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University's sculpture mocks Catholics
WorldNetDaily ^ | 05 March 2004

Posted on 03/05/2004 11:37:42 AM PST by sean327

A federal judge in Kansas ruled a university's prominent display of a sculpture that mocks the Catholic faith did not violate the Constitution.

Washburn University's sculpture, entitled "Holier than Thou," depicts a Roman Catholic bishop with a grotesque facial expression wearing a miter that resembles a phallus. The Topeka school's Campus Beautification Committee selected the display to help fulfill its goal of having "one of the most beautiful campuses in Kansas."

After refusing to act on complaints brought by numerous Catholics, including the archbishop of Kansas City, a lawsuit was filed by the Ann Arbor, Michigan-based Thomas More Law Center.

Archbishop James P. Keleher said the statue made "a mockery of the teaching of our faith and of the authority of our church."

The university's president, Jerry Farley, defended the display as a fulfillment of the purpose of art, "to engage us intellectually and emotionally."

The case against the university was brought on behalf of a veteran professor at the school, Thomas O'Connor, and a senior student, Andrew Strobl, who both are devout Catholics.

The lawsuit alleged Washburn's display of the sculpture conveyed the impermissible state-sponsored message of hostility toward the Catholic faith in violation of the First Amendment's Establishment Clause.

District Judge G. Thomas Van Bebber ruled Feb. 26 the university had a secular purpose for displaying the sculpture because it "functions to aesthetically enhance Washburn's campus" and "broaden the educational experiences [and] increase the intellectual capacities of Washburn's students."

The judge concluded the presence of "Holier than Thou" on the campus would not "cause a reasonable observer to believe that [Washburn] endorsed hostility towards the Catholic religion."

"This is a very disappointing decision.," said Robert Muise, the Law Center attorney handling the case. "We brought this lawsuit because it was the right thing to do, and we intend to appeal the judge's decision because it is the right thing to do. Catholics will not remain silent while their faith is being publicly ridiculed by a government institution."

Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel of the Law Center, said this decision and several others by federal judges recently demonstrate a double standard in application of the Establishment Clause.

"The Ten Commandments and the Christian Nativity scene are out, but an anti-Catholic display of a bishop wearing a miter that resembles a phallus is permissible because it allegedly enhances aesthetics," he said. "Apparently, the religion clauses protect atheists but afford no comparable protection for Christians. This disturbing trend in our federal courts must be reversed."

An appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit is expected.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; News/Current Events; US: Kansas
KEYWORDS: aclumia; activistcourts; anticatholic; anticatholicbigotry; antichristian; bigotry; bigots; catholicbashing; catholics; christianity; constitution; doublestandard; federaljudge; freespeechforsome; hatecrime; haters; judicialactivism; judicialtyranny; kansas; mediabias; pc; politicallycorrect; religion; religiousintolerance; washburnu; washburnuniversity
Once again, as long as you are bashing Christians, you can do it with impunity.
1 posted on 03/05/2004 11:37:43 AM PST by sean327
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To: sean327
I'm sure the next statue will be of a Muslim wearing a suicide bomber's belt and dragging his wife along by a dog leash.

All to further discussion on campus and to beautify the surroundings.
2 posted on 03/05/2004 11:41:16 AM PST by TheErnFormerlyKnownAsBig ( I went to the gun show today and saw an Sharpton for President sticker on a truck. Seriously dude.)
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To: big ern
I'm sure the next statue will be of a Muslim wearing a suicide bomber's belt and dragging his wife along by a dog leash.

Exactly. We can come up with all kinds of statues that would have been banned.

How about a KKK grand wizard. Hey, I could get behind that if it depicted Robert Bird as the man and had a caption reading: The face of the Democratic Party. That would be very aesthetically pleasing to me.

3 posted on 03/05/2004 11:47:19 AM PST by King Black Robe (With freedom of religion and speech now abridged, it is time to go after the press.)
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To: sean327
"The Passion Of The Christ broke into the top 100 list of money makers today at #98. Total receipts so far: $160,803,000"


8 days.......

This film will invigorate the Christian people!!

4 posted on 03/05/2004 11:48:38 AM PST by international american (Tagline!!)
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To: King Black Robe
"That would be very aesthetically pleasing to me."

And funny as well:)

5 posted on 03/05/2004 11:50:08 AM PST by international american (Tagline!!)
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To: sean327
If the world doesn't hate us, we're not trying hard enough.

I wouldn't let it bother me. Let 'em have their fun while they can.

6 posted on 03/05/2004 11:52:47 AM PST by newgeezer (fundamentalist, regarding the Constitution AND the Holy Bible, i.e. words mean things!)
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To: international american
I agree with you completly. For about 3 months now I've had the feeling that we have been gaining momentum in the "Culture War". The tide is turning in our favor, which is why these judges and mayors are going into hyper-drive to force gay marrige, and Christian bashing as mainstream down our throats.
7 posted on 03/05/2004 11:52:53 AM PST by sean327 (9-1-1: Government Sponsored Dial-A-Prayer.)
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To: Eaker
Let me get this straight. It is okay to use public-funds (i.e. your tax dollars and mine) to mock a religion, but not to celebrate it or recognize it's place in history.
8 posted on 03/05/2004 11:55:52 AM PST by thackney (Life is Fragile, Handle with Prayer)
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To: thackney
Yes, unless it's the Islamic religion.
9 posted on 03/05/2004 12:02:02 PM PST by spyone
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To: sean327
anybody got a picture of this "artwork"?
10 posted on 03/05/2004 12:02:55 PM PST by mcenedo (lying liberal media - our most dangerous and powerful enemy)
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To: sean327
Odd. The Sanhedrin of Jewish commentators, so loud over the "Passion", are not flooding the media with their outrage over this. Where are Frank Rich and little Chuckie Krautheimer? Where is the soon to be renamed ADL?

I know both Medved and Rabbi Lapin will have the decency to stand against the defamation of a religion not their own, but I expect few others, Christian, Muslim, or Jewish to object to this state sponsered mockery of religious belief.

I add the disclaimer that I am neither Christian, Muslim, nor Jew.

11 posted on 03/05/2004 12:03:52 PM PST by per loin (Ask about Secret News: ADL to pay $12M for defaming Colorado couple.)
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To: sean327
bash
12 posted on 03/05/2004 12:04:01 PM PST by LiteKeeper
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To: mcenedo
Here's a photo (click on the image in the article to enlarge it): http://www.ljworld.com/section/stateregional/story/157360
13 posted on 03/05/2004 12:06:21 PM PST by Califelephant
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To: sean327
Sounds like some civil disobedience is in order here. A bit of dynamite should do the job. If it's OK for the Mayor of San Francisco to ignore the law, it must be OK for Catholics with equally strong feelings to do the same.

Oh! Wait! I forgot. Outrage is only an excuse for the left.

NAMSMAN sends.
14 posted on 03/05/2004 12:10:35 PM PST by namsman
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To: sean327
This is the moral equivalent of a burning cross in the front yard of a black family.

It is an outrage, and it is sickening that such defamation is described as 'art'. It is not.
15 posted on 03/05/2004 12:16:30 PM PST by WOSG (http://freedomstruth.blogspot.com)
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To: sean327

16 posted on 03/05/2004 12:22:00 PM PST by Hodar (With Rights, comes Responsibilities. Don't assume one, without assuming the other.)
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To: sean327
This case has been under discussion for some time now. Has any newsprint outlet printed or a photo of the statue?

If the mitre clearly resembles a phallus, I'm not sure how this can be considered an aesthetic enhancement of campus life. Campus beautification? Open season on Catholics, all year round, eh what?
17 posted on 03/05/2004 12:27:32 PM PST by Hibernius Druid (Perseverantia Vincit!)
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To: Hodar
Never mind. Our posts overlapped. Thanks for the photo. Hibernius
18 posted on 03/05/2004 12:30:19 PM PST by Hibernius Druid (Perseverantia Vincit!)
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To: sean327
I'd like to see the reaction if the statue depicted a Jewish caricature and titled "money grubbing." This statue is hateful and bigoted and should be removed.
19 posted on 03/05/2004 12:37:50 PM PST by The Great RJ
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To: Hodar
Phallus? That's a nice word for an ugly picture.

He has a penis on his head. Let's call it what it is.
20 posted on 03/05/2004 12:40:53 PM PST by OpusatFR (Liberals lie because the truth would kill them all off)
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To: newgeezer
If this is the 'sculpture' I've seen referenced too many times on this forum already, I'm more amused (in the train wreck sort of way) than offended. I don't think it looks phallic; I think it looks like His Excellency is being assaulted by a giant squid ...
21 posted on 03/05/2004 12:44:01 PM PST by ArrogantBustard (Chief Engineer, Tomas de Torquemada Gentlemens' Club)
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To: OpusatFR
Yep, it's the 'Giant Squid Eating a Bishop' sculpture...
22 posted on 03/05/2004 12:45:34 PM PST by ArrogantBustard (Chief Engineer, Tomas de Torquemada Gentlemens' Club)
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To: ArrogantBustard
I think it looks like His Excellency is being assaulted by a giant squid ...

Right you are.

I'm curious to know what the small print says.

23 posted on 03/05/2004 12:53:08 PM PST by newgeezer (Just my opinion, of course. Your mileage may vary. You have the right to be wrong.)
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To: sean327
Beautification = Penis Hat.

Is Andrew Sullivan on the board at this college?

24 posted on 03/05/2004 1:06:44 PM PST by atomicpossum (Fun pics in my profile)
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To: newgeezer
IT's very easy to show these courts and schools to be the hypocrits that they are: Simply erect a statue dipicting mohammad as he factually was. THE SAME PEOPLE WIL ORDER IT'S REMOVEL.
25 posted on 03/05/2004 1:09:49 PM PST by TalBlack ("Tal, no song means anything without someone else....")
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To: TalBlack
Simply erect a statue dipicting mohammad as he factually was.

I wonder how a statue could portray him as a pedophile, without being obscene. Ah, how about him on top of a 9-year-old girl, and a sheet covering their midsections? Yeah, that's it.

26 posted on 03/05/2004 1:16:50 PM PST by newgeezer (Just my opinion, of course. Your mileage may vary. You have the right to be wrong.)
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To: namsman
Sounds like some civil disobedience is in order here. A bit of dynamite should do the job.

What you describe is not civil disobedeince. It is............

"Performance Art".

27 posted on 03/05/2004 1:17:53 PM PST by Polybius
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To: ArrogantBustard
ROTFL!
28 posted on 03/05/2004 1:24:51 PM PST by OpusatFR (Liberals lie because the truth would kill them all off)
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To: sean327
"Once again, as long as you are bashing Christians, you can do it with impunity."

That's a fact. Christians have got to rise up and confront this blatant and obvious attack on their faith. My God, if the statue showed Mohammed with one of his child brides the ACLU and all the liberals in America would be crying foul, and shouting "Racism!" and "Intolerant!" at the tops of their voices. Christians have got to start fighting back, and soon.
29 posted on 03/05/2004 1:46:16 PM PST by ought-six
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To: ought-six
Christians have got to rise up and confront this blatant and obvious attack on their faith.

Bah. Our faith can withstand any and all attacks from the world. That's what separates ours from theirs. We know we win in the end. This, too, shall pass. Bring it on.

30 posted on 03/05/2004 1:59:27 PM PST by newgeezer (fundamentalist, regarding the Constitution AND the Holy Bible, i.e. words mean things!)
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To: sean327
"There is no human problem that cannot be solved with the proper application of the correct amount of High Explosives."

First Sergeant Wade K. Ball, U.S. Army Field Artiller Center and School, Fort Sill, OK ca 1969
31 posted on 03/05/2004 4:17:45 PM PST by Chuckster ("Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it." George Bernard Shaw)
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To: newgeezer
"Bah. Our faith can withstand any and all attacks from the world. That's what separates ours from theirs. We know we win in the end. This, too, shall pass. Bring it on."

So, you're one of those "turn the other cheek" guys? Talk about thinning out the ranks.
32 posted on 03/08/2004 4:36:50 AM PST by ought-six
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To: ought-six
So, you're one of those "turn the other cheek" guys? Talk about thinning out the ranks.

I have yet to see a statue that poses any threat. Just don't swing it at me.

33 posted on 03/08/2004 6:05:21 AM PST by newgeezer (fundamentalist, regarding the Constitution AND the Holy Bible, i.e. words mean things!)
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