Stooping Leaux

From Dr. Saturday comes this story of LSU airbrushing crosses out of a picture of students at a football game. Pause, and now read that again. Yes, that’s right–airbrushing out crosses.

Here’s the original:

And here’s the retouched, administration-approved version:

From the story:

In reproducing the photo for a campuswide email, LSU made the decision to airbrush out the crosses on the students’ chests. See, the Painted Posse is a group of Christian-centered Tiger fans, and, well, someone somewhere inside LSU decided not to mix football and religion. (Which is a bit surprising, considering that in the SEC, football IS religion.)

 … 

The school, in a statement, indicated that it was not trying to censor any views, but rather to avoid the appearance of endorsing one. “We don’t want to imply we are making any religious or political statements, so we air-brushed it out,” the school said in a statement to Fox News. “Only one of the students, who didn’t appreciate it, actually contacted us about it. So next time, we’ll just choose a different photo.”

If there’s one thing LSU doesn’t need to do it’s remove images of wholesome religiousity from their football stadium. Here in the SEC we hear plenty of stories about what goes on at Death Valley, and they need all the wholesome religiousity they can get.

On a slightly more serious note, this is one of those things that, when viewed in isolation, might make you say, “Ah, that’s no big deal.” But it’s one of thousands and thousands of episodes that add up to a big deal.

As someone who uses Photoshop pretty often, I can tell you that airbrushing out those crosses is not that hard, but it’s harder than not airbrushing them out. So in this instance, as in many others, somebody made the decision that scrubbing out a symbol of Christianity was worth the extra effort.

In times past, the crosses wouldn’t have even merited the notice of the person who was editing the picture. They would’ve been part of the background noise of a country steeped in Christian symbolism. If you think this is a Christian nation now, though, bear in mind that somewhere, in some office, someone has uttered the phrase, “That’s a good picture to use, but we better get rid of those crosses.”

Bonus question: If the students had Islamic crescents or the Hindu om on their shoulders, does the picture get used? And if so, do those symbols get airbrushed out?