Since I’m always interested in the balancing act of separation of church and state, here is an example from The Spokesman Review where Christians are protesting a god for once–a Hindu god. Ganesha, a metal sculpture by artist Rick Davis is the subject of controversy in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. The dedication ceremony to the Hindu god by the local government was protested by the Kootenai County Constitution Party (KCCP). The article mentions the planned protest so I’m not sure if they had much success on 6/11.
It’s hard to tell if this protest group cares about the separation of church and state or simply is offended that Ganesha is a nonChristian deity and wants to replace him with Jesus. The KCCP encouraged “Christians” to protest from what I can tell and not ardent constitutionalists. They referred to the sculpture as an “abomination” and the people who approved of the project as a “godless group of individuals.”
Now I agree with the KCCP in respect to separation of church and state. It appears under the guise of art, someone got their god public funding and an idol built on public land. However, as again I’m not a lawyer, possibly if the public arts program for Coeur d’Alene is all inclusive–sculptures representing all religions are allowed, then maybe it’s not in violation. But undoubtedly there’s only so much tax money to go around and will everyone get their god funded? Do we really need to fund public gods?
This should give Christians pause when atheists get upset over sculptures of The Ten Commandments on Courthouse steps or nativity scenes on public property. Here’s an example, if we are to be fair, of a nonChristian deity getting its chance to shine at taxpayer’s expense. Yet, I agree with the protest. As an atheist, I’m happy to look at religious art in a museum or even a church, but I don’t care for my tax dollars to be used in this way–especially in this economy. I like public art, generally speaking. I would hope that we could find funding without tax dollars (maybe Ganesha wasn’t fully funded by the people, I’m not sure) and tap into business and individual donations
Shouldn’t Idaho have a sculpture of a big potato or something? What does Ganesha have to do with Idaho? Diversity aside, Ganesha doesn’t really seem to fit.