Facebook bans crucifix image as 'excessively violent'
Claiming it was just an algorithm, Facebook rejected an ad featuring a crucifix on the grounds that it presented an "excessively violent" image.
Let's cut to the chase: nobody believes that.
The ad was for a Christian theology program at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, featuring an image of a crucifix, the famous, ornate, iconic (in the real sense) San Damiano cross from the Italian village church where St. Francis of Assisi first received his religious mission. Franciscan University, Franciscan crucifix – get it?
The offending cross was this one, which has its own Wikipedia page:
The San Damiano Cross is the large Romanesque rood cross before which St. Francis of Assisi was praying when he is said to have received the commission from the Lord to rebuild the Church. It now hangs in the Basilica of Saint Clare (Basilica di Santa Chiara) in Assisi, Italy, with a replica in its original position in the church of San Damiano nearby. Franciscans cherish this cross as the symbol of their mission from God. The cross is a crucifix of a type sometimes called an icon cross because in addition to the main figure of the Christ, it contains images of other saints and people related to the incident of Christ's crucifixion. The tradition of such painted crucifixes began in the Eastern Church and possibly reached Italy via Montenegro and Croatia.
And here is the rejected ad, which contained only a detail of the image.
To start, notice that it is not a particularly violent-looking image – even less so, given that the ad features only a detail of the image, not the full Crucifixion. If you want a violent crucifix image to censor, you have to go to the art of Matthias Grünewald. The San Damiano crucifix image is less violent because it is about more than just a crucifixion; its featured images in the Eastern tradition suggest that it is also about the communion of the saints and the broader church as a whole. It is not just a documentary image about the Crucifixion, but an artist's effort to tell the whole story of the church, which is why the violence is minimized in the stylized art. It was obvious enough for the past thousand years to everyone who saw it...until Facebook came along. The one thing that can be observed about this is that, like the Roman empire doyens, who were shocked at the image of the cross and in their pagan logic threw Christians to the lions for it, Facebook's denizens creating these algorithms are generating approximately the same reaction.
It's also astonishing that the famous San Damiano crucifix was the image targeted. Shows how classy Facebook is. This censorship shows that Facebook's people are totally ignorant not only of Christian culture in their algorithms, but also of art – making themselves perfect zero-refinement Philistines, in addition to being anti-Christian, as everyone suspects.
Banned because it was too violent...presumably, that is because violent images cause teenagers and Muslims to go out and do violent things, and Facebook wants to put a stop to it. Lot of that we have been seeing from the theology programs of Christian universities, ain't that so, Facebook?
No, it was just a ban of a Christian image because Facebook has too many minions who don't like Christianity. What's obnoxious about this ban is that the left has always up until now hollered about religious images invading the public square. Now leftists are protesting religious images even in places where these images are appropriate, such as the theology department of a Catholic university. It's not enough to just leave Christians alone among themselves; they need to be the kind of Christians Facebookers think they should be: bland, with no knowledge of the crucifix, historic Western traditions, or fine art. Just a happy-face emoji.
No wonder Facebook has so many opponents among ordinary Americans these days. Maybe if it can lighten up on the anti-Christian censorship, it can regain its lost trust.