9.20.2005

Da Vinci Or Not: Theocracy Is Theocracy


Art or Religion? Had Da Vinci's masterpiece been next to, say, Van Gogh's Starry Night and a Rembrandt self-portrait, no one would have complained: That's an art display. But the two Jesi make the intent clear: That's a church.

Public School Removes Religious Pictures

from United Press International

The Anna, Ill., junior high school removed three religious pictures on display for at least 50 years rather than fighting an expensive and losing legal battle.

Within a month of receiving a challenge from Washington-based Americans United for Separation of Church and State, school officials had a reproduction of Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper and two portraits of Jesus moved into storage.

The pictures hung at least 50 years above the entrance of the southern Illinois junior high school.

"We felt the community wanted those pictures to be there," Superintendent Bob O'Dell said of the reason why school officials allowed the pictures to remain despite U.S. Supreme Court rulings that such pictures violate the separation of church and state. "Our legal counsel advised us we didn't have a choice."

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