The University of Southern Maine has displayed student-created artwork entitled Unholy Bible: Very Revised Standard Edition, which cut up the Holy Scriptures to look like flames and pasted a Satanic image over the face of Christ. After receiving complaints from Christian students, the university says the display is protected speech.
Riley Harris, a sophomore at the university, was instructed to take a book of some kind and ‘repurpose it’ for something new. He decided to cut up a Bible, color its pages red, and put a pop-up satanic-Christ figure. The artwork was then put on display in a community building where church groups meet.
The Casco Bay Church of Christ happens to meet in the building where the artwork is displayed, and several complained to the college.
Charlie Flynn, a worshipper who gathers at the university facility said, “This is someone’s sacred text being desecrated, destroyed and displayed in a public place. I couldn’t help but feel no one’s sacred text should be treated that way. I think it’s very inappropriate and repugnant.”
The university’s vice president told the college newspaper that such displays would continue so long as they do not “violate the law, defame specific individuals, genuinely threaten or harass others or violate privacy or confidentiality requirements or interests.”
Conservative pundit, Todd Starnes, spoke about it yesterday.
Starnes said, “If I saw a Quran with pig blood on it I would certainly call someone — or a Torah with unclean foods on it. This is a Bible with Satan’s image put over Jesus’ image and around Christmastime. I don’t understand why that would be viewable in an institution of higher learning. This is USM, a school that services the community.”
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