Friday, August 18, 2006



Well, Jesus has disappeared . . . again.
This time though, modern science has captured a seemingly flesh and blood entity making off with the . . . uh . . . body.
It is actually the portrait of Jesus that has hung outside the Principal's Office of the Bridgeport High School in Harrison County West Virginia and which is the center of a separation of church and state lawsuit that has gone walkabout.
Before 4 a.m. Thursday, a suspect broke a window to a technology lab in the back of the school and headed straight for the portrait. The suspect covered his face when near security cameras and made off with the picture, school officials said. The suspect apparently didn't disturb or steal anything else.

The suspect left behind the wooden frame and the portrait's backing, said schools Superintendent Carl Friebel. The suspect also left some fingerprints on the window frame, and images were caught by three security cameras.
Michael L. Queen, a member of the board and a leader in the effort to resist the removal of the picture, said:

I can assure the ACLU that when we recover it, it will go back up. Or there will be maybe a picture similar to it that will go back up.
On the other hand, "[s]pokespersons for both the ACLU and Americans United for the Separation of Church and State said they were appalled by the theft and the matter would have been better handled in court."
Perhaps the most important opinion is that of Richard Yurko, the school board's lawyer. Yurko told the Washington Times that a legal group predicted the board had about a 1 percent chance of winning the case. A federal court has already ruled in a nearly identical situation and, "[i]f the court follows that ruling, we will probably lose."
Actually, that lawyer's group may have been generous about the board's chances but it seems intent on going through with this train wreck. At least Jesus had the sense to get out of the way.

P.S. Ed Brayton at Dispatches from the Culture Wars again.

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