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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. joseyj

    Wow! she thought Jesus was confined to a picture?
    Stupid!

    October 10, 2010 at 10:18 am |
  2. Mario

    I hope she spends time in jail. Religious fanatics have no right to dictate what other people do artistically and artists don't need the permission of religious fanatics to practice their craft.

    October 10, 2010 at 10:11 am |
  3. koga

    I think the solution is easy. No public building should display anything that could be even considered remotely religious at all, ever. Then these crazy people who react with violence in the name of their 'loving forgiving merciful' god would have no more cause to heap hate and spite upon a small town that was displaying the artwork eipicting a mythical character.

    October 10, 2010 at 10:10 am |
  4. Jane

    In the Muslim world, the artist could – would – have had – a fatwa, a death sentence, imposed on him or her!

    October 10, 2010 at 10:08 am |
    • Kansas

      You do know Mohammad is in this artwork and he's kneeling before pigs in bikini's?

      October 10, 2010 at 12:24 pm |
  5. Eric

    First off I don't get off on crosses and the idols thing. god said don't worship false idols a cross is an idol. Second We humans killed gods son on said Cross. If someone shot your son with a gun would you wear the bullet or the gun or the street or the bed around your neck. Do you really think God wants millions of people wearing the reminder of their stupidity when they were given a gift. If you don't like the art work turn on heal and walk out it's not for you. I believe in a Higher power but I don't believe in the organized religion which is nothing more than a way for strong men to manipulate weak minded people. Using words that man has written. God only wrote his laws once the 10 commandments. Follow that and you will do just fine. All this other crap is for people who can't think for them selves and need constant attention. As for the Bible great story but the hero dies in the middle and the end is snuff film a chaotic snuff film.

    October 10, 2010 at 10:07 am |
  6. yooper

    Maybe if she went on a diet she wouldn't have so much anger : O

    October 10, 2010 at 10:06 am |
  7. JonPeter, Hartford, CT

    The difficulty with her defense is that she expects the freedom to practice her religion, while interfering with anyone else who saw value or a message in the art. She also ignored one of the beliefs of her faith, not to damage property belonging to others. An intelligent person who was offended might have started a dialog to discuss the matter. Her behavior was ignorant, and ignorance is no excuse for a crime.

    October 10, 2010 at 10:04 am |
  8. lscott

    A bunch of you guys are going to Hell. That I say this should not bother you since you don't believe in Hell. And I expect tolerance from you that this is my opinion.

    October 10, 2010 at 10:03 am |
    • Raider

      You are completely correct. It doesn't bother me that I'm "going to hell" since it doesn't exist. What does bother me however are all the people telling me that I am going to hell. Seriously, shut up already, get it through your head, we do not believe in hell, therefore, telling us we're going to hell doesn't scare us into believing. It just annoys us.

      October 10, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  9. william

    jesus an any other religion,should not be used to defile or oppose a religion.for the purpose of art politiks. if this was a depiction of the prophite mohamad the museam would have been blown up. it is time to stop all this.before it gets worse enough let us all live in peace an stop antagonizing the ones you differ with an be compassionate of there beliefs before you put things like this before the public. this is no different than helling fire in a movie house the results are the same you must heed the warning this art is inflamable an will bring no joy only trouble an the artist knows this .that is why he created it shame on him.i wonder why he did not depict the prophet mohamad like this... he is a coward knowing if he did that that his life would be in danger...this artist is not a true artist just a trouble maker his art will bring to him what he is putting on display TROUBLE this i would not want for my art but to each his own

    October 10, 2010 at 9:59 am |
  10. Revelation

    @DavidJohnson

    You claim the book of Revelation was fulfilled already, citing Nero.
    I submit to you:

    It will be seen that the question here discussed has a vital bearing on the interpretation of the Apocalypse. If this book was written near the close of the first century, almost thirty years after the death of Nero and the fall of Jerusalem, then it is vain to look for its fulfillment in either of these events. There is not the slightest allusion to either of them, from one end of the book to the other.

    October 10, 2010 at 9:34 am |
  11. Callie McKenna

    . Please....there are a lot of us that are sick and tired of the Jesus freaks, trying to push their beliefs down our throats. If you want to be Christian fine and dandy but STOP trying to push it down the throats of others!!! The Taliban destroyed those beautiful Buddhas, and now this woman is destroying art too, how are these two any darn different?, both are radicals trying to push their own personal beliefs down the throats of others.
    As an artist I know that the piece of art she destroyed was worth at least $1000 or even more She can't possibly replace the art that she so wantonly destroyed, there is no price or amount of cash on this planet that can replace the amount of effort and creative energy an artist puts into their work.
    This woman is now placed in the worthless category in my eyes, along with those that would burn books.

    October 10, 2010 at 9:29 am |
    • william

      listen, i am a christian an i dont push it on anyone but i dont like artist using there podium to defile jesus for the sake of art politiks ,there is a thing the liberals all want it call p.c.an this is not ...this art only bring pain to a lot of people why then create a piece of art that does this.. is not the artist job to create joy is it not for a true artist to be sensitive of others then why bring this trash before the public,if this was a depiction of the prophet mohamad this artist would be hiding in alaska somewhwere fearing for his life ...it is time for everyone to understand that religon is here and will be forever.we need to respect it not bash it.for the sake of the shock value. this will bring nothing but trouble that no one wants ..so dont put stuff like this out there an respect the feeling ..

      October 10, 2010 at 10:24 am |
  12. JMK

    "I may disagree with what you have to say, but will defend to my death your right to say it"
    This has no meaning to most Americans today. Those on the right quickly dismiss this and other enlightenment thoughts as 'elitist' thinking and want to erase any mention of the enlightenment and its connection to the founding of this nation. They want to make everyone believe Jesus gave us this land and this is his country to be ruled by the Bible. Thanks to Texas, this completely incorrect idea will spread through our nation's youth and more of this BS will prevail. Freedoms only for Christians!

    October 10, 2010 at 9:20 am |
  13. Grist

    Christianity and other religions in our country must be seriously and aggressively criticized in a similar fashion and not less than any other philosophy which is attempting to achieve political power. Christianity is more of a political movement here. It inserts itself into matters of that affect us all. Despite that, Churches do not pay for the services they receive because they do not pay property taxes.

    October 10, 2010 at 9:16 am |
  14. James

    I don't think God cares about this piece of art. He is above that. This shows that some Christians have no tolerance. It has to be their way or we will destroy you.

    October 10, 2010 at 9:07 am |
  15. Mattski

    If she holds such richeous beliefs, she should plead guilty and stand up for them.

    October 10, 2010 at 9:01 am |
    • Frogist

      @Mattski: Yes, I think so too.

      October 11, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  16. Sarah Aquino

    Where is artwork of Mohammad? Oh yeah, you DIE if you do that. But if you are any other religion and you get offended, just take it like a good Christian and shut up. So called 'artists' don't have the courage to do anything thing but defile every other religion except Muslim. We wouldn't want to offend them or it's off with your head!

    October 10, 2010 at 8:51 am |
  17. Gboro

    Religious Intolerance... destroying life and objects since its inception.

    October 10, 2010 at 8:50 am |
  18. McLuhan

    Just imagine if everyone acted on what they believe in–there would be no one left to diagree!

    October 10, 2010 at 8:34 am |
  19. McLuhan

    This is why Religion shouldn't be taught until one is old enough to understand the difference between fiction and reality!

    October 10, 2010 at 8:32 am |
  20. canadajeff

    Look at her high waisted pants! She's doing what she was genetically predisposed to do...you can't blame her...you can blame her pants..and her parents...some people shouldn't be allowed to procreate...and sadly, from the story, there are two more generations of this trailer tr@sh coming along....

    October 10, 2010 at 8:16 am |
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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.