Utterly Meaningless » Blog Archive » WHAT FIRST AMENDMENT?
  • WHAT FIRST AMENDMENT?

    Filed at 7:24 am under by dcobranchi

    Actually the school got this one correct. It’s the physics teacher who is out of bounds.

    Erika Vogt-Nilsen, 17, stirred controversy at the school’s Winter Art Show with a digitally manipulated photograph showing a sinister-looking puppeteer with strings attached to an image of a crucified Christ.

    A teacher and six students who thought it mocked Christianity expressed their displeasure to the administration after the show came down. Then the teacher sent a letter to local newspapers objecting to the work.

    …”From the Christian world view, this is the ultimate sacrilege,” said Mountain Pointe physics teacher Philip Moon who objected to her artwork. “Whether she intended it or not, it means God is dangling at the hands of man.”

    …”It has absolutely no place in the high school setting. Do I think it should have been banned? Absolutely.”

    Kids do not lose their First Amendment rights when they walk in the g-school doors. Just as the physic teacher had a right to protest the art with a letter to the editor. Why is this so hard for folks to understand?

    8 Responses to “WHAT FIRST AMENDMENT?”


    Comment by
    Daryl Cobranchi
    January 27th, 2005
    at 10:06 am

    Just thinking– the physics teacher wanted this picture banned. Why? It couldn’t be to keep him from seeing it. He already had. So, it must have been to keep other people from seeing it, right?

    So he protests and writes a letter to the newspaper which eventually ends up with the paper publishing the exact picture that he didn’t want anyone to see.

    Mission accomplished?


    Comment by
    Eric Holcombe
    January 27th, 2005
    at 10:58 am

    I would agree if other “Christmas” art was allowed to be displayed in the school’s “winter” art show (can’t tell). I’m guessing not or the teacher wouldn’t have written the letter to the editor (or he’s an idiot).

    On the other hand, if hanging up the Ten Commandments violates the establishment clause, surely the school displaying a picture of Jesus crucified does…


    Comment by
    Richard Rybarczyk
    January 27th, 2005
    at 11:16 am

    If the teacher has a right to express his views, and does so, why is he “out of bounds”?


    Comment by
    Daryl Cobranchi
    January 27th, 2005
    at 11:29 am

    Calling for violating the kid’s 1st Amendment rights. 15 yard penalty and loss of down.


    Comment by
    Tim Haas
    January 27th, 2005
    at 11:37 am

    Are we going to have to suffer through constant football jargon through next weekend?


    Comment by
    Daryl Cobranchi
    January 27th, 2005
    at 11:50 am

    Nahh! I love football but can’t stand the Eagles.


    Comment by
    Tim Haas
    January 27th, 2005
    at 11:53 am

    I’ll keep you to that — I’d hate to see you fumble.


    Comment by
    Tad
    January 27th, 2005
    at 2:56 pm

    It isn’t a matter of who sees the picture, its the context in which the picture is displayed. Does the display of the picture in the school indicate that the school approves of or ratifies the message. If it does, then there could be a valid Establishment objection. Especially if similar art depicting Christian (or other sectarian views) is not displayed in a similar context. Daryl’s quote from Tinker applies to personal expressions of protest. There is another set of rules for school sponsored displays.
    Without a great deal of sophistry, it is virtually impossible for g-schools to not violate one of the First Amendment’s two religion clauses. They usually compromise and just violate both.