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October 9th, 2010
02:44 PM ET

Woman charged for destroying controversial Jesus art in Colorado

Editor's note: A lawyer for Kathy Folden, who was charged Wednesday by Loveland, Colorado police with criminal mischief - a felony - said she will plead not guilty.

“Kathy is an ordinary American with some sincerely held religious beliefs, and like a lot of Americans and a lot of people in Colorado she was pretty upset by some of the displays at a city-owned museum,” one of her attorneys, Cliff Stricklin, told CNN Friday.

“The real issue is the city of Loveland, which is not supposed to be endorsing or belittling religion,” he said. “They specifically endorsed a piece that belittled Jesus Christ.”

Striklin said that Folden will challenge the charge on the basis that a felony is supposed to involve destruction of more than $1,000 worth of property. “There’ no way the state can prove that this piece was worth over $1,000,” Stricklin said.

Folden, 56, of Kalispell, Montana, was released from jail Thursday on $350 bail. Striklin said that this weekend she will return home, where the mother and grandmother works as a long-haul trucker.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Art • Colorado • Jesus • United States

soundoff (895 Responses)
  1. Augy

    You people who mock Christians and God better watch what you say. Some crazy Christians are just crazy enough to prove your point. In fact, as the mocking continues, I think it's just a matter of time untill the red stuff starts to flow. Sometimes it's wiser to leave a sleeping dog lie.

    October 10, 2010 at 3:20 am |
    • Kate

      @Augy

      Onoes! it's already started!

      Just linkin'

      October 10, 2010 at 3:38 am |
  2. Supremo_Lagarto

    The woman should be commended for destroying something that had no redeeming value for society. Even if you are not religious, you should understand that displaying an object that obscenely mocks a religious figure is inappropriate for public display. The object in question is also no more artistic than a photograph of a bowel movement. The 'artist' who created it it did not have the talent to attract attention so he or she instead stooped to shock value.

    October 10, 2010 at 2:58 am |
  3. Ih8u

    I find all of your posts very very offensive. Please leave your address and my crowbar can fix that!

    October 10, 2010 at 2:51 am |
  4. Wert

    There is a provision in the law of some states that accepts the concept of "fighting words" as a defense. In short, it says that while you have a right to free speech, if you use "fighting words" and the other guy kicks your butt, don't come crying to us about it. Since the Supreme Court calls flag burning "speech", I see know reason why this isn't as well.

    October 10, 2010 at 2:48 am |
    • Randall

      If you burn your own flag you get looked down upon, called names, maybe punched in the nose as someone else tries to put it out. If you burn the flag owned by a public museum, you get all of the above and charges pressed because you have DAMAGED PUBLIC PROPERTY. It's simple. Or you could attempt to cite me any of those 'provisions' that have actually been used in a public property case.

      Get it yet?

      October 10, 2010 at 3:53 am |
  5. jc

    good night,God bless you all!

    October 10, 2010 at 2:47 am |
  6. Guest

    Imagine a heaven where the only art allowed is what religious nut-jobs say is permissible. Now there's a real hell for you!

    October 10, 2010 at 2:41 am |
    • Wert

      Now, imagine a hell where you're constantly bombarded by inane left-wing comments.

      October 10, 2010 at 2:53 am |
    • Kate

      @Wert

      That's why we're all on these comments instead of over at MSNBC

      Just sayin'

      October 10, 2010 at 3:35 am |
    • Randall

      Hey Christian Dude. Stop associating athiests with lefty communists. We're inside your republican party resenting you from here too. Perhaps I need to translate this to 6th grade level so you will understand it better. Cute comment not so cute anymore is it.

      October 10, 2010 at 3:38 am |
    • Kate

      @Randall

      "I'z in yor elefant drinkin' yor tee"?

      Just lolcattin'

      October 10, 2010 at 3:40 am |
    • Paused

      @Kate

      lolcattin' without a cat? You didn't make a picture?

      ohnoes!

      October 10, 2010 at 4:36 am |
    • Kate

      @Paused

      Haz bukit, haz cheezeburger, mega cat iz busy, no picz plz kthxbai

      Just sayin' 🙂

      October 10, 2010 at 4:58 am |
  7. noel

    I will gladly pay 1004.00 just to destroy "IT."

    October 10, 2010 at 2:32 am |
    • Guest

      why?

      October 10, 2010 at 2:42 am |
    • Catie

      Right on <

      October 10, 2010 at 7:52 am |
    • mightyfudge

      I can beat that price: I'll gladly destroy you and all you stand for, free of charge.

      October 10, 2010 at 1:02 pm |
    • Kate

      @noel

      You're safe, the Losers Club sent Pennywise back where it came from.

      Just sayin'

      October 10, 2010 at 1:18 pm |
  8. Wert

    If the woman had been a Muslim and had destroyed The Last Supper, the nuts who post here would be ranting against Christianity and supporting her. The self-loathing of the American left wing, though irrational, is always predictable.

    October 10, 2010 at 2:30 am |
    • Randall

      Huh? tunnel vision much? These lefties are NOT self-hating, they have very big heads and believe that they are saving the world from Big Business and Religion. They are convinced that PC cosmopolitan lifestyle is correct. Look it up. If a muslim blew up the last supper you think they would cry out for their heads or not, I didn't get that part. You fail to see this is about right to property not right to free speech. If you burn your flag its free speech. Burn my flag and its property damage. But if you actually READ anything you'd see that. Stop making conservatives look stupid, Palin does enough to do that.

      October 10, 2010 at 3:47 am |
    • jamesbrummel

      do you know what projection is?

      October 10, 2010 at 5:10 am |
    • Peace2All

      @wert

      Are you kidding us...? If a Muslim woman would have, 'destroyed' the Last Supper.. The Christian radical wing-nuts would hunt her down, and probably 'crucify' her..!

      And, I would be just as angry if 'anyone' destroyed a work of art...

      October 10, 2010 at 6:08 pm |
  9. Mark from Middle River

    Try this guys and girls. Last year a Greenpeace high speed boat attempted to stop a whaling vessel. First it attempted to bind up the propel-ors and then decided that they would continue to cut in front of the ships bow. Somewhere in their diluted mind they felt that the ships crew would value their human lives and what they felt was the nobleness of the Greenpeace cause and stop the ship. Well it was reported that the whaler had other plans and sliced right through the high speed multi million dollar boat, sending it to the bottom. That is what some folks feel they must do. They feel that folks have not gotten their message vocally now they must do something more direct. This is fanaticism and it does not religion to push it forward for all cases. From the 9/11 hijackers to the Texas Cheerleader mom

    October 10, 2010 at 2:24 am |
  10. Mark from Middle River

    Observer – Try, instead of saying just religious fanatics or zealots to understand that such extremes happen on all sides of groups. There will always be that group within a group that feels that talk has gotten no where and that the time for non-verbal actions to be tried.

    October 10, 2010 at 2:21 am |
    • Frogist

      @Mark: Did Holden try talk? No, she tried only violence.

      October 11, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  11. jesse

    Wow... people seem to be missing the point about the art value. I'd say, the low end, that the art could have been worth $500. Now the case and security damaged could easily be worth more than the $500 bringing the damages into felony range. This is also something that Kathy Folden clearly doesn't get. Not to mention the damage that was done to the wall as well. 😛

    October 10, 2010 at 2:21 am |
    • Wert

      And you think WE'RE missing the point?

      October 10, 2010 at 2:33 am |
  12. Rock God

    I have a fingerpaining that Jesus did in the first grade.

    October 10, 2010 at 2:04 am |
  13. MM

    Don't you think that God will deal with the artist. This is just a waste of time to go to jail for. It's not worth it. Christians are going off the deep end with what they feel is religion. It is clearly stated stated in the Bible what God considers to be true religion. If they would only read it and stop taking matters in their own hand. God doesn't need any man to help him fix things. We are all sinful beings and it is God's responsibility to judge man. No man to judge man. People need to practice true religion and stop usurping God's position. Only God knows the intention of the artist's mind. So only God should deal with the artist...when the time comes. Christians are doing every thing else but practicing true religion.

    October 10, 2010 at 1:59 am |
    • ChristianC

      Read what Jesus did when he overturned the money changer tables in the Temple precinct and tell me you do not see a similarity with what this woman did. In fact what the money changers did was petty in comparison with what the so-called "artist" did in his pretend art. The woman in the story acted with courage and I applaud her. I for one am not willing to see the amount of filth being peddled to society go any further than it has already done.

      October 10, 2010 at 2:08 am |
    • Andrew

      Filth? Excuse me? "I don't like that piece of art, it makes fun of my personal beliefs, I say it should be destroyed"?

      The hell? What on earth is wrong with you? How could you applaud someone who destroys someone else's property? Are your religious beliefs that immune to scrutiny? You're no better than the Muslims who threatened the Danish cartoon artist, honestly, how is property destruction an even remotely appropriate response to your beliefs being insulted?

      What happened in your mind to skew your value system so heavily? Should I blame your religious upbringing, or just you?

      Let me make this abundantly clear, it doesn't matter if you like something or not, but your beliefs are NOT beyond scrutiny, and you do NOT get to judge what is and is not appropriate, and you certainly do NOT get to go destroying things you deem "inappropriate". Stop acting like a morality police, you're certainly not very well grounded in what is sensible behavior.

      October 10, 2010 at 2:26 am |
    • Wert

      Dear "Andrew":

      Just one tiny difference between the woman and the Muslims that you're so willing to equate her to: When she was highly offended by your type of "art", she destroyed the "art". When your Muslim buddies are offended they'll cut off your head. Try explaining to them how "art" that's meant to insult and enrage should be treated like any other property.

      October 10, 2010 at 2:41 am |
    • Raider

      Wert, the christians would cheerfully cut off the heads of non-believers if the government would still let it happen!

      October 10, 2010 at 3:27 am |
    • Peace2All

      @wert

      You know, I think everyone is fully aware of the response had this been done to a piece of art or drawing depicting Muhammad. Yep, we all get it.

      However, this is not about the 'radical extremist Muslim crazies' doing their psychopathic acts, no.. we are concerned about the 'radical extremist Christian crazies' and the continued up-leveling of a certain segment of their behavior.

      There are a majority of nice, kind, tolerant, and understanding Christians and, yes Muslims.

      Those are *not* the ones we are worried about...!

      Do you understand...?

      October 10, 2010 at 6:04 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Again, if we all just stay out of establishments that are purveyors of p0rn and stop ‘buying’ into it, those places would be out of business in a flash. So if this country is 80% Christianity…these ‘things’ may pop-up like so much trash, but ignore it, leave it alone, and pray for those who think they need it in their lives…and I think if those 80% can ‘toe-the-mark’…our country will feel less polluted, and people will quit wasting paper on this garbage.

      October 11, 2010 at 2:00 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Christian C: I think you need to re-read that story about Jesus and the money-lenders. They were using the holy ground of a temple for profit. An art museum is not holy ground, especially not to you who cannot see the worth of artistic expression. Again, this is a public building that houses works of art, not a temple sanctioned by god for prayer. He was angry that holy ground was being used as a front for profiteering. This situation is far from the same.

      October 11, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  14. Chris

    This woman is typical religious, white trash.

    October 10, 2010 at 1:55 am |
  15. MM

    Calling a piece of art work Jesus does not make it Jesus. This woman is stupid and dumb just like the Muslims who get all bent out of shape with the depiction of the prophet Mohamed. A work of art is just that...it cannot change who Jesus is. I'm more upset that Jesus is always depicted as being a white man with blue eyes and blond hair coming from a region where the people in his days were clearly not white. But do I care that people want to be biased...no. Because it doesn't change who Jesus is. This woman and many others like her clearly is worshiping an image of Jesus and not the person Jesus.

    October 10, 2010 at 1:53 am |
  16. Dani3l

    Museums have art appraised and insured. That includes paperwork. That should provide a basis for establishing the value of the art work. $1,000 is not a great deal of money for a piece of original art.

    Displaying a work of art is not an endorsement of its message. It is simply displaying a work of art, about which people may make their own judgements. I hope this woman goes to jail.

    October 10, 2010 at 1:41 am |
  17. albie

    the ultimate in crap reporting - no image?? how can they call this reporting in America - where do they think we are, North Korea?? I simply cannot stand how religious this country is and has become, it will be our downfall and it makes me ill.

    October 10, 2010 at 1:32 am |
  18. ChristianC

    If the picture which was the object of the incident is the one I saw on another website, then I wholeheartedly agree with the actions of this woman. In fact I will be happy to assist her with bail money.

    October 10, 2010 at 1:31 am |
    • Andrew

      You honestly scare me. "I don't like that thing, so lets destroy someone else's property."

      Frightening.

      October 10, 2010 at 2:28 am |
    • Peace2All

      @ChristianC

      Lets see so.... your view is.... IF i don't like=THEN I can go destroy..?

      Wow... and you wonder why America is concerned with the radical christian right wing-nuts.

      You guys are re-d-i-c-u-lous.!!!

      October 10, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  19. nOT Trash

    Religion, you is CRAZY!

    October 10, 2010 at 1:20 am |
  20. A. Thiest

    I do not support her actions. And I doubt that anything I read here would pursuade me I'm wrong. Similarly, if you DO support her actions, do you agree probably nothing you read here will convince you YOU'RE wrong? Does THAT bother you? It does me. It tells me we need more tolerance in the world. I could have grown up just like you, and you could have grown up just like me. It is crazy to be fighting over religion! Take a chill pill, and come to Jon Stewarts Rally to Restore Sanity - on the DC Mall, Oct. 30.

    October 10, 2010 at 1:08 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.