I have some questions here.
A picture of Jesus can remain on the wall at a south Louisiana courthouse because it is now just one among many portraits of legal icons, a federal judge ruled Sept. 7.
What’s a picture of Jesus? Is it a picture of a guy wearing, like, a sweatshirt with ‘Jesus’ across the front? Because if it’s not, how does anyone know it’s Jesus? It’s not as if there’s a stash of photographs of the guy somewhere you know. There’s not even a stash of sketches; there’s not even one sketch. There’s nothing. There’s also no physical description. Mark doesn’t tell us he was balding and short. John doesn’t tell us he had red hair and a squint. Nobody tells us anything. So what is a picture of Jesus?
The picture is now shown with 15 other people in legal history through the ages. They include Mohammed, who is shown holding the Koran, Charlemagne, Napoleon and King Louis IX of France.
Couple of things here. One, Mohammed has the same problem – nobody knows what he looked like, so what does it mean to have a picture of him along with a picture of Napoleon (who as we all know looked like Marlon Brando)? And two – uh – I hate to be the one to bring it up, but does no one remember what got shouted so much in February 2006? [whispers] We’re not allowed to make or have or display pictures of Mohammed. It’s forbidden – not just to Muslims, but by Muslims to all other people. Be very very careful down there in Slidell County, because you might get solemn visits from ambassadors from ‘Muslim countries’ who will want you to apologize and crawl around on the floor for awhile and throw seven or eight people in jail. So mind how you go.
The former judge who bought the picture said in a sworn statement that he had no idea that it had any religious significance. “To me at the time it appeared to be a depiction of a lawgiver,” retired Judge James R. Strain Jr. said. Lemelle, who noted several times during the hearing that the picture showed someone with a halo, said he wasn’t questioning Strain’s veracity. “But it’s a halo. You can tell him I said that,” he told Johnson.
Ah, a halo – so are they quite sure it’s not a picture of Moses, or Paul, or Constantine? And if they are quite sure – how did they get that way?