Christian students from Louisiana State University, who are ardent football fans, paint their upper bodies during games. Known as “The Painted Posse,” the group was formed in 2003 and has become a fixture at LSU home games, appearing on national television broadcasts, ESPN and in Sports Illustrated. Members of The Posse had their picture taken at the LSU – South Carolina game. Officials sent out the photo of the students in a Geaux-Mail newsletter to the student body, but removed the crosses painted on The Posse’s bodies with digital technology. The students were dismayed when they viewed the photo, which appeared to be otherwise unedited. Cameron Cooke, one of the students, told CampusReform.org, “I was a bit surprised, because our pictures get used so frequently, and the cross had never been edited before. The cross painting is important to me because it represents who I am as a Christ follower.” Herb Vincent, an LSU spokesman noted that the school altered the image to prevent other students from being offended. “We don’t want to imply we are making any religious or political statements, so we air-brushed it out, Only one of the students, who didn’t appreciate it, actually contacted us about it. So next time, we’ll just choose a different photo.” LSU plans to steer clear of any photos with religious overtones when it sends out athletic promotional materials.
In a land where freedom of religious expression and freedom of speech are touted as rights, political correctness has found a way around the Constitution. Whenever people of faith express their views, they are simply ignored by those who “wish to remain neutral.” Such neutrality negates expression, implicitly conveying the idea that there is absolutely no room to discuss “private matters” (e.g., religion, politics, ethics) in a “public forum.” The more society at large embraces such an outlook, the greater individual liberties erode. It is important for people to politely, intelligently and firmly exercise their freedoms, or else those liberties will soon be gone.