Every football team has that crazy set of fans who paints their bodies to match the team’s colors. For the Tigers of LSU, it’s The Painted Posse. These young men, who happen to be Christians, love the Tigers almost as much as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. Look closely at their picture to the right, and you can see their loyalty to LSU and the Kingdom of God.
That is, until Louisiana State University does a little Photoshopping….
This picture was taken when the LSU Tigers squared off with the Gamecocks of South Carolina in 2012, a game that LSU (barely) won. Notice the blue crosses painted over their hearts, a simple – but symbolic – reference to their allegiance to Christ.
Now take a look at the “same” picture, below, that circulated in a campus-wide email after the game. Notice any changes?
Yep. Officials at LSU decided it was best to Photoshop the crosses off the students’ chests before using the image in a mass-communication to the student body. In the aftermath, the school issued a statement that dismissed any allegations of censorship. “We don’t want to imply we are making any religious or political statements, so we air-brushed it out,” said LSU to Fox News.
Good luck with that.
Cameron Cooke, one of The Painted Posse members, said of the decision, “I was a bit surprised, because our pictures get used so frequently, and the cross had never been edited before. The cross painting is important to me because it represents who I am as a Christ follower, and it reminds me who I need to act like in Death Valley.”
The Apostle Paul would be pleased with the young man’s spirit. Two thousand years ago, he addressed the world’s spite for the cross of Christ. In Philippians 3:18-21, he writes:
For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.
Though officials at LSU may have removed the cross from this picture, but there is nothing that can be done to remove the cross from humanity’s history or eternity.
Click here for the online report (and a larger version of the pictures).
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(Resource cataloged by David R Smith)