonest?

    Evolution is not a belief, it is a scientific theory. A framework for interpreting research which holds up to methodological and evidentiary scrutiny. Nobody has to believe in evolution, it is accepted on the basis of evidence presented.

    Your knowledge of it appears to be woefully lacking, therefore your comments demonstrate ignorance (willful) on your part.

    The “faith based” alternative to evolution, Creationism is nothing but creative dishonesty. Lying for the Lord. Creationists spin the lie that their religious belief is somehow objectively credible and based on evidence. Of course its untrue. They believe based on faith. No creationist could be dissuaded of their belief based on evidence, therefore any claims of proof of said believe is a load of flaming horsecrap.

    So which is it for you, David, ignorant or dishonest?

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  • dmj76

    Larry

    This is taking place in Kansas. How welcome do you think unbelievers are there?

  • Paul

    You are right. The people of the town who grew up in the school with their picture have a right to keep it there. Tell the officials to put it back up or pull your children and home school them. The citizens have the right to keep their monuments and symbols if they want them..

  • Paul

    However, teaching Islam in public schools seems to be o.k. with the fools who reject the Bible. Will be a sad day when Islam takes over and the same fools are beheaded….

  • Paul

    Richard2 Can you proved facts to your claim..Most of the Revolutionists were led by pastors who fought for independence from the Church of England…Proof is needed for you opinion…

  • Paul

    Just another example of people who are so wrapped up in themselves as to think they are God and put down Christianity because it calls them sinners and tells them they need a Savoir. They want to destroy anything that reminds them of their sinful nature and try to spread their ignorance of God to others…

  • Larry

    So violations of the law stay if they have been unchallenged for years?
    Tradition is not an excuse for bad behavior.

    Of course many Christians don’t mind the bad message sent by the picture, that all other types of belief are not welcomed at the school. But that just makes them bad people with no appreciation of religious freedom.

    How about this, if you want to send your kids to a school festooned with pictures of Jesus, pony up the money and send them to a Christian private school. Taxpayer money and resources aren’t there to support your religious belief. Your God doesn’t need my cash.

    Government officials and offices are not allowed to have religious displays on their property unless they are plural in nature. Many faiths being represented. Give the appearance that all faiths are welcomed not just one singular one.

  • Larry

    Hey Paul, your Christian belief is not entitled to my tax dollars. You are not allowed to put your religious “tramp stamp” on public property.

    Religious displays on government facilities are only permitted if they are plural in nature. More than one faith being represented. As it stood, the picture gave the impression that only Christians were welcomed at the public school. I am sure theocratic types don’t mind that but it chafes at the notion of religious freedom.

    Why do you hate the 1st Amendment so much?

  • Larry

    (Facepalm)

    Seriously how stupid do you have to be not to get the idea that NO RELIGION SHALL BE ENDORSED IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS?

    That means no pictures of Jesus, no mandatory praying to Mecca, no teacher led animal sacrifices before football games, or separate classes for boys and girls, in public schools.

    The only way “Islam can take over” is because Christian theocratic fools have undermined the 1st Amendment so much that they have entangled government with religion.

    Why do you hate religious freedom so much?

  • Dominic

    Garson, your logic demands censure in a public forum. If one wanted to pursue it, Jesus most certainly could be considered an historical figure, and public schools could be named after him. No one cares to take on the process, but it could actually win.
    Henry Ford was a notorious anti Semite / Nazi sympathizer…..but Jews are not asking for his name to be torn off cars. He is a historical figure. Jesus of Nazareth is also, regardless of his beliefs and the Company he left behind.

  • Dominic

    I would like to hear the number of people who were actually offended by a picture of Jesus on a wall in the school for 60 years.
    Sixty years !
    I’d bet 90% of the students even noticed it.

  • Dominic

    Amazing how stupid the world, especially parents, have been for 2 thousand years. Now, you and your ilk are here to inform us that Jesus is a fairytale. How stupendously intelligent 1st Century fishermen were to concoct such a tale that could overwhelm an Empire, civilize a continent, and preach that all life is sacred. Boy are we stupid, or what? Thank you for your (tee here) input.

  • Ron

    Yeah, Paul they have a right to post pictures of Kenny Loggins if they want to.

    I’d have strong doubts about your ability to home school a puppy, let alone a human child.

  • Ron

    Wrong on your first point Paul. Don’t see many here OK with teaching Islam, in anything other than religious fiction class that is.

    And that sad day you talk of would be one religious fiction having replaced another. Same old same old.

  • Ron

    Can you improved leaps to your grammar? Help is needed for you communicate.

  • Ron

    Apparently it’s not Jesus after all. It’s Kenny Loggins’ father.

  • Ron

    Like a lot of other scammers, he just wanted a monopoly.

  • Deane

    Wow that is one ugly painting.

  • Garson Abuita

    Dominic, you’re proving my point. Jesus could be seen as a historical figure if that’s the context from the beginning. I know of several courthouses where various law-givers throughout the centuries are pictured in painting or sculpture. Religious figures like Moses are often included. You could make an argument that this should be the context, but it would have to be that, not some post hoc claim that the real reason the school put up Jesus’s alleged portrait was his status as a historical figure.
    The Ford Motor Company is a private corporation and can do what it wants. In reality, the Ford company, including Henry’s descendants, has made great strides in abandoning and apologizing for his antisemitic, pro-Nazi past. But even as to Ford’s name on public or quasipublic buildings like Ford Field in Detroit, he wasn’t a religious figure and there’s no First Amendment problem.

  • Larry

    “Amazing how stupid the world, especially parents, have been for 2 thousand years”

    Considering you couldn’t even get two members of different sects, of the same faith, in the same room, without violence for most of that time, it IS pretty stupid. Christianity flourished where things were pretty civilized to begin with.

    “preach that all life is sacred”

    And yet the majority of people you consider “Christians” only believe life is sacred if you are a fetus, heterosexual, or one of their sect. Everyone else gets eternal torment, damnation or oppression.

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  • Richard2

    My source was the following:

    “America’s God: From Jonathan Edwards to Abraham Lincoln
    Mark A. Noll

    Examines the emergence – and then the broad effects – of a singularly American synthesis of convictions. That synthesis of evangelical Protestant religion, republican political ideology, and commonsense moral reasoning came into existence during the second half of the eighteenth century and then exerted a telling influence on American life through the time of the Civil War. Elsewhere in the North Atlantic world, the main Christian traditions opposed both “Real Whig” republicanism and the “commonsense” principles of the era’s new moral philosophy”

    But I should have reasoned that most American churches before the Revolution were offshoots of denominations which existed to prop up one or another European monarchy, so naturally they supported monarchy. The exceptions were mostly in New England, where many people were proud of their ancestor’s part in cutting off an earlier…