A Kentucky court house is being asked to remove a portrait of Jesus from its interior because a group advocating the Constitution’s Establishment Clause says it sends a chilling message to non-Christians.
The portrait, which appears to have been drawn in pencil or charcoal, show Jesus standing over a man who is kneeling and appears to be weeping, with the words, “In your place, what would Jesus do?” The Freedom From Religion Foundation is pushing for Breathitt County Courthouse to move it off court house grounds, according to Local8Now.
“To put this at the seat of county government is really chilling. This sends this message that you better pretend to be a Christian if you want to get any service or justice around here,” said FFRF co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor told the station.
Gaylor said her organization has sent letters to the court house but has gotten no response, but it’s a clear violation of the First Amendment’s separation of church and state.
Despite that, residents expressed support for keeping the picture where it is.
“Basically … gave His only begotten Son for us, so I believe it’s wrong to take it down,” Jackson resident Mike Mullins told the station.
A resident concerned about the portrait alerted the FFRF, local WKYT reports.
Gaylor said FFRF is open to legal action if necessary.
Watch the report from WKYT here: