Newton County, GA – You’ve likely heard the metaphorical expression “God is dead,” but you probably never count on seeing it featured in the student artwork hanging on the wall at your local school.
One Georgia mother was concerned about a piece of artwork featuring the words hanging in her daughter’s school and brought her complaint to the principal.
“It made my daughter very uncomfortable,” Crystal Mitchell said. “If my child can’t pray in school and they’ve taken religion out of school, for this to be plastered on the walls of school, is a huge concern for me.”
But the problem with the piece of artwork is that, in context, it’s a simple scene from the Arthur Miller play The Crucible, a classic read by thousands of high school students each year.
“God is dead” is one of the play’s more famous lines, uttered by a disillusioned John Proctor. Though the play is couched in the infamous Salem Witch trials, it actually has very little to do with religion. Miller wrote it to symbolize the McCarthy-era Communist panic.
Context notwithstanding, Mitchell made a Facebook post “God Is Alive In Newton” about the photo, which gained 500 likes in just a few days. The story and the protest gained more steam with a local news story, prompting the school to finally take action.
They won’t be taking the art down, but will have a meeting with freshmen and sophomores (who, presumably, haven’t read The Crucible yet) to explain the context of the piece.
“Thousands of students read this book every year,” said a Newton schools PR spokeswoman. “If it’s not appropriate on the classroom wall, where is it appropriate?”
What do you think? Should the “God is dead” art be allowed to stay on the wall, or should it be removed, regardless of context, because it has offended some? Sound off!