First they went after Robert E. Lee. Then they went after Christopher Columbus and George Washington. Now, a statue of the Virgin Mary and Baby Jesus has been taken down, to avoid offending people. It is perhaps the most shocking move yet in the culture war America is waging over statues.
While this incident may have happened in the liberal bastion of California, it is indicative of a disturbing movement nationwide. It doesn’t stop at statues – the movement seeks to secularize American culture in total. That means purging anything that might be deemed politically incorrect, and for progressives, that certainly applies to Jesus. When even a Catholic school is buying into this mindset, we know the war for America’s soul is at a tipping point.
The Daily Wire reports on the incident in California, which occurred at the San Domenico School in San Anselmo, California. The school moved a number of Catholic statues and icons, because they did not want to offend parents of other faiths. The decision did not sit well with many parents, especially when they learned many of the statues and icons were ditched in the school basement.
The move to “sanitize” the school of religious expression has gone on for some time. Last year, the school removed communion service for their second grade class.
Thus far, the school has removed and relocated all but 18 of their 180 Catholic icons and statues. The head of the school’s board of trustees, Amy Skewes-Cox, claims such removals are “completely in compliance” with school rules, which were approved by the board and the Dominican Sisters of San Rafael last year.
Kim Pipki, whose daughter used to attend San Domenico, recalled the removal of the statue of baby Jesus and Mary as particularly contentious.
“The one main statue that has everyone fired up is the baby Jesus and Mary one,” said Pipki. “It was at the center of the primary school courtyard.”
Shannon Fitzpatrick, whose eight-year-old daughter currently attends Domenico, wrote an email to school officials and the Dominican Sisters of San Rafael expressing her disapproval of the so-called inclusive changes, suggesting their version of “inclusion” apparently means gutting Catholicism from the school altogether.
“Articulating an inclusive foundation appears to mean letting go of San Domenico’s 167-year tradition as a Dominican Catholic school and being both afraid and ashamed to celebrate one’s heritage and beliefs,” wrote Fitzpatrick.
San Domenico is not owned or operated by a specific parish, but, rather, was founded as an independent Catholic school. Head of School Cecily Stock explained that this is precisely why the school has acted to become more inclusive; many know the school is Catholic, she said, but neglect to realize it is also independent.
“San Domenico is both a Catholic school and an independent school,” said Stock, “but what we were finding after doing some research is that in the broader community we are known as being a Catholic school and are not necessarily known as an independent school. We want to make sure that prospective families are aware that we are an independent school.”
“If you walk on the campus and the first thing you confront is three or four statues of St. Dominic or St. Francis, it could be alienating for that other religion, and we didn’t want to further that feeling,” she said.