Public Frescoe of Hecate and the Establishment Clause
willesser at YAHOO.COM
Wed Dec 6 05:08:44 PST 2000
An interesting article from the front page of the
Charlotte Observer yesterday. The City of Statesville
hired artist Ben Long to paint frescoes in the new
Statesville Civic Center. As I recall, Ben Long is a
native of Statesville, and perhaps the leading fresco
painter in North America. His art is all over the
state, including many fine works here in Charlotte.
The work which is still in progress depicts, in a
rather prominent way, the ancient (Greek or Roman?)
three headed goddess Hecate, goddess of the crossroads
and later goddess of the underworld. Long choose
Hecate to symbolize Statesville's position as a
crossroads city (it is located at the major crossroads
of I-40 and I-77).
The article reported that at least 15 ministers have
gathered together to protest the inclusion of Hecate
in the work.
Any thoughts as to whether there is an establishment
clause problem here? If Long were painting a figure
of Christ or the Ten Commandments here on public
property with public monies, there would probably be
an uproar. Why should it be any different if he is
painting a goddess from another religion?
P.S. I personally enjoy Long's work immensely and
think he should be given free rein in his work. But I
think there should be an even playing field as well;
one which does not discriminate based upon which
religion is involved.
Will Esser --- Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam
Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein
Three First Union Center
401 South Tryon St., Suite 3000
Charlotte NC 28202
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