The ACLU is Right Again – But for Different Reasons

Should_portrait_of_Jesus_at_school_be_re_215490002_20130108073853_320_240From The Christian Post:

The Ohio chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and the Freedom From Religion Foundation have filed suit against an Ohio school district where one school has a prominently displayed portrait of Jesus Christ.

The “portrait” is the old-fashioned print of a bearded man with long wavy hair who is looking at the horizon. So it isn’t actually a portrait of Christ, because we don’t have one.  But even if we call it that, the ACLU is right: the picture should come down.  But Christians should have our own reasons for taking it down.  Let’s start with the second commandment as explained by the Westminster Larger Catechism:

The sins forbidden in the second commandment are . . .the making any representation of God, of all or of any of the three persons… in any kind of image or likeness of any creature whatsoever; all worshiping of it, or God in it or by it; the making of any representation of feigned deities…

Next consider the context of the portrait: a public school.  To associate Jesus with everything that gets done and taught at a public school is, at best, misleading to students.  And parents should be less than thrilled that school teachers might actually consider the portrait an opportunity to give their version of who Jesus is – a job better left to churches and families.

The portrait’s immediate context is then described: “Superintendent Howard said the Jesus portrait was one of several pictures on the ‘Hall of Honor’ display at Jackson Middle.” If Jesus is one of several portraits in a place of honor, he is being associated with the other honorees, which seems problematic at best. Anyway, the impression might be given that Jesus should be honored at the same level and in the same way as the other honorees – a diminishment of the God-man who is the only hope for sinners.

There are at least a couple morals to this story. First, don’t be too quick to jump on board the latest fight for alleged Christian rights. Second, just because the ACLU is against something, we don’t have to be for it.


Filed under Culture Wars, Establishment of Religion, Religious rights, Uncategorized

5 responses to “The ACLU is Right Again – But for Different Reasons

  1. Richard

    Spoilsport. You take all the fun out of hating.

  2. A version of the spiritual antithesis has become muddled with politics. Result? An reflex to be contentious with certain politicians and organizations even when there is no need to be. Christians don’t need to mimic Sean Hannity!
    And here’s another example of using victimhood (the ACLU is taking away our picture!) to rally the troops and rebound with a quest for power (we’ll keep that picture up if you like it or not!)

  3. MikeInIowa

    But Jesus is a great role model…why would you be for taking it down? I bet you are for taking “In God We Trust’ off our money too! Ha!

  4. I’ve enjoyed both of your posts approving of ACLU actions, mikelmann. I must be slipping into liberalism… haha!

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