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Atheists Warn That This Decades-Old Courthouse Portrait Sends a 'Chilling' Message to Non-Christians. Clearly, Not Everyone Agrees.

Faith

"It's time, I believe, for Christians to stand for what they believe in."

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A portrait featuring Jesus has been hanging in a Kentucky courthouse for decades, but atheists are now demanding that the picture — which has become a staple in Breathitt County — be taken down.

Officials in Jackson, Kentucky, received a letter from the Freedom From Religion Foundation last month demanding that the portrait be taken off of the wall of the Breathitt County courthouse, calling it unconstitutional, WYMT-TV reported.

But supporters have rallied around the photo, holding a rally on Tuesday in an effort to push back against efforts to have it taken down.

"It's time, I believe, for Christians to stand for what they believe in, and the picture of Jesus is not doing anyone any harm in the courthouse," rally co-organizer Mike Bryant said.

So far, there are no plans to remove the Jesus portrait, despite atheists' calls to do so, with Breathitt County Judge Executive John Lester "JL" Smith telling the public that others are also welcome to place images in the hallway that represent their own personal faith.

"We have open arms to anybody of any religion and of any faith or of people of no faith," he told WYMT-TV.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation told the outlet that it has repeatedly appealed to the Breathitt County to remove the portrait since 2013, but to no avail.

"To put this at the seat of county government is really chilling," Freedom From Religion Foundation co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor said. "This sends this message that you better pretend to be a Christian if you want to get any service or justice around here."

(H/T: WYMT-TV)

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