University Criticized for Photoshopping Crosses Out of Photo of Football Fans

Should Photoshop play a role in political correctness? Louisiana State University is drawing some criticism this week after it came to light that the university had used Photoshop to erase Christian crosses from the chests of body-painted fans.

FoxNews writes that the students in the photo were part of The Painted Posse, a group of Christian football fans that attents LSU football games with tiny crosses painted on their bare chests.

When the photo was sent out as part of a newsletter to students informing them of an upcoming home game, the school decided that it would be best to ‘shop out the religious references.

School spokesman Herb Vincent states that the purpose was to “prevent other students from being offended”:

We don’t want to imply we are making any religious or political statements, so we air-brushed it out. 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. It was just a straight sports communications message, no politics involved, no religion.

Rick Chandler over at NBCSports writes that the school went “too far”:

Yep, sometimes the effort to be politically correct can go too far — if the university had an issue with the crosses, they should have just skipped the photo. Seems like a pretty easy call to me. Why go to all the trouble of Photoshopping a photo when you could have just used something else[?]

Holy Photoshop! LSU erased Christian football fans’ crosses [Fox News]

  • Guest

    They cranked up the brightness too! Ugh. Too much.

  • Vlad Dusil

    Separation of church and football field. I like it.

  • Wallerus

    The ignorant part is that the group is known for the cross on their chest, and yet they posted as if nobody would notice. Pic was already contrasted enough. ;)

  • val escobar

    Besides what were students of faith doing at a game anyways..?
    I personally do not believe in censorship. PLUS I probably wouldn’t even notice the crosses and if I did, would of thought nothing of it. I wonder what else LSU does to manipulate info to its student. If you purport to teach knowledge, teach the truth, always.

  • Sol_Invictus

    Not really a camera story.

  • Get Real

    You’re right, it’s a photo story. So what’s your point?

  • Rob S

    Wow, this is a no brainer. 1st of the 10 Commandments:

    “You shall have no other gods before me”

    This being the SEC, Football wins.

  • JosephRT

    I was way more pissed with the “enhancements” like the brightness levels than I was about the censorship.

  • Joey Duncan

    We don’t know what the photo was used for do we? Maybe that is just the way it needed to look? Maybe it was a media print.

  • Greg R

    Why is it so offensive to people to show a cross or religious symbol in any form or forum? Seems utterly ridiculous that someone with a cross painted on their chest would offend anyone. If it offends them, maybe they should be offered the chance to express tolerance, instead of the other way around?

  • MrWho

    Don’t tell Tebow! ;)

  • mko

    why so serious?

  • Shamrock

    Maybe you need to read the article.

  • Rob S

    So I guess four of you are not college football fans……….IT WAS A JOKE!!!

  • Mike

    Shut down the University. The country was build on Christianity principles. If someone does not like it he can move to another country.

  • bob cooley

    Hmm… is that why John Adams signed the Treaty of Tripoli that states, “The United States is in no sense founded upon the christian doctrine.”?

    You can find quotes from almost every other founder of this country stating exactly the point that the country was NOT founded on the principles of Christianity, but rather on the princples of freedom.

  • Corbyn

    Maybe if it was going to print, it would come out a little darker. I don’t have a ton of experience with printing, but some, and mine usually come out a tad bit darker than what was displayed on the monitor.

  • DrBen

    The leading Founders (Adams, Jefferson, Franklin, Wilson, Morris, Madison, Hamilton, and Washington) were neither Christians nor even strict Deists (e.g., Thomas Paine) but rather supporters of what later came to be known as “theistic rationalism”.

    That being said, the University was wrong. They should NOT have altered reality by removing the crosses from the photos.

  • Jackson Cheese

    More than a few prospective students would be turned off by the idea of going to a a school that they think actively promotes Christianity.

  • Dave

    It’s 2012. People are offended about anything and everything.

  • Dave

    If you look hard enough on this site, you could probably find a story or two about a Pentax or something that talks about a sensor or whatnot and how it is either better or worse than an Olympus or other manufacturer and how you would be better off with a Canon (or Nikon) because it doesn’t have the problem with (insert problem here) that satisfies your need to read an article about a camera (or something).

  • guest

    @twitter-83050781:disqus HAHAHA this is coming from someone who:

    1. wants to deport “muslims and hindus back to their native land, even those who were born here should be sent to the land of their predecessors”2. wants to uphold free speech when it comes to gay bullying3. but, thinks communists and socialists should all be imprisoned
    Either this guy is a troll with too much time on their hands building up a sociopath internet persona, or this guy is legitimately a chimp-brained psychopath. Funny how creeps like this think ‘ethnics’ should be deported for THEIR ‘oppressive’ religion.

  • guest

    But when the only religious symbols visible are Christian symbols, I can see how the message becomes distorted into:

    “we allow freedom of religion, but we’re only going to show crosses and rosaries”. I’m sure it’s harder to find people wearing yamulkas or hijabs or whatnot at football games, but if the school’s only representation of religion is christianity, that does send the wrong message.

    If the school has a strict policy of not showing religious symbols on their official website/newsletter/etc, I have to say I support that decision. Religion is an especially touchy subject, it really can cause people to froth at the mouth.

  • Harry Hall

    Image manipulation in news reporting is complete no-no. Who will trust your story if the images cannot be trusted. Photographer’s choice of viewpoint or cropping – OK; rubbing out the bits you don’t like or you may think others won’t like – bad idea!

  • [email protected]

    A clear sign of the impending intolerance for anything Christian. This is exactly what atheists accuse Christians of but that they in fact are practising.

  • Andres Trujillo

    Actually, I never complained, what I (and most atheist) are complaining about, is the preferential treatment the Christian side ask for. I doubt you would express your outrage if it was any other religion (but granted, photoshoping out a orange tunic, a yamulka or hijab may be a tad bit harder). Religion aside, and as an atheist, I say that this was pretty bad judgement on the school side, they should have selected some other picture

  • Marie Hardy

    boycott…….it is a Christian area……..with Christian leaders…….see how far they go without the local media

  • David Thunander

    Keep photoshopping, religion is messed up.

  • guest

    Let’s watch the pot call the kettle black.

    I’m sorry if separation of church and state makes you upset. A public university is, after all, a government-funded institution. And it was, you know, an official newsletter circulated by the school.

    Please, don’t distort this into a stance against Christianity by athiests–use your common sense.