Students at the EPCC Valle Verde campus are getting a lesson in separation of church and state, but it’s not part of a class. It’s about whether or not an image of Jesus Christ on a mural is appropriate at the school.

courtesy: tejanotribune.com/samuel sosa

The mural has representations of the different clubs at EPCC, including an image of Christ that represents College for Christ, which is an officially recognized club at EPCC. The mural has been up for months, and no one said anything about it until it was vandalized with spray paint and the police report on it got back to EPCC administration. An EPCC official said even though the club is a recognized club, they can't be represented on the mural with a religious icon.

College for Christ members and the school met to try and figure out what else could be put on the mural, but CFC members say because they can’t put Jesus, the Cross, or praying hands on the mural, they "basically can’t put anything that represents our club.” Because EPCC is publicly funded with tuition money, they say they need to be "viewed as religious neutral.”

CFC members have talked with State Rep. Joe Pickett and lawyers, who told them that EPCC can’t force them to use a different image. EPCC approved the mural without knowing what was going to be in it, and that could give the club some leeway. EPCC says there was no rendition of the mural approved by anyone at the college, and the image will have to be removed. The club has a petition out to save the mural, but they feel that it's a lost cause because they can't stop EPCC from removing the image.

What do you think? Should the club be allowed to keep the image of Christ, or should EPCC take it down?