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Officials at Louisiana State University defended their decision on Thursday to publish a photo in which they removed symbols of the Christian cross worn by students at Saturday’s football game.
The doctored photo, which appeared in an e-mail about the LSU vs. South Carolina game, featured a group of students known as “The Painted Posse,” who paint their bodies with LSU school colors and small crosses for every home game.
The students, who are Christians, were shocked to see the photo which appeared to be otherwise untouched.
“I was a bit surprised, because our pictures get used so frequently, and the cross had never been edited before,” said Posse member Cameron Cooke in an interview with Campus Reform.
“The cross painting is important to me because it represents who I am as a Christ follower,” Cooke added, “and it reminds me who I need to act like in Death Valley.”
But in a separate interview with Campus Reform on Thursday, Vice Chancellor for Communications Herb Vincent acknowledge the school had altered the image to prevent other students from being offended.
“LSU Athletics attempts not to imply any particular religious or political message in any of its correspondence with fans,” said Vincent. “Thus the crosses were edited out of the photos.”
Vincent also said the university was within its rights to edit the photo and claimed that it routinely edits photos before publication.
Regardless Vincent said the university will avoid using similar photos in the future to avoid controversy.
Follow the author of this article: @linnieleavines
The image of the students with the Christian cross, before it was digitally removed by school officials (below):
The remastered image of the students, after school officials digitally removed the Christian cross (below):
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