A Catholic college reportedly replaced Jesus Christ with George Floyd in a famous art piece, angering students who called it "blasphemous!"
According to WND, the Catholic University of America hung two copies of the icon created by Kelly Latimore entitled "Mama" in its campus ministry office and outside its Mary Mirror of Justice Chapel. "Mama" was created by Latimore in line with the death of George Floyd and is a modern adaptation of Michaelangelo's famous "La Pieta."
Many students found the icon "inappropriate," such as college junior Blayne Clegg who told Fox News that it is "heretical" and "blasphemous."
"There's a fine line between recognizing the innate dignity and righteousness of human beings that are made in the image of God and embracing brazen, progressive politics. I haven't found anybody who's been able to give a serious theological justification for this kind of heretical, blasphemous idolatry," Clegg remarked.
Clegg explained that "Mama" doesn't depict Jesus as a Black American but rather as another human being in the person of Floyd, which he stressed as representation of the school's ironical bias with "progressive politics."
"Jesus has been depicted as many different races, but Jesus is always depicted as nothing but Jesus, the sinless son of Almighty God. There has never, to my knowledge, been any serious, respected Catholic theologian or icon maker who has depicted Jesus Christ as another human being," Clegg said.
"It's hard to imagine that progressive politics could be fully embraced by university faculty and staff and administrators at the Catholic University of America," he lamented.
A group of students like Clegg has come out with a petition at Change.Org for the icons to be removed from the university's premises as they find it "disrespectful" and "sacrilegious." The petition has already garnered 1,088 signatures as of November 23.
"We are asking through this petition that the University's administration remove these images from public display on our campus, as we believe they are disrespectful, and sacrilegious," the petition read.
As per a news release of the university's Columbus School of Law dated March 3, the college welcomed Latimore's "Mama" to conclude its Black History Month program held in February.
The icon was unveiled and blessed in a simple ceremony lead by Columbus School of Law Dean Stephen Payne, who highlighted the need to cherish "diversity" which is a "divine gift." The concluding program also stressed the call to reject "racism in both its active and passive forms."
Latimore claimed during an interview with The Christian Century that though the icon was influenced by Floyd's death, it is not Floyd himself- but only symbolizes him since God is present in every one.
"It was commissioned by my partner Evie Schoenherr as a way to mourn George Floyd," Latimore revealed.
"God being present in the dead black body," he added. "The common question that people asked was, 'Is it George Floyd or Jesus?' The fact they're asking that question is part of the problem. My answer was yes. This non-answer frustrated the hell out of a lot of people."
Meanwhile in a statement sent to Fox News, the Columbus School of Law spokesperson explained that "Mama" depicts Mary and her Son, Jesus, who is identified by "the letters in the halo Ὁ ὬΝ, which is shorthand in Greek for 'I Am'." The said letters are solely "used in icons only in connection with Jesus Christ, the Son of God." The spokesperson pointed out that contrary to how others perceive the icon, it is really an image of "good-faith" signifying "universality."
"There are those who would like to see George Floyd as the male figure in the icon. That is not how we read it. The image represents to our community a good-faith attempt to include religious imagery on campus that reflects the universality of the Catholic Church," the spokesperson said.