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The University of Southern Maine is standing by its decision to display an art exhibit that includes a desecrated Bible and Satanic images covering the face of Jesus Christ.
Riley Harris, a student at the university, created the exhibit featuring torn pages from the Holy Bible painted with paint to resemble flames.
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The artwork, called “Unholy Bible: Very Revised Standard Edition,” also depicts the head of Christ covered with a Satanic image.
Harris told CentralMaine.com that he considers himself to be an atheist and his intent was to question authority.
“A lot of Christianity harms other people,” he told the newspaper. “Everyone has their own sort of morals and no one’s morals are right or really wrong.”
The artwork was part of an assignment to create something new by altering a book. The exhibit is displayed in a building that is rented by several community groups and at least one church.
“I think it’s very inappropriate and repugnant,” Casco Bay Church of Christ member Charlie Flynn told the newspaper. “This is someone’s sacred text being desecrated destroyed and displayed in a public place.”
University Says No Rules Were Broken
As sickening and detestable as the vandalized Bible might be, the university said the student has not violated any rules.
“The university supports freedom of speech rights for all students, affirmed and upheld by Board of Trustee System Policy 212,” the school said in a statement to television station WMTW.
The policy states that while they value civility, the university will not restrict any idea or speech that might be deemed offensive.
Mr. Flynn told CentralMaine.com that it’s not about freedom of speech it’s about hate speech.
“If I saw a Koran with pig blood on it I would certainly call someone, or a Torah with unclean foods on it,” he told the newspaper. “This is a Bible with Satan’s image put over Jesus’ image and around Christmas time.”
What About a Koran Covered in Pig’s Blood?
Now, that’s an interesting thought.
Would the University of Southern Maine display an art exhibit that desecrated the Koran and disparaged the Prophet Mohammed?
The truth is university administrators and atheists are terrified of offending any other religious groups except for Christians and Jews.
And I suspect the University of Southern Maine, when faced with that decision, would rather tear up Board of Trustee System Policy 212 than a copy of the Koran.