Rutgers University recently removed from its library an art piece showcasing a small statue of Jesus affixed to a dartboard — that included darts impaling his hands, feet, and his side. The Jesus dartboard was part of a larger exhibit of thought-provoking pieces hung around the campus library.
Its removal came after a student’s Facebook post calling it “disrespectful” went viral last Thursday and prompted others to voice concerns.
“This is currently displayed in the Art Library on College Ave,” the student posted April 20. “It is surprising that a state university would allow this. I asked them to take it down because I found it disrespectful and they refused. How is this acceptable!?”
Comments below the student’s post offered mixed reviews, however.
Said one: “Whatever. Separation of church and state. But a real argument can also be: the artist is also religious, and is trying to describe how Jesus was treated during his life, and despite the ‘daggers/darts’ he experienced, such as being lied to, being disrespected, etc, he ‘died’ for us. Art can be interpreted in so many ways. This may not even be a negative portrayal of Jesus. This is silly.”
Argued another: “As an Orthodox Christian, this just made me cringe!! Where is the art in this?? Plz explain. If you see art, you are either blind, or have no taste in art, or just a hater on religion who uses this as a pathetic excuse to attack religion!! Grow up and learn to respect other people’s religious beliefs, I’m willing to protest this until it’s taken down.”
Campus officials removed the exhibit the day after the student’s post went viral, but did not indicate the controversy had anything to do with its decision.