FFRF seeks Breathitt County plaintiff to challenge county Jesus painting

Breathitt County Jesus Portrait
The Freedom From Religion Foundation is calling on citizens in Breathitt County, Ky. to participate in a lawsuit over the unconstitutional Jesus painting that hangs in the Breathitt County Courthouse.

The call comes in response to statements by Breathitt County Judge Executive John Lester Smith denying FFRF’s requests to remove the painting.

FFRF Senior Staff Attorney Rebecca Markert has written several complaints since 2013 on behalf of area residents offended by the portrait, which shows a man kneeling before Jesus with the caption, “In your place what would Jesus do.”

“Breathitt County is not a Christian county, the Breathitt County Courthouse is not a Christian courthouse, and the USA is not a Christian nation,” said FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor.

“It is just as inappropriate to place a painting of Jesus at the courthouse as it would be to post the words ‘God is Dead’ or ‘There is only one true god, Allah, and Muhammed is his prophet.’ “

FFRF noted that the courthouse should send a message of equal justice under the law and liberty for all. “This picture conveys to all visitors of the Breathitt County Courthouse that Christianity is the favored religion of government,” wrote Markert.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is eager to challenge this church/state entanglement, but to do so requires a local plaintiff or plaintiffs with standing — someone who has come in contact with the painting at the courthouse and is offended. We will hold all information in confidence and answer any questions. Contact FFRF Senior Staff Attorney Rebecca Markert at 608-256-8900 or c/o [email protected].

FFRF has 23,000 members nationwide and more than 150 in Kentucky.

Freedom From Religion Foundation

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