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‘Jesus Tattoo’ Website Sues Texas School For Discrimination [VIDEO]

Is Jesus like a tattoo artist? One group thinks so, and it’s going to court to get its message out.

JesusTattoo.org, a Christian website using a “modern parable” that depicts Jesus as a tattoo artist, asked to advertise their website on a Texas High School’s stadium jumbotron. When the district denied their request last year, the religious group sued, claiming discrimination in Little Pencil v. Lubbock Independent School District.

A federal appeals court will hear the case Tuesday, and the national religious legal group, Alliance Defending Freedom, has taken up representing JesusTattoo.org. ADF Legal Counsel Matt Sharp, who worked extensively on the case, told The Daily Caller News Foundation that this case is part of a trend of contentious religious speech cases they are seeing in schools.

Sharp told TheDCNF that ADF wants to set a precedent to protect this speech in schools nationwide.

“All of these are part of a larger effort to make sure that religious speech can’t be targeted and censored simply because a government official finds it offensive,” he told TheDCNF. “The courts have consistently held that even local principals are required to follow the first amendment in every regard.”

The district has allowed religiously affiliated groups to advertise at the stadium in the past, such as Full Armor Ministries, Lubbock Christian University, Bethany Baptist Church, and christian preschools, according to ADF. ADF says the stadium had also allowed advertising for nonreligous groups like massage therapists and health insurance providers.

The Jesus Tattoo advertisement in question showed a shirtless Jesus covered in symbolic tattoos with a crown of thorns on his head. Next to him read the words “JesusTattoo.org.” The school district says it did not allow the advertising because of its religious message and because the school does not allow visible tattoos.

“Throughout this process, we have asserted that our actions were in keeping with district policies, state and federal law, and we are pleased that the court ruled in favor of Lubbock ISD,” the district said in a statement. “We will continue to focus on our mission of educating students and hope we can put this behind us and give our complete attention to that important work.”

The site’s message seems positive though unorthodox. It features videos aimed at proselytizing for Christianity. A federal judge ruled against the site in February.

“Public schools should encourage, not shut down, the free exchange of ideas,” ADF Senior Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco, who will argue before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, said in a statement. “School officials cannot legally allow some groups to advertise while prohibiting others simply because their message is religious – especially when the district has already allowed the religious messages of other groups. The First Amendment forbids this kind of censorship.”

The website’s homepage features a video showing Jesus as a tattoo artist. Different people come to Jesus with tattoos of words like “Fear” and “Self-Righteous” on their body. Jesus then erases the negative words and gives them a different tattoo of a new, positive word that’s the opposite of the one previously on their skin.

“Fear” is replaced with “Brave.” “Self-Righteous” is replaced with “Humble.”

“All of us have been marked,” the video says. “As time passes, life leaves its etchings on our life, our body, even our souls.”

At the end of the video, Jesus takes off his shirt to reveal that all the negative words once on his customers are now on his own skin.

WATCH:

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Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.



 

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