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Facebook bans image of Jesus on cross for being ‘shocking’

A 12th Century San Damiano cross, located at the Basilica of St. Clare in Assisi. (Gunnar Bach Pedersen/WikiMedia)
April 05, 2018

The Franciscan University of Steubenville, a Catholic college in Ohio, posted images and advertisements on Facebook last week promoting an online theology program – but Facebook has since banned one of the images for “shocking content,” according to a report.

One of the images posted was of the San Damiano cross, showing Jesus Christ crucified.

Facebook removed the image and said it was considered to be “shocking content.”

“Your image, video thumbnail or video can’t contain shocking, sensational or excessively violent content,” Facebook told the college.

The college was in agreement with Facebook that the image is, indeed, shocking.

“It was shocking, yes: God deigned to take on flesh and was ‘obedient unto death, even death on a cross.’ (Philippians 2:8). And it was certainly excessively violence: a man scourged to within an inch of his life, nailed naked to a cross and left to die, all the hate of all the sin in the world poured out its wrath upon His humanity,”  the college said.

Facebook’s explanation is “an example of anti-Christian bigotry, flat-out,” and “an example of religious and cultural illiteracy,” said Rod Dreher of the American Conservative, of Facebook’s reasoning.

He added: “Since we’re dealing with Facebook, which is headquartered in the most religiously unobservant part of the U.S., I will assume in charity that it’s the second. This is still cause for alarm. Is it really the case that we have raised a generation of complete morons when it comes to religious and cultural literacy, such that they see the central symbol of the world’s biggest religion as nothing more than an expression of violence, and thus not to be tolerated?”

Although Facebook denies it in this case, social media sites including Facebook, Google and Twitter have all been blamed for online censorship in the past.