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College Crucifix Ban Prompts Lawsuit (professor compares it to a swastika)
My Fox ^ | December 15, 2009 | Melissa Cutler

Posted on 12/18/2009 2:31:09 AM PST by NYer

MESQUITE, Texas - Joe Mitchell says all he wanted to do was make crosses as gifts for friends when he signed up for a ceramics class at Eastfield Community College in Mesquite.

Instead, he says, the ceramics instructor compared the crucifix to a swastika in trying to explain why crosses were not permitted.

“I felt humiliated and that my spirituality was being demeaned,” said Mitchell, a retired Dallas resident and student at the public college. “The whole point of art is to express who you are.”

Mitchell says he was told on several occasions by instructors and administrative staff that he could not make ceramic crosses, concluding with an ultimatum ban on crosses this fall.

“Unfortunately, not everyone has the Christmas spirit or even a basic understanding of religious freedom,” said Kelly Shackelford, chief counsel of Liberty Legal Institute. “The government cannot ban crosses and religious symbols.”

Shakelford says college officials are not only banning crosses, but menorahs and other religious items from the class.

In response, the institute sent a demand letter on Tuesday on behalf of Mitchell, alleging the school has committed an unconstitutional attack on religious expression in the classroom.

Eastfield Community College officials issued a statement saying it's legal council will review the schools policy and language, quote:

"Eastfield College's current ceramics policy tells students that they should not use symbols, icons or other "cookie cutter" images. The purpose of those references is to compel students to create original works that express their artistic perspectives through projects assigned by instructors. The college has never intended to circumvent expressions of religious or artistic freedom or violate any laws with regard to religious freedom. "


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: crucifix; education; swastika

1 posted on 12/18/2009 2:31:11 AM PST by NYer
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To: netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; markomalley; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; ...
Catholic Ping
Please freepmail me if you want on/off this list


2 posted on 12/18/2009 2:31:43 AM PST by NYer ("One Who Prays Is Not Afraid; One Who Prays Is Never Alone" - Benedict XVI)
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To: NYer

The scum college administration lie to cover the a$$ of their scum professor.


3 posted on 12/18/2009 2:35:18 AM PST by Scotsman will be Free (11C - Indirect fire, infantry - High angle hell - We will bring you, FIRE)
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To: NYer

Evil beyond redemption is coming after Christianity with a vengence...


4 posted on 12/18/2009 2:35:42 AM PST by Caipirabob (Communists... Socialists... Democrats...Traitors... Who can tell the difference?)
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To: NYer
"cookie cutter" images

Hmmm, the cross is a 'cookie cutter' image now?

5 posted on 12/18/2009 2:36:02 AM PST by rawhide
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To: NYer

Make a thousand crosses. We must confront and ignore such hate and ignorance every time, in every venue. We must put them down by being louder, stronger and outnumber the basterds.


6 posted on 12/18/2009 2:39:13 AM PST by BamaAndy
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To: NYer

“The college has never intended to circumvent expressions of religious or artistic freedom or violate any laws with regard to religious freedom.”

Which is why one of these tolerant wonderful people essentially compared a student to the Nazis.


7 posted on 12/18/2009 2:40:16 AM PST by Soothesayer (The United States of America Rest in Peace November 4 2008)
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To: NYer

This “instructor” knows exactly what sort of response his message is designed to provoke. It’s a page straight out of the Soviet agitprop playbook. He’s just another useful idiot of global communism.


8 posted on 12/18/2009 2:46:33 AM PST by SpaceBar
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To: NYer

Eastfield Community College in Mesquite. Is a pit, trust me I know.


9 posted on 12/18/2009 2:48:58 AM PST by BigCinBigD (")
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To: NYer
"The whole point of art is to express who you are."

Twaddle.

10 posted on 12/18/2009 2:57:34 AM PST by Misterioso (Common sense is a simple and non-self-conscious use of logic. -- Ayn Rand)
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To: NYer
When th the only school you get hired to teach at is in the tiny burp of Mesquite, sumtin wrong with dis fool. Maybe he should put his resume out to Purgatory Pa, or Welfare Tx.
11 posted on 12/18/2009 3:04:27 AM PST by shadeaud ("If you can't beat them, arrange to have them beaten." -- George Carlin)
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To: rawhide

The class is for learning how to make ceramic stuff. Crosses aren’t as complicated apparently as the course curriculum would like. Nothing wrong with crosses but the next step would be to make a flat pancake and call it a masterpiece. The guy really needs to try harder and do a better job. Making crosses is one way to get out of doing any substantial work.


12 posted on 12/18/2009 3:09:12 AM PST by x_plus_one (once you take the red pill; its impossible to re-submerge yourself in the lefts illusions...)
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To: BigCinBigD

I don’t know anything about Mesquite. The school looked heavily black/Hispanic from the website, which is very poor by the way. The interim president is Jean Conway and I sent her an email expressing my negative reactions. jconway@dcccd.edu. Let them know the world is watching.


13 posted on 12/18/2009 3:19:03 AM PST by Old_Grouch (62 and AARP-free)
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To: x_plus_one

Says the eye of the beholder. Nice try at being an art critic. (other adjectives respecfully withheld)


14 posted on 12/18/2009 3:19:46 AM PST by mazda77 (Rubio for US Senate)
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To: x_plus_one

A crucifix has a figure of Jesus’ body on it, so I guess this human form, celebrated in art and culture for millennia, is a cookie cutter image? I have seen thousands of crucifixes, often very original>


15 posted on 12/18/2009 3:22:53 AM PST by Notwithstanding (Wer glaubt ist nie allein. Who believes is never alone.)
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To: Notwithstanding

I guess if he had put them in jars of urine, it would have been OK.


16 posted on 12/18/2009 3:42:05 AM PST by catman67
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To: NYer
I'm glad Mr. Mitchell is suing. It is long past time that we as Christians fight back against this crap.

The irony in all this is that it is the instructor who is acting quite Nazi-like in banning any form of religious expression.

17 posted on 12/18/2009 3:46:53 AM PST by pnh102 (Regarding liberalism, always attribute to malice what you think can be explained by stupidity. - Me)
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To: x_plus_one

Let’s say you are right. How is that reconciled with the swastika comparison?


18 posted on 12/18/2009 3:58:26 AM PST by rom (Israel got Saul before they got David. Where's our David?)
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To: NYer
Nationally and locally the Left is in a growing panic as they watch their sty collapse. They strike back with attacks like this because they are frustrated that people have awakened to their game.
19 posted on 12/18/2009 4:00:03 AM PST by jmaroneps37 (Conservatism is truth. Liberalism is lies.)
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To: NYer

The cross has been offensive for almost 2000 years now. A sign of God’s love and our sinfulness.


20 posted on 12/18/2009 4:00:16 AM PST by rom (Israel got Saul before they got David. Where's our David?)
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To: NYer

I bet they would not have complained if he had a crucifix displayed in a jar of urine. That would have been protected and esteemed.


21 posted on 12/18/2009 4:08:15 AM PST by comps4spice ("Fish have to swim. Birds have to fly. And liberal Democrats have to call their opponents racists".)
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To: x_plus_one
The class is for learning how to make ceramic stuff. Crosses aren’t as complicated apparently as the course curriculum would like. Nothing wrong with crosses but the next step would be to make a flat pancake and call it a masterpiece. The guy really needs to try harder and do a better job. Making crosses is one way to get out of doing any substantial work.

Yea pots and tiles are so much more "substantial".

22 posted on 12/18/2009 4:29:09 AM PST by sausageseller (If you want to cut your own throat, don't come to me for a bandage. M, Thatcher)
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To: NYer
Can anyone say "Projection"?
23 posted on 12/18/2009 4:44:33 AM PST by Red in Blue PA (Obama, Hitler, Stalin: Who are 3 people nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.)
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To: sausageseller

So, simply make the cross more substantial. There are hundreds of different styles, and they are not all as simple as the Latin cross.


24 posted on 12/18/2009 4:51:30 AM PST by Vanders9
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To: x_plus_one
I'll bet you can crank out one of these bad boys in oh 2-3 minutes:

cross2

cross

I strongly recommend that you google Ceramic crosses/ crucifixs and see what comes up.

25 posted on 12/18/2009 5:26:06 AM PST by verga (I am not an apologist, I just play one on Television)
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To: x_plus_one
Except that:

Shakelford says college officials are not only banning crosses, but menorahs and other religious items from the class.

26 posted on 12/18/2009 5:30:28 AM PST by Madame Dufarge
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To: NYer

Everytime a groupd of republicans comments about how conservative is the State of TExas it would be well to remember stories like this and that until Tom Leppert was elected mayor of Dallas EVERY major city was run by DemocRATS. We are one election away form returning to a aoo years of RATS if we lose sight of the grass roots - schools.


27 posted on 12/18/2009 5:32:56 AM PST by q_an_a
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To: x_plus_one
"...Making crosses is one way to get out of doing any substantial work..."

You're right. Next class: Star of David, then on to the bonus round: ceramic fractals.

28 posted on 12/18/2009 5:38:24 AM PST by I Buried My Guns (When burying guns, do not forget the dessicant!)
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To: Misterioso

Well iffen it ain’t whut is?


29 posted on 12/18/2009 5:49:26 AM PST by RipSawyer (Trying to reason with a leftist is like trying to catch sunshine in a fish net at midnight.)
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To: x_plus_one

The class is for ceramics. We all lack the ability to read the class curriculum. So no way to see what ‘items’ may be required to be fashioned to pass the class.

Was it a ‘simple’ cross? Were there photos? Was it a case of the teacher saying that the project was not ‘complex’ enough? None of those things was mentioned.

It was a teacher restricting the student from fashioning, specifically, a religious item. It was a case of an anti-Christian person, using his ‘superior’ position as a teacher, to try to demean a persons Faith.

If he had fashioned a flat pancake, he should be graded accordingly, provided there was guidance on what was expected.


30 posted on 12/18/2009 6:22:22 AM PST by RoadGumby (For God so loved the world)
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To: q_an_a

We have already lost the schools to Bill Ayers and his ilk. Check out how many of the Weather Underground are in postions of influence in our schools. It is not by accident. Number 17 of the Goals for a Communist takeover of America states “Get control of the schools. Use them as transmission belts for socialism and current Communist propaganda. Soften the curriculum. Get control of teachers’ associations. Put the party line in textbooks.” Few would argue that they have not been successful. While they have achieved great success regarding #28,”Eliminate prayer or any phase of religious expression in the schools on the ground that it violates the principle of “separation of church and state.”, they have not and cannot remove God from our hearts and that is our greatest strength. Pray daily that despite their stated goals and apparent success in achieving same we will survive as “One nation under God, with liberty and justice for all”.


31 posted on 12/18/2009 6:26:29 AM PST by Josephat
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To: NYer
Eastfield Community College officials issued a statement saying it's legal council will review the schools policy and language, quote:

It's an even shot as to whether the illiteracy lies with the reporter or the the junior college.

32 posted on 12/18/2009 6:34:19 AM PST by PAR35
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To: Josephat

you are too right. The state of Texas buys so many school books that they can MAKE them conservative and kill the Ayers coalition - but conservatives have not done a good job of writing better books. They are all talk.hat...at Hertiage and NRO no cattle.


33 posted on 12/18/2009 7:07:54 AM PST by q_an_a
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To: Old_Grouch

email sent


34 posted on 12/18/2009 7:22:52 AM PST by Damifino (The true measure of a man is found in what he would do if he knew no one would ever find out.)
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To: x_plus_one
Well, the article uses a confusion of terms. Sometimes Mitchell's work is supposed to be making "crucifixes," sometimes it's "crosses." A "crucifix" is a cross with Jesus on it. Forming a corpus to put on each cross would certainly be complex enough to meet the expected challenge of the class, I would think.

Regardless, I don't think the real issue is that the work Mitchell is producing is too simple. Crosses or crucifixes, the "problem" is that he is making an obvious Christian symbol. The Tolerance Police simply will not tolerate that!

When will Christians of all types band together and put a stop to this nonsense? All one needs to do is point-out that, at the time of the Constitution's formulation and subsequent ratification, there were still five states with an "established religion." The last of them (Massachusetts) did not formally remove Congregationalism as the Established Religion of the Commonwealth until 1833! This means that, for over 40 years after the Federal Constitution went into effect, at least one state held to things like mandatory Christian belief for office holders, and taxes levied and collected for a specific denomination, and neither Congress nor the U.S. Supreme Court ever intervened. They did not, because they knew that the U.S. Constitution granted them no authority to do so! How, then, can anyone with a straight face say that the logical absurdities brought up in this thread can really find their origin in "Constitutional issues"?

Mind you, I don't think that states having established religions, religious requirements for office holders, and so forth, is a good idea. But that is not the point. The Constitution only prohibits Congress from establishing religions at the Federal level. Christians need to take the argument back from the relative handful of village atheists and other cranks and insist that all of this controversy based on a manifestly false set of premises come to an abrupt and permanent end!

35 posted on 12/18/2009 7:32:32 AM PST by magisterium
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To: magisterium; x_plus_one
Internal evidence that the problem was not the lack of complexity in the product: the professor comparing the cross to a swastika.

That means he was concerned about the ideological/philosophical content of the product, NOT that it was too simple to fulfill the course requirements.

Had he been concerned about that, he would have used your comparison to a "pancake".

That convinces me that this is a religious freedom issue, not a course requirements issue. The latter is simply a smoke screen invented by the administration (or their lawyer, as in, "You guys had better dream up a bona fide reason for this tout suite . . . or you're TOAST!")

36 posted on 12/18/2009 8:09:11 AM PST by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
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To: AnAmericanMother
Speaking as a Fine Arts major, ceramics is a joke class. NOBODY fails fine arts classes, and ceramics classes are the equivalent of summer camp cr@p. Nobody, and I mean nobody in a community college ceramics class is doing anything other than playing.

Many people take these courses to make gifts for friends.

This was an instructor who thought he'd shove a kid around to push his personal agenda and was surprised when the kid pushed back.

37 posted on 12/18/2009 8:37:48 AM PST by Richard Kimball (We're all criminals. They just haven't figured out what some of us have done yet.)
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To: x_plus_one

That’s a plausible reason. But did the instructor say that?


38 posted on 12/18/2009 9:30:25 AM PST by Arthur McGowan (In Edward Kennedy's America, federal funding of brothels is a right, not a privilege.)
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To: rom
This community college is filled with Obamistas - students, teachers and administrators. The ceramics art teacher is obviously another leftist lemming anti-Christian bigot.

Did the student have any sense of this situation before making a cross? Creating a simple cross or a sophisticated crucifix are two different things.

It's easy to assume that the teacher is a knee-jerk secular humanist and chose to criticize what was supposed to be an easy target - a religious symbol.

If the artwork is sufficiently advanced to show a real effort then the student should sue or whatever.

Hopefully, if the student sues and the artwork becomes public domain, we won't be embarrassed by the lack of effort and imagination that it took to put two pieces of clay together at right angles.

39 posted on 12/18/2009 9:34:09 AM PST by x_plus_one (once you take the red pill; its impossible to re-submerge yourself in the lefts illusions...)
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To: Vanders9
So, simply make the cross more substantial. There are hundreds of different styles, and they are not all as simple as the Latin cross.

The bottom line is they did not want a cross made at all.

To them a cross could never be "substantial", but any "tile" or piece of "pottery" is.

40 posted on 12/18/2009 9:42:33 AM PST by sausageseller (If you want to cut your own throat, don't come to me for a bandage. M, Thatcher)
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To: All; Arthur McGowan; x_plus_one
Seems they have a pattern of hate toward students art they find unacceptable:

http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=119203

41 posted on 12/18/2009 9:51:10 AM PST by sausageseller (If you want to cut your own throat, don't come to me for a bandage. M, Thatcher)
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To: All; sausageseller

“Another student identified only as E.D., claims the department told her to “expand her horizons” when she constructed a cross in ceramics class. She said the adjunct professor teaching the course specifically said she could make any item except a cross.

E.D. said Watral phoned her and told her to “pick up her damn crosses” from the school. But she said when she went to retrieve them, they were destroyed. “


42 posted on 12/18/2009 9:53:38 AM PST by sausageseller (If you want to cut your own throat, don't come to me for a bandage. M, Thatcher)
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To: sausageseller

True, but if you make a really ornate example on say, celtic lines, then its very difficult for them to argue against it for “artistic” reasons. Therefore it becomes more obvious what their actual motives are.


43 posted on 12/20/2009 7:40:59 AM PST by Vanders9
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To: Josephat

The primary reason why this has happened - in my opinion - is that many lefty types have been willing to work for lower starting wages during the 80s while entrepenuers went for the big casino - the pay off from hard work and creative ideas. In the 29 years since Regean was elected, but also since the education department was in full control, we have seen the facts you laid out become the rot of our society.


44 posted on 12/21/2009 7:38:36 AM PST by q_an_a
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To: q_an_a

I wish it were that innocent but I don’t believe that it is. I think they were following their game plan. The sad thing is that the game plan was entered into the congressional record in 1963 so we can’t say we weren’t aware of it. We knew what they planned to do and we let them do it. We are now paying the price and it is a dear one.


45 posted on 12/21/2009 2:11:14 PM PST by Josephat
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