Loading
Supreme Court refuses to hear appeal involving anti-Catholic statue

.- The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal this week involving a constitutional challenge to an anti-Catholic statue. The statue, located on the campus of Washburn University in Kansas, depicts a Catholic bishop with a grotesque facial expression wearing a miter that resembles a phallus.

The statue is called “Holier than Thou” and includes a plaque with a derisive statement about the sacrament of reconciliation. It first appeared on campus in September 2003. Washburn is a public university, supported by tax dollars. 

Many prominent Catholics criticized the statue, including Archbishop James Keleher of Kansas City, the Catholic League, the Knights of Columbus and the Archdiocesan Conference of Catholic Women. The bishop wrote an open letter to the university president strongly urging the school to remove the offensive statue.

However, the university refused, defending the display as art that has the purpose of engaging the community intellectually and emotionally.

“Incredibly, during the course of this litigation, university officials admitted that they would never permit an anti-Jewish, anti-black, or anti-gay/lesbian statue on campus,” said Robert Muise, the Thomas More Law Center attorney who handled this case.

The center filed the lawsuit on behalf of a Washburn professor and a student, both devout Catholics. The lawsuit alleged that the statue conveys the state-sponsored message of hostility toward the Catholic faith in violation of the Establishment Clause.

The case was dismissed by the federal district judge who ruled that Washburn had a secular purpose for displaying this sculpture because “[i]t functions to aesthetically enhance Washburn’s campus[,] broaden the educational experiences [and] increase the intellectual capacities of Washburn’s students.”

The judge concluded that the statue would not “cause a reasonable observer to believe that [Washburn] endorsed hostility towards the Catholic religion.”

In July 2005, the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in Denver affirmed the lower court’s ruling. The law center asked the Supreme Court to revisit its inconsistent Establishment Clause jurisprudence, but to no avail.

“The Supreme Court’s decision not to hear this case is disappointing, and it reaffirms the double standard and hypocrisy spawned by the current Establishment Clause jurisprudence,” said Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel for center in a statement.

“Despite giving lip service to the concept of neutrality towards religion, many federal court decisions have in fact bristled with hostility to all things religious, especially those that are Christian,” he continued. “This double standard is also applied by our nation’s public universities, which have refused to allow school newspapers to show the recent controversial cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed because it was insulting to Muslims.”


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Saint John Paul II on cartoon
Syrian Christian refugees
Papal Foundation Pilgrimage
Exorcism or prayer of liberation?
First meeting of Commission for Protection of Minors
Jul
23

Liturgical Calendar

July 23, 2014

Wednesday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:1-9

Gospel
Date
07/23/14
07/20/14
07/19/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Jer 1:1, 4-10
Gospel:: Mt 13: 1-9

Saint of the Day

St. John Cassian »

Saint
Date
07/23/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 13:1-9

Homily
Date
07/23/14
07/21/14
07/20/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: