Florida Cops Order Live Jesus-on-the-Cross to Come Down April 21, 2014

Florida Cops Order Live Jesus-on-the-Cross to Come Down

Inflict some gruesome wounds on a guy and publicly hang him from a gallows — or roast him over a fire in a park — and hardly anyone will think that’s family fare.

But put a crown of thorns on his head and nail him to a cross on public land (next to a busy multi-lane street, no less) and folks will line up to have their little kids pose with the torture victim.

This has to be the best still from the Fox 4 local news video that aired on Friday:

The mock-crucifixion happened in (of course) Florida. Cops ordered the cross and its occupant to come down after the display drew complaints from people who thought the whole thing was both inappropriate and a distraction to drivers. Plenty of passers-by disagreed, with one woman intoning “Jesus is appropriate for everywhere.”

Watch and wonder:

For the record: If I were the wannabe Messiah in question, I would have politely told the cops to go find a donut shop somewhere. What fake Jesus did — which is akin to a small theater piece or art performance — falls almost certainly under the rubric of constitutionally protected speech.

I agree that such a crucifixion reenactment is inappropriate (at least for kids) and cringe-worthy. But threats to public order or traffic safety aside, determining appropriateness is not a law-enforcement job. Whether something is fit to be seen is a matter of taste — and police officers shouldn’t be in the business of regulating it.

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