Of the 2.18 billion Christians in the world, 167 million live in the United States. For them, the Bible is considered the Sacred Word of God, an indispensable source of Truth.
Yet in nearly every country, Christians face persecution. In some parts of the world, such as North Africa and the Middle East, this means death for their beliefs. In much of the Western World, anti-Christian culture is blatant.
A recent example comes in the form of a blasphemous display at the University of Southern Maine, titled “Unholy Bible: Very Revised Standard Edition.”
The exhibit features sacrilegious images of Our Lord merged with Satan and torn bible pages made to look like flames, the result of a class assignment in which students were told to “transform a book into something new.”
An Issue of Free Speech?
Although the motto of the University is “[t]he University of Everyone,” “everyone” here evidently does not include Christians, as university administrators defended the attack on the Christian religion as being in line with their free speech policy.
Charlie Flynn, a parent of a student attending the university, pointed out that this is not merely an issue of free speech, but “someone's sacred text [the bible] being desecrated, destroyed and displayed in a public place.”
Mirroring these remarks, Todd Starnes of CBN News, said, “Here in the United States of America, only Christians and Jews are allowed to be attacked for their religious beliefs. It is highly improbable that you would see a university like the University of Southern Maine approve of a desecrated Koran or allow a student to take pictures of the prophet Mohammed and place a satanic image on those kinds of things.”
The Creator Responds
The satanic display’s creator, atheist student Riley Harris, indicated his reason for crafting the blasphemous attack:
“I was thinking a lot about questioning authority in general. People question different types of authority, but for some reason, religious authority seems too taboo to question, so I thought I would give it a shot.”
The Bottom Line
This notion is patently absurd. One merely needs to read the news to see that religious authority, particularly Christian, is frequently maligned. Whether it comes in the form of attacks from the state, such as forcing priests to violate the sacred seal of confession or penalizing private businesses who support traditional marriage, or from other institutions such as Hollywood.
“The contention of Riley Harris that there exists a taboo in criticizing members of the clergy and his subsequent attempt to single himself out as some sort of Rubicon-crossing hero is simply preposterous,” said TFP member Michael Whitcraft.
“At least since Saturday Night Live in the 70s to Monty Python to Southpark, the world has declared open-season on clergymen and Riley Harris is merely trying to piggyback this trend so that he can appear momentarily in the spotlight."
A Call to Action
By allowing the “Unholy Bible” display without any condemnation or even apology to the scores of offended Christians at their institution and beyond, the University of Southern Maine is complicit in the defamation and attack on the Christian religion.
To quote the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
“Blasphemy is directly opposed to the second commandment. It consists in uttering against God – inwardly or outwardly – words of hatred, reproach, or defiance; in speaking ill of God; in failing in respect toward him in one’s speech; in misusing God’s name. … The prohibition of blasphemy extends to language against Christ’s Church, the saints, and sacred things.”
All Christians must respond.
That is why TFP Student Action encourages its readers to peacefully, yet firmly, sign this protest petition and write or call the administration of the university to voice concern.
Dr. Glenn Cummings
President, University of Southern Maine
Office of the President
Portland, Maine 04104
Our Lady of Lepanto, pray for us!
Our Lady Help of Christians, pray for us!
Saint Joan of Arc, pray for us!