Portrait of Jesus in Ohio school since 1947 forced down by ACLU

Jesus Portrait
Photo Credit gopusa.com

Amid a legal challenge covered on BizPac Review back in February, a southern Ohio school district took down a painting of Jesus that had hung in a school hallway since 1947 in the mostly rural Appalachia town of Jackson.

An Ohio chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, a secular-progressive organization at the forefront of the ongoing attack on Christianity, acting on behalf of a student and two parents, claimed the painting was an unconstitutional endorsement of Christianity.

School officials counter by saying the portrait is owned by a Christian-based student club and represents private speech, the Herald-Dispatch reported.

Jackson City Schools Superintendent Phil Howard said the decision to remove the portrait from a school hallway came because a lawsuit could end up costing the district significant legal fees.

“At the end of the day, we just couldn’t roll the dice with taxpayer money,” Superintendent Phil Howard told The Associated Press.

In a telling disclosure of the political environment Christians now face, Howard wrote in a statement on the matter, as reported by the Columbus Dispatch. “Our insurance company denied coverage, and we cannot risk taxpayer money at this time.”

Ironically, Howard didn’t have the same concern about a potential lawsuit from the student club that owns the portrait.

“We are ordering the Hi-Y Club (owner of the painting) to take down the portrait to avoid the court ordering us to do so,” Howard added. “We understand that may lead to a lawsuit from the Hi-Y Club, but we had little choice in the matter.”

Tom Tillison

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