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The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in New York has covered up its gigantic painting of Jesus walking on water.
This action is in response to a letter sent by Mikey Weinstein, founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.
The letter addressed to USMMA Superintendent Vice Admiral Joanna Nunan demanded that she "expeditiously remove a massive, sectarian painting illustrating the supremacy of Jesus Christ."
The room the painting is in, the Elliot M. See Room inside Wiley Hall, is used for a variety of purposes such as administrative meetings and disciplinary hearings.
"The outrageousness of that Jesus painting's display is only further exacerbated by the fact that this room is also used regularly for USMMA Honor Code violation boards where midshipmen are literally fighting for their careers, and, often even more, as they face the shameful ignominy of potential expulsion with prejudice if found guilty of USMMA Honor Code violations," Weinstein wrote.
Speaking to Christian Post, Weinstein said his clients "quite correctly believe that the display of the 'Jesus painting' is totally violative of the clear time, place and manner requirements of the No Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
"Given the utterly illicit and unconstitutional time, place and manner of its prominent display in one of the main Administration buildings at USMMA, and during absolutely mandatory attendance gatherings there, it clearly projects the sectarian supremacy of Jesus Christ in some sort of obvious ocean rescue scenario for what appears to be distressed mariners in an open boat," Weinstein said via email.
"It's as though USMMA is screaming that 'Jesus Christ is the only approved solution to all of life's difficulties.'"
The administration agreed with Weinstein in this determination but argued that the painting is in fact so large it is impossible to move.
Their solution? Just cover it up with a piece of cloth.
"I have asked my staff to purchase a curtain to be placed in front of the painting," Nunan wrote in response to the complaint.
Nunan believes this is a reasonable solution, utilizing the curtain to "completely block the painting from view, but also allow those who wish to view it the opportunity to do so. Second, I have asked the Director of the American Merchant Marine Museum to prepare a plaque that explains the history of the painting, which will be installed near it. Given the size of the painting, there is no other location to which it can be moved.
"We think this is a superb solution," Weinstein said. "It will be a teachable moment every time somebody asks why those curtains are up there."
Perhaps the most disturbing accusations levelled in this entire debacle about the painting is the use of modern terminology and redefining of words to remove Jesus from another aspect of American society.
"It marginalizes non-Christian members of the Academy," Weinstein told Christian Post. "The painting does not ensure a diverse, equitable or inclusive environment for non-Christian USMMA midshipmen, graduates, staff or faculty."
How is a painting of Jesus, described as "hostile," "denigrating" and not inclusive or equitable, summarily removed from public sight?
Such initiatives have been weaponized across the nation, having been most effective in places of higher education which includes the military academies that train the future officers of America's military.
Christians must stand up to the lie that Jesus is a threat to anyone or not "diverse" enough for non-believers.
Jesus was the most diverse human in history since He gave His life for all of humanity, regardless of a person's sex, color, race, creed or religion.
He is the greatest unifying factor in world history, yet the enemy will continue his campaign to remove God from all spaces that he can get away with.
The knowledge is there for Christians, now the question is will they engage in the spiritual warfare needed to share the truth, hope and love of Jesus through prayer and fasting?
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James Lasher is Staff Writer for Charisma Media.
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