Thursday, October 15, 2009

Police 'arrest' Jesus image

Protesters say picture with waving middle fingers should have been targeted

A new video posted on YouTube reveals how police in Rockford, Ill., "arrested" a drawing of Jesus used by a pro-life protester at an abortion business – even though a different drawing purporting to be of Jesus waving both middle fingers at the pro-lifers was left untouched.

The video was posted by an organization called the Rockford Pro-life Initiative:

The video explains how the pro-life organization protests the taking of unborns' lives through "prayer, fasting, education and personal sacrifice."

"We come here to pray and offer assistance and options to women about to end the life of their child," the video narrator says of the actions at the site of the Northern Illinois Womens Center.

The video shows a protester shouting to someone heading into the abortion business, "Please don't do this today. Please love your baby."

Then it focuses on a window of the abortion business to reveal a drawing of Jesus with fists in the front of the picture, with both middle fingers extended.

The video notes the image violates city rules against the offensive use of images, an issue raised to the city's legal department by Bill Donohue of the Catholic League. He wrote to city officials about the issue of "the obscene portrayal of Jesus with his middle finger extended at Christians."

"When we last exchanged letters, I thought that this specific issue was resolved. But now I have learned that there is a new depiction, this time with Jesus giving the finger with both hands. Is this true? And if so, what can be done about it? My central concern is to shield local Catholics from having their religious sensibilities assaulted, and to stop this conflict from escalating," he wrote to city officials, but he did not obtain a response.

However, the video reveals that only days ago, when a protester briefly put down a drawing of Jesus he had been carrying, police approached him almost immediately, and within a short time, actually "arrested" the image, placing it in the back seat of a police cruiser.

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