Atheist Groups Unhappy with Removal of Michelangelo’s ‘Creation of Adam’ Poster with Flying Spaghetti MonsterBy Staff Reporter, UniversityHerald Reporter
Student union officials at the London South Bank University removed a parody image of the Michelangelo's early 16th-century ceiling fresco in the Sistine Chapel for being 'religiously offensive." The bearded humanoid god in Michelangelo's famous 'Creation of Adam' was replaced with a flying spaghetti monster, meatballs and flanked by angels.
The non-religious students belonging to the South Bank Atheist Society hung the alleged offensive poster last week by during a university event. The Society considered the poster as 'humorous' and placed it to encourage a secular society.
The secular student society removed the Society's stall from the start-of-the term event as well as the poster saying that the meatballs representing 'Adam's genitals' was offensive.
Atheist groups such as the British Humanist Association (BHA) and the National Federation of Atheist, Humanist and Secular Students Societies (AHS) denounced the removal of the poster. They said it was an "utterly ridiculous" decision and is part of "rising tide of frivolous censorship" at British universities.
"In the last few years we have seen our affiliated societies in campus after campus subjected to petty censorship in the name of offence - often even when no offence has been caused or taken," Andrew Copson, BHA chief executive, said, Independent reports.
Copson said that oversensitive union officials are unnecessarily harassing students "whose only desire is to get run totally legitimate social and political societies,"
Choe Ansari, a 21-year-old president of the Society, said that ever since her admission at the university, she has seen no arguments, challenges or logical debates over controversial topics in the campus. All the time, the 'religious sensibilities' has dominated all other rights.
"This incident is just one of a catalogue of attempts to censor our society. I never expected to face such blatant censorship and fragile sensibilities at university, I thought this would be an institution where I could challenge beliefs and in turn be challenged," Ansari, a second-year English student, said,Huffington Post reports.
Rory Fenton, president of the AHS, said that there is a growing trend of censoring affiliated societies in universities to avoid offending religious sensitivities of enthusiastic union representatives.
"Universities need again to be reminded to recognise our members' right to free speech: the same rights that also ensure freedom of expression for religious students. Universities must recognise that their duty is to their students, not their students' beliefs," Fenton said.