The Painted Posse are Christian football fans who attend every home game at the Louisiana college with their chests painted with the school’s colours and a small cross above their hearts. But in an email to the university’s students, LSU edited the cross out on each of the supporters’ chests so as not to offend others. Some students are calling for a campus-wide protest.
PUBLISHED:12:29 EST, 22 October 2012| UPDATED:15:33 EST, 22 October 2012
A group of Christian football fans at Louisiana State University has been left outraged after the college airbrushed out crosses painted on their chests in a picture it emailed to students.
The ‘Painted Posse’ attends every Tigers home game with their bare chests painted with the team’s colours – yellow and purple – with a small cross added above their hearts.
But in an email about the LSU game against South Carolina on October 13, the college included the picture but digitally erased the cross. The photo was otherwise untouched.
‘I was a bit surprised because our pictures get used so frequently, and the cross had never been edited before,’ Posse member Cameron Cooke told CampusReform.org.
‘The cross painting is important to me because it represents who I am as a Christ follower.’
The university stood by its decision, which had been taken so as not to offend other students.
‘We don’t want to imply we are making any religious or political statements, so we air-brushed it out,’ LSU said in a statement.
‘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.’
The Painted Posse, which formed in 2003, are defined by their love of the Tigers and Christian teachings. They have become a fixture of the games, even featuring on national sports broadcasts.
‘I knew from the second I was old enough to know that I was going to LSU,’ Joel D’Aubin told NBC33. ‘And we all have a passion for LSU football and for Christ. Just being able to be that example every single Saturday is an awesome experience.’
Fellow member Cooke added: ‘Without the cross being there, we’re missing part of us.
‘Matthew (5:14) says, “you are the light of the world, you’re a city on a hill that’s not to be hidden”. So to take away part of what we represent, take away the cross, is kinda like taking away who we are.’
But they said that the Posse is not angry at the university and does not expect anything from it.
‘We’re going to be there game in, game out,’ D’Aubin said. ‘We love Christ; we love LSU.’
But fellow fan Paula Jones Bergeron urged others to take a stand against the university’s decision by dressing in school colours and large crosses.
‘The media will be everywhere and my goal is to have a campus of crosses,’ she said.
Another fan, Laura Daily Hanuaer, simply added: ‘They may have Photo Shopped the cross of your bodies but not out of your hearts!! Keep having fun boys!!!’
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