ACCORD MAY BE NEAR ON JESUS' PICTURE AT SCHOOL Detroit News, 11/16/93 LANSING Lawyers argu
ACCORD MAY BE NEAR ON JESUS' PICTURE AT SCHOOL
Detroit News, 11/16/93
LANSING - Lawyers arguing the legality of hanging a
conventional picture of "Jesus" on a wall in Bloomingdale High
Schol could reach accord this week to end a yearlong debate
over religious freedom in the rural village west of Kalamazoo.
David Melton, a Grand rapids attorney defending Bloomingdale's
right[sic] to hang the picture, said he is close to a compromise with
Susan Fall, the American Civil Liberties Union lawyer representing the
student who sued to have it removed.
Melton would not divulge details of the potential agreement
but said the pact may be unveiled "as early as this week."
The case is before the U.S. Court of Appeals in Cincinnati
but the court, Melon said. (sic)
The school board, at the urging of many village residents,
voted to fight a lower court judge's order that it cover up the
A cloth has been draped over the picture since March 1, after
Judge Benjamin Gibson of U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids wrote
that it promotes religion.
"The community is overwhelmingly behind our decision to fight
(Gibson's) ruling," said school board president Jim Dickerson.
Residents founded the group "Bloomingdale Fights Back" to help pay
district legal fees for the suit.
Dickerson said the picture was a gift to the school.
The flap over the picture started in October 1992 when
then-senior Eric Pensinger sued Bloomingdale's schools, charging
the portrait encroached upon his "religious beliefs." Pensinger,
18, is an atheist.
Melton said that if the compromise falls through, he will
ask the appeals court to find the case moot on the grounds that
Pensinger no longer is a student at Bloomingdale High School. He
graduated in June.
... Sure i'll serve god! Will you carve?
So what? Did each black person have to get freedom individually?
If it is unconstitutional it is unconstitutional regardless of
whether or not that particular student is there or not.
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank