Last Updated on February 17, 2023

A United States service academy has come under fire for pandering to anti-Christian Leftist activists.

The United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) decided to cover the historic 1944 “Christ on the Water” painting, which depicts Jesus Christ protecting a group of merchant seamen, who are lost at sea.

The painting was covered up with curtains after a complaint from Mikey Weinstein, an anti-Christian military activist, suggested the painting “is totally violative of the clear time, place and manner requirements of the No Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution.”

“It’s as though USMMA is screaming that ‘Jesus Christ is the only approved solution to all of life’s difficulties,” Weinstein added.

The USMMA said in a Jan. 26 statement they chose “to cover the painting with curtains” whenever there are official meetings or events held in the conference room where the painting is hung.

“This solution balances legal requirements with the concerns of those who have an interest in the painting,” the statement added.

However, on Feb. 17 the USMMA released another statement backtracking on the Jan. 26 comments. Now, the painting will be removed from the room and put in the Academy’s chapel. Additionally, the conference room where it was once held, the Elliot See Room, will stop being used for official business “to foster a community of mutual respect and adhere to the law.”

The USMMA explained how the conference room was once a chapel, suggesting that was the reason why official business could not be conducted in it anymore.

Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) slammed the USMMA for its decision. “Covering this painting isn’t about ‘constitutional concerns,’ it is just the latest example of the Left’s woke agenda,” Rep. Banks told Fox News.

“This painting has conveyed hope and inspiration to nearly every class of midshipmen to come through the Academy,” the Indiana Republican added.

“[In] 2019, the Supreme Court ruled that historic displays with religious symbolism are not a violation of the constitution…the justices defended the preservation of a large cross monument because it was erected nearly a century ago as a memorial to soldiers lost in World War I – very similar to Wood’s painting.”

A USMMA alum created a petition calling for the USMMA to overturn its decision.  The petition has garnered over 4,500 signatures.

Stay tuned to National File for any updates.

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