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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. Daniel

    The main reason why I love America is because of the freedom of religious practice. The more religions there are, the greater the checks and balance on any one of them taking full control over the masses.

    October 9, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  2. Mark from Middle River

    Part of me looked at the statement someone posted comparing this as a step to being simualar to the cartoonist and I am a bit torn. I have a feeling that in some ways this is Christians pushing back and this might just be the opening shots. Sorta the same way when envornmentalist torch car dealerships or new housing communities.

    I will say this, I can understand why many Muslims do not shout to loud to condemn actions of groups such as the Taliban and Hamas. I pray that no one attempts to attack the artist himself or herself but the art work…… Yeah let me know where I can send a donation to help pay for this grandmothers bail.

    ….. Did they say she was a long haul driver. Geez there could have been a lot more damage that she could have done.

    October 9, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
    • Y

      How can you understand Muslims not condemning terrorism and insanity? How? Al-Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, they are the CRAZIES that want to wipe out non-Muslims. The CRAZIES attack and murder many more Muslims because they are not "Muslim" enough or collaborating or some nonsense with their real and imaginary enemies. There is NOTHING understandable about the CRAZIES and their death loving death dealing obsessions, that's why their called CRAZIES in the first place. Their is NO JUSTIFICATION for MURDER by religious fanatics, we have to teach the Islamic world that they have no exception in treatment when it comes to anyone criticizing religion. Barbarism is unacceptable. They cannot have it both ways.
      Silence = support, at least in the court of rational thinking people. To paraphrase a German Protestant minister imprisoned by the Nazis – "I did not speak out when they took the Socialists and the Communists, I did not speak when they took the handicapped, the feeble, the ill, I did not speak out when they took the Jews, then they took me, and no one was left to speak out.

      October 9, 2010 at 8:10 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Mark: Oh well I see you are ok with destruction of private property and a person's business/livelihood. I certainly am not. But hey, nice to know where you stand.

      October 11, 2010 at 12:15 pm |
  3. Daniel

    If I were the artist, I would prosecute her for the destruction of private property, and charge her the full amount of the artwork – a pricetag that can be determined by him.

    October 9, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  4. Kevin

    Christ will not be suppressed by the religious hate on CNN!

    October 9, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
    • Andrew

      No, instead, he'll be suppressed by the entire lack of evidence of his existence. Funny how that works out, no evidence, belief becomes a lot more difficult to justify. The "hatred" is just your martyr complex kicking in.

      October 9, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
    • Kevin

      No the hate Andrew is comments like this and the harassment.

      October 9, 2010 at 6:53 pm |
    • Andrew

      Ah, right, it's certainly "hate" to point out your beliefs have no empirical basis. I'm seething with hate right? I don't hold ANY religious beliefs, I hate your beliefs no more than I hate hindu or shinto beliefs, honestly, they're all just as silly as each other. If you want to consider every time someone points out "your beliefs need to be justified before you go promoting them" as "hate", then yeah, you're really just pandering to a martyr complex. This "hate" would go away if you people simply could support your beliefs, you know, provide some actual evidence... but apparently it's a lot easier to wave any and all criticism away as "anti-christian hatred" than it would be to properly substantiate your beliefs.

      October 9, 2010 at 7:06 pm |
    • Forth

      Oh, Kevin, did they get truth on you? You poor kid. It's terrible the way truth can be so painful and hard to face, isn't it?

      Here, let me brush that bad ole truth off of you....

      October 9, 2010 at 7:09 pm |
  5. Tom R

    This woman serriously underestimates the value of art especially controversial art. Id buy it for a thousand dollars even now that she has damaged it.

    October 9, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  6. James

    God places more value on the human soul rather than worthless pieces of art or paper. So, it wasn't so much of a loss anyways.

    October 9, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  7. newt

    Cue the lions!

    October 9, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
    • Kevin

      Yes we need to starting the executions for peoples beliefs that should make things better.

      October 9, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
    • T. Regan

      Let's start with athiest.

      October 9, 2010 at 6:59 pm |
    • Frogist

      @kevin: She wouldn't be punished for her beliefs but her disregard for property rights and violent actions in a public place.

      October 11, 2010 at 11:55 am |
  8. Dawn

    No better than a Muslim attacking a cartoonist. Ahh, if we could only just go and destroy everything we didn't agree with.... Oh yeah, that's right, that happened. Wasn't it called the Dark Ages?

    October 9, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  9. Logan

    I hope all the conservatives who have been railing "If this were a picture of Muhammad as gay, muslims would be rioting in the streets and the artist arrested. But mock our Lord and Savior and nothing happens. We live under Sharia law!" are satisfied now.

    October 9, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  10. Me

    If it had been anti-Islam art, people would have refused to display it in the first place. They'd claim to respect other religions. There's always a double standard for attacking Christianity.

    October 9, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
    • Forth

      Aww, you poor thing! Here, let me brush all that nasty truth off of you.

      There. Now I will go and brush off all that nasty truth off of those other (cough) religious people...I don't think you saw everyone else getting pelted too.....

      October 9, 2010 at 7:05 pm |
    • Mike

      That's because Christianity is the truth and all others are lies. The next time you hear allah's name used in Hollywood let me know.

      October 9, 2010 at 7:23 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Mike

      Please ..... I am sincerely begging you.. Please don't start your postings again about you 'know' christianity is the truth and all other religions are lies, bs..

      Please... do ya' have to always go down that road...?

      October 9, 2010 at 7:34 pm |
    • David

      It's sort of the teen rebellion syndrome. Get all hostile towards whatever is the authority, perceived or real. In Western society Christianity is the dominant religion, thus the primary target of atheists. I find liberal atheists far more likely to coddle issues involving foreign minorities, suddenly telling everyone to be "tolerant" of things like Islam, all the while spewing rhetoric and filth about Christianity. Ironic, that.

      October 9, 2010 at 8:28 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @David

      Yes, you are so right on brother. Those pesky atheists.!! I hate it when they form militant militias spouting the book of ..revelation, and arming themselves to the teeth with weapons wanting to insist that everyone believe like they believe. And bombing abort-i-on clinics, and calling people that have gone through the trauma of having an abortion 'murderers' and 'monsters'. Why that is pure unadulterated 'terr-orism' and hate. Yep, those evil atheists.

      I hate it when they come knocking on my door trying to convert me or ask me for money, all the while telling me about a god that they have not one shred of proof about, but who is apparently going to send people to hell forever, because he is soooo loving this god of theirs. Dam-n them atheists.

      Even worse is when they say that they absolutely 'know' that their beliefs are absolute fact. But you and I David both know that beliefs do not = facts. They are just beliefs. But, you know how those zombie brainwashed atheists can be sometime, they just don't want to hear any facts. They like to stick their fingers in their ears and scream when you try and quote any fact based science at them. Logic and reason applies in all areas of their lives, but when it comes to their Atheistic beliefs. Poof.. out the window with the sanity.

      And as for equal rights for gays and minorities..... wow, David you hit the nail on the head with that one..! Why would they argue for equal rights for minorities, especially since the 'end of days' are coming anyway.... You know... the rapture..! Where jesus comes back as warrior guy and tosses the unbelievers into he-ll. Now that makes no sense whatsoever. Being that everything comes from the bible, those atheists like to cherry pick verses to confirm their hatred and bigotry towards minorities, gays, women, etc... Oh, wait... those darn crazy liberals helped spearhead the civil rights issue. Dam-n them too. Why if they hadn't messed everything up, we could still have slavery..because it says it in the bible.! Dang those liberals and atheists...!

      LOL..! Thanks for opening the door WIDE open on that one for me David. It's getting rather late, and I would really love to keep going on with this, but I would be up all night and into the morning responding to your re-d-i-c-u-lous post.

      Thanks again for chatting about those atheists and liberals. Lets do it again sometime... LOL.....!!!

      October 10, 2010 at 3:53 am |
    • Kate

      @peace2all

      See? I knew you guys didn't need my help 😛

      Just sayin'

      October 10, 2010 at 4:12 am |
    • Paused

      @peace2all

      Darn you peace2all, why'd you have to go and write a great post like that for? Now look what you've done!

      October 10, 2010 at 4:50 am |
    • Frogist

      @peace2all: OMG... Just in awe.

      October 11, 2010 at 11:52 am |
    • Selfish Gene

      You make it really easy to prove wrong sometimes.
      This is from the artist you dare to provoke islam.
      http://www.georgeadamsgallery.com/artists/painting.php3?picture=2453&exhib=11check mate

      October 11, 2010 at 3:04 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @selfish gene

      VERY nice find, brother....!

      October 11, 2010 at 4:10 pm |
  11. dan

    Art often provokes strong emotions in people and whats offensive to some may not be to others, You DONT HAVE THE RIGHT to destroy property just because you dont like it. If it was offensive to her she didnt have to go in to the musuem to look at it. she could have carried a pickett sign in front of the museum or wrote a letter to the curator of the musuem but NOT GO IN AND DESTROY something that did not belong to her and which I assume the artist worked hard on whether we like it or not. She should be made to pay the artist the purchase price of the piece at the very least and spend a brief time in jail because she could have hurt someone by swinging a crowbar around in a musuem. Maybe a psych exam is also in order.

    October 9, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
    • Frogist

      @dan: Excellent ideas all! Psych exam definitely. I would not want to work with her in the cube next to me... And I cannot think of a company that would want her based on this...

      October 11, 2010 at 11:50 am |
  12. Bryan

    Good for her! And I mean.......GOOD FOR HER!!!!!!!!!! I hope if the idiot who made the d*** thing makes it again, that she goes right back in there.......with an even bigger crowbar. The supposedly "enlightened" posters on here who condemn her would be the first in line to bash anyone who dared to ridicule Islam....... Can you say Mohammed in a dress???

    October 9, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
    • Chip

      Hey Bryan,

      I think this woman is an idiot and I think that Islam is stupid. So what of your theory now?

      October 9, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
    • TC

      yeah let's all destroy everything that offends us...does this make any sense? not in a civilized society it doesn't

      October 9, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
    • Forth

      @Bryan

      Mohammad in a dress. Jesus in a dress. Moses, Adam, Abraham, David, Solomon, and everyone in a dress.

      Bryan in a dress.

      Yeah, that wasn't too hard. Thanks.

      October 9, 2010 at 6:59 pm |
    • T. Regan

      @TC – excellent. But the key is civilized society. Are we becoming less civilized?

      October 9, 2010 at 7:02 pm |
    • Y

      Just leave the USA you freedom hating imbecile, take a one way ticket to theocracy. You are un-American, we protect freedom of speech, including the idiotic comments you make.

      October 9, 2010 at 7:57 pm |
    • Selfish Gene

      Everyone in a dress. By the artist in question. Hope I don't get moderated.
      http://www.georgeadamsgallery.com/artists/painting.php3?picture=2453&exhib=11

      October 11, 2010 at 3:01 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Selfish Gene

      LOL... Oh, the 'irony'....! I hope that Bryan comes back to read this and see your 'link' Now this is just too dam-n funny... 🙂

      October 11, 2010 at 4:24 pm |
  13. el-dude

    Funny, how this isn't even the real face of the Messiah. It's Cesare Borgia by Altobello Melone, who was the son of a pope. MK Ultra at its finest.

    October 9, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  14. FriendofJesus

    She alright in my book, to many sacreligious people in this world who thinks everythings a joke. Better start clearing your conscience and getting right with the man.. Christ is going to be coming back soon, I wonder if you'll be laughing then.

    October 9, 2010 at 6:10 pm |
    • ficheye

      Jesus is not coming back. Not soon, not 100 years from now. Not in your lifetime. Dead people will not rise up. I'd be laughing at you except that I know you are dangerously sick. I have the means to protect myself and the people I fear the most are not gang members or drug addicts, but the followers of Jesus. Jesus was supposed to appear not long after he died, but the date has been moved up almost daily since he was crucified. I think that it's time for you to sacrifice a cow. God/Jesus/Joseph Smith would like that.

      October 9, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
    • Jesus hugged me for loving everybody - even you

      You know, the funny thing is that you could have said that back in the year 135 A.D. and it would have made just as little sense.

      You say "soon" when you don't really know that.
      You judge your fellow human beings like you say you are not supposed to..
      You assume that Jesus had absolutely no sense of humor and that he is so insecure that he would need to punish people for using logic and reason when he did nothing to forestall such things by any actions or words even though he supposedly could see into the future...

      Your words are all twisted and hypocritical according to your basis for saying them.

      You must be a "Christian".

      Jesus may not have existed. He might have been gay. He might have stayed dead all these centuries. You really don't know.

      If I was Jesus I would kick your ass for saying such nonsense...and then I would tell you to cut it out.
      Sacrilege is just your personal interpretation. "God" or "Jesus" might have other criteria to use.
      If he can solve the problem of people like you...I will shout with joy and thanksgiving when and if he "returns".

      Sorry about the full-bodyslam. You said a bunch of nonsense and I was looking for exercise. 😛

      October 9, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
    • Y

      The jokes on you FOJ, you worship false gods, you worship idols, you worship 3 gods, not 1, Christianity is a Jewish heresy mixed in with some paganism and Greek philosophy. G_d does not become man and attacks the Temple and gets his ass nailed to pieces of wood, blasphemer. Save yourself from heresy.

      October 9, 2010 at 7:56 pm |
    • fishfry001

      @FoolOfJesus: Good grief man, there IS no God! When will you people ever wake up? As mankind progresses and leaves the Dark Ages farther and farther behind, knowledge and science inexorably debunks myth after religious myth to the point where religion is exposed as nothing more than a sick joke, nothing but a method to gain control and power over the masses. Many sheep still follow. Fortunately, many people with thinking minds have woken up to the farce that is religion.

      October 9, 2010 at 8:12 pm |
  15. Chip

    Hey religious folk,

    Lighten the hell up!

    October 9, 2010 at 6:09 pm |
  16. CHAD TURIN

    cmon cnn people here can bash jesus but i cant say anything about mohammed? must be a muzzie moderator

    October 9, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
  17. Tony

    It really concerns me that the news that is subjective is choosing not to show the art because it's inflammatory. That's the whole point of the story. I'm so tired of censorship in the USA. They're just as bad as the woman with the crowbar for not showing it.

    October 9, 2010 at 6:04 pm |
  18. erin

    keep her away from anything by dali

    October 9, 2010 at 6:04 pm |
    • fishfry001

      *LMAO* Touché!

      October 9, 2010 at 8:07 pm |
  19. pkfops

    Were taking back Amerikuh!
    I luv yu Sarah!

    October 9, 2010 at 6:02 pm |
  20. Muhammad's Turban

    Well, if this was an offensive picture of Muhammad someone would have been beheaded. Good for her she didn't resort to violence like Muslims do.

    October 9, 2010 at 6:00 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Muhammad's Turban

      Please see my post above at 4:08 pm... Yes, we know that there are 'some' definite very 'radical and extremist muslims'

      who would certainly go ape-sh_i_t and start beheading people...... we already are aware of these atrocities, and past it.

      When the article is about muslim fanatics, feel free to go after them.

      But, this article is *not* about the extremist muslims...... Stop deflecting and denying about certain 'radical and extremist christians'

      This is about a fundamental christian, probably with a lack of impulse control to say the least, destroyed property (art), just because she didn't like it.

      That is not.... o,k...

      The christians have their wack-jobs too.

      October 9, 2010 at 6:54 pm |
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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.