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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. duh

    no it's a collage and it uses a head of jesus, that is just an idol giving reference, and a woman what looks to be giving him or@l satisfaction, but you don't see any bodyparts, and there is a pope head in the corner that's a skull.

    October 9, 2010 at 9:25 pm |
  2. wrack

    i'd like to see this piece of art. I mean, it might be something as silly as jesus holding a martini for all we know.

    October 9, 2010 at 9:21 pm |
  3. Daws

    Cheek turning... didn't the bible say something about that?

    October 9, 2010 at 9:19 pm |
    • Catie

      Jesus also turned a Temple upside down when it was being desecrated

      October 9, 2010 at 9:44 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Catie: So christians should follow the one act of violence that jesus did when he was a youngster instead of all the preaching about non-violence? Really? This is why christians have a bad name.

      October 11, 2010 at 3:07 pm |
  4. duh

    did someone make her go into the museum?

    October 9, 2010 at 9:19 pm |
    • Lucy

      No, but if you knew the exhibit had a perverted picture of your loved one in there, you just might go check it out. And get so mad that you'd take a wack at it. Have some compassion.

      October 9, 2010 at 9:30 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Lucy

      Isn't that kind of thinking and actions..... Isn't there another group of people besides 'some' of the Christian extremist zealots...Hmmmmm, let me think....

      Oh, yeah... its just like the thinking of the ..Muslim extremist zealots...

      So, that makes it o.k.... to destroy property.. ?

      O.K... some of you Christian zealots are getting just a bit out of hand here, especially going off of pure emotion... no logic. Never mind the law- breaking bit.

      I mean who really cares... If you don't like someone or their art, just destroy it, because that is what America is based on... yes...?

      Wow..!

      October 10, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Lucy, this was a premeditated act. She brought a crowbar with her. I have no compassion for her. I have pity for her not being able to behave like an adult and react without violence.

      October 11, 2010 at 3:04 pm |
    • Selfish Gene

      @Lucy

      It is a 14 hour drive. Compassion? How about common sense.

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

    it's not like she was being taunted by the picture...she should've just kept walking

    October 9, 2010 at 9:18 pm |
  6. duh

    no, going into a museum and knowing what is in there is not being bullied. No one is shoving her face infront of the picture and saying look at this ha ha ha i'm making fun of you by putting my artwork in an enclosed building and giving you free will to walk in to see it i'm hunting you down and making you look at my piece of art and calling you names because you chose to walk in the doors, you chose to seek it out, you chose to lay your eyes on it. than you chose to destroy something that wasn't yours and now you have to pay the price for the choice you've made.

    October 9, 2010 at 9:15 pm |
  7. CEL1

    Religious eople have to be emotionally unstable to become religious people in the first place. Religion plays on fear and emotion. That's why they love to get small children started in their indoctrination as early as possible. Small children are naturally fearful. And, they believe fairy tales much more easily.

    October 9, 2010 at 9:14 pm |
    • Lucy

      So tell me: who is more afraid of death - a believer or a nonbeliever. Jesus has conquered death so a human's worst fear is gone! There IS something called Truth, no matter what you think. Seek and you will find.

      October 9, 2010 at 9:32 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Lucy: We both fear death equally. The difference is you choose to hide from that fear with the promise of an after life while non-believers face that fear knowing death is all there is. Speaking as an agnostic, I choose to hope my life will be worth something by my actions to those who knew me or not so that at the end alone or otherwise, my life would have had meaning no matter what.

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

      @Lucy
      I'm afraid you have made some fairly poor assumptions. First you assume that non-believers are more afraid of death, which I would like to hear your reasoning behind, and next you assume death is everyones worst fear. There are in fact worse things then death, for one example, people have routinely said they would rather be in the coffin then have to give the speech at the wake.

      October 11, 2010 at 3:43 pm |
  8. david

    hooray for her! although Jesus will defend Himself on judgement day this act was a bold statement showing how offensive some art can be. any weirdo can draw art, i can think of some grotesque art that can be drawn but is it really beneficial? to those who think Jesus is nothing it would be eye pleasing to see Him mocked , and they will find out on judgement day if their wager was right. but i know that they are wrong. however, we are all free to make our choice and I am all for freedom of choice but every choice has a consequence. we can choose good or bad and we all know some people who chose bad and paid for it big time. from the state point of view she shouldnt have destroyed their art. but from a christians point of view – it shouldnt have been in a public funded, even christian funded, museum in the first place.

    October 9, 2010 at 9:12 pm |
    • entiharmon

      It it was "good for her" to destroy whatever she happened to find offensive, then is it OK for me to destroy any church display that I find offensive? There are plenty of them... Your logic is deficient, and your lack of true faith apparent.

      October 9, 2010 at 9:22 pm |
    • robert

      @david, "I am all for freedom of choice but every choice has a consequence" yes just like the inquisitionists before you, everyone has the choice between believing what the church tells you and torture and death. Like them you are a champion of freedom and unless the US wakes up pretty darn soon, the US will burn with the compassion of people such as yourself and the criminal in this article.

      October 9, 2010 at 9:45 pm |
  9. midwestmatt

    Additional proof that God is not anywhere near any church.

    Good little religious zealots... Do whatever you say the Bible (or Quran) tells you is okay.

    October 9, 2010 at 9:10 pm |
  10. Peace72

    @duh, the pink flamingos are not bulling you are they? Are they making fun of your belief?

    October 9, 2010 at 9:10 pm |
  11. Peace72

    You're being a bully by making fun of someone's religion... maybe that will get through your heads. She was being bullied by all you haters and she expressed her anger instead of commiting suicide.

    October 9, 2010 at 9:09 pm |
    • Artist

      Have you ever considered that Religion is the greatest bully of them all? Look at this example: people don't even dare speak out against it, for Religion will send one of its minions to come destroy your things and maybe even beat you up!

      October 10, 2010 at 11:56 am |
    • Frogist

      @Peace72: It is reprehensible that you would equate an artist's right to express his opinion in a museum with the bullying and offensive actions of people resulting in the death of children. If you honestly cannot see the difference, there is something wrong with you.

      October 11, 2010 at 2:53 pm |
    • Selfish Gene

      double u tee eff?

      October 11, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Peace72

      Yeah, now THAT made a WHOLE lotta' sense there.....

      October 12, 2010 at 2:49 am |
  12. duh

    i don't like the pink flamingos in my neighbors yard, i think i shall run them over with my lawn mower if this lady doesn't get charged. How much are pink flamingos running these days..? Not near a grand. Thanks lady, if you get away with this than a hole of uh oh just got opened up. I think I might follow your lead and start destroying anything that I think offends me, scares me, makes me angry...as long as it's under a $1000 than it's ok right? that's what her defense is right?

    October 9, 2010 at 9:05 pm |
  13. Tom

    Any depiction or words or thoughts that seek to demean our Creator is done out of ignorance. How could anyone with even a morsel of intelligence impune God whose air you breathe and whose power sustains your life ? Has your intelligence now brought you to the place where you hate love? Has our society finally reached the point where vile things are lifted to prominence and truth ground up in the dirt under our feet?

    October 9, 2010 at 9:03 pm |
    • Tom

      That's ironic... Here I stand thinking we live in a society built on the rationale that all thought, no matter who ilicit is protected, and I stand proud that people I absolutely can't stand or whose opinions I disagree with totally can say them 5 feet from me without fear of governmental or divine wrath. Here I was thinking free will was a blessing. Who knew that in actuality it was a curse... that we should all mindlessly and ignorantly thank God for giving us doubt and curiosity that we should never, in fact, ever use for fear of disappointing him. How wrong I was...

      October 9, 2010 at 9:27 pm |
    • GodIsForImbeciles

      Your spectacularly meaningless post makes me want to do Sarah Palin from behind!

      October 10, 2010 at 12:09 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Tom

      What in the F* * K are you even talking about ...?!! Do 'you' even know..? However, please allow the rest of us to partake in whatever it is that you have been 'smokin'... So we can see things from your ascended perspective.

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

      Can anyone else picture Tom here standing on a milk crate on a street corner shouting this stuff?

      October 10, 2010 at 3:13 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Raider

      God yes...LOL..!!!!! Wow...! My sides are aching on that one pal..! LOL.

      October 10, 2010 at 4:00 am |
    • Kate

      @Tom

      Has our society finally reached the point where vile things are lifted to prominence and truth ground up in the dirt under our feet?

      What's Pee-Wee Hermann got to do with this?

      Just sayin'

      October 10, 2010 at 4:15 am |
  14. tony

    Blacks were regularly lynched in the South by "ordinary people" who felt offended by their presence or "crossing of some "white defined line"

    October 9, 2010 at 9:02 pm |
  15. Doug

    I think one thing people fail to realize is that the purpose of "Separation of Church and State" was intended to avoid having a State sponsored religion. As in England and the Church of England. It was never intended to keep the Ten Commandments out of court houses or prayer out of schools. Also, given that we have freedom of speech, you have to suck it up if someone doesn't like or criticizes your religion. If someone's athiest, that's their right. It's really simple. This woman violated the law and she should be punished. Not because she disagrees with the portrayal of Christ or the fact she seems to be religious but because she destroyed private property being displayed a public museum.

    October 9, 2010 at 9:02 pm |
  16. Peace72

    The artist expressed himself/herself by making fun of someone's prophet. Every artist like to get a reaction for his/her work. This is the reaction he extracted out of this woman. She is wrong for breaking the law but not for expressing her feelings. She knew very well she was breaking the law and she will accept her punishment. Jesus is one of the prophets I believe in (only a prophet though and not the son of God almighty). Hurray for this brave woman... she took one for the team. All you religion haters are expressing yourselves which is fine, but remember there will always someone who is wiling to take it to the extreme. Peace out.

    October 9, 2010 at 9:00 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Peace72: She is wrong for expressing her feelings with violence.

      October 11, 2010 at 2:46 pm |
  17. john

    THE MULLET IS ALIVE AND WELL IN MONTANA!

    October 9, 2010 at 8:59 pm |
    • tony

      That you , DI Frost?

      October 9, 2010 at 9:05 pm |
  18. duh

    ....duh

    October 9, 2010 at 8:58 pm |
  19. matt

    and how does her behaviour differ from the crazy muslims?? well it DOESN"T!!!! she is just a bad!

    October 9, 2010 at 8:57 pm |
  20. Aezel

    So Addison you are saying artists are not allowed to create pieces which challenge religious beliefs? Really? Oh and I forgot where it was written that you get to decide what is and isn't art for artists, and where art is only art if you cover every single subject in the world equally?

    Frankly, I don't think you are really a scientist, because your post is full of some of the most convoluted logic and bull I've ever seen. If you are a scientist you need to go back to school and learn about logically defended arguments and how they work.

    October 9, 2010 at 8:57 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.