The controversy over an ad campaign featuring a tattooed image of Jesus Christ is headed to a Texas courtroom. Since it’s unveiling the campaign has raised eyebrows but it was the refusal to run the ads by the Lubbock Independent School District that prompted the creator of the ads, an organization entitled Little Pencil, to file suit.
The campaign is called Jesus Tattoo and uses pictures showing Jesus with very realistic looking tattoos of words including “faithless,” “outcast,” and “hated” on his body. In the video that is the centerpiece of the campaign the narrator explains that "All of us have been marked, these markings come to define us. (Jesus) was beaten, bloodied and killed for us and took the markings that should have been ours upon himself so that we could find forgiveness and a new start."
Prior to the 2013 high school football season Little Pencil attempted to purchase an advertisement that would run on the Jumbotron at Lowrey Field but were turned down by the LISD. According to the suit, the reason given by the LISD when they rejected the ad was that they had a policy forbidding tattoos in advertisements. After going through the district’s bylaws Little Pencil claims that there is no such provision and that the refusal violated their free speech rights, according to the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.
Other advertisements from faith-based organizations ran during football games so it appears as if the religious message was not the point of contention for the LISD. But the idea of an ad getting rejected only because it features a tattooed person seems off so we are guessing that school district officials must have found the depiction of a tattooed Jesus objectionable.
Now, if the LISD was opposed to how terrible Jesus’ beard looks in the ads we would be 100% in their corner.