The superintendent of the Jackson City School District in Ohio is refusing to take down a picture of Jesus from one of their schools, offering the usual litany of absurd and contradictory excuses, after the FFRF sent him a letter challenging the legality of the picture.
Jackson City School District Superintendent Phil Howard told WCMH-TV that the atheist group Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) had sent him a letter claiming that it was illegal and an “egregious violation of the the First Amendment” to hang the portrait in a public school.
The large portrait, which was given a prominent position above a staircase in the school’s Hall of Honors, was reportedly donated by a Christian-affiliated student group and has been on display since 1947…
Howard, however, insisted to WSAZ that it was “really a reach” for anyone to assert that the photo excludes non-Christians.
“I have done some research, and because it was a student led presentation, it is permissible as far as I am concerned,” the superintendent said.
But others who support the picture, like Jon Hensler of the newly formed Citizens of Jackson County for Jesus, know what the real purpose is:
Hensler wept openly when the TV station asked him why the Facebook page had become so popular.
“You wonder in today’s world what our children and our grandchildren are going to have,” he said, choking up. “And it’s good to see that there’s still people in our community that are willing to stand up and speak out for Christ.”
Hensler insisted that the spirit of Jesus would remain even if the portrait was removed because “Christ lives within us, we know that.”
At the first school board meeting, 300 people showed up to support keeping the picture up, as always happens in such situations. And the superintendent again claimed that the picture was merely “historical.”
Superintendent Phil Howard told the crowd at Jackson High School that “we’re not violating the law and the picture is legal because it has historical significance. It hasn’t hurt anyone.”
So it’s not religious at all because it was donated by a student group and it’s merely historical, but other supporters know that it’s really about having to “stand up and speak out for Christ.” And taking it down would be horrible, but everything would be fine because “Christ lives within us.” As is almost always the case in such situations, you can always count on them to give away the truth he’s trying to hide. The lawyers may tell him to claim that the picture is purely cultural or historical, but he still blurts out the truth that he’s really just standing up for Jesus.