Monthly Archives: April 2013

Just How Offensive is a Picture of Jesus?

It is my general policy not to Blog any of my personal views but due to a silly Facebook post, I felt compelled to write this. Please indulge me this one time. I promise it will not happen again.

Back in the days when I went to school, we had to study and learn about Egyptian Pharaohs (who believed that they were Gods), Nero, Caesar, Napoleon, Hitler, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr. Gandhi, and Golda Meir. The reason was because of their contributions, good or bad, to history and their effect on the world. You know who we didn’t have to learn about? …Jesus!

Yet Jesus is a very prominent historical figure who was a man of the people and killed by the “church leaders” of his time. He was an advocate for equality and peace. His quiet and peaceful movement called for turning the other cheek and people loving one another… very much like Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. And also Like Rev. King, he was killed because of it.

The other day I came across a post on Facebook that begged the question “Do you think a picture of Jesus Christ belongs in a public school?” The apparent reason for the enquiry seemed to stem from the local channel 12 news report about a school that took down a small framed photo rather than go to court over it. It was my first instinct to say a great big “NO” in response but then I started to really ponder the idea and what it represented in actuality.

The Picture in Question

The Picture in Question

In this day and age when kids are looking up to role models like Snooki, Kardashian’s, Honey BooBoo, and the Situation, just to name a tiny few (which by the way, America embraces wholeheartedly) why all the stress about a simple picture of Jesus? I know that in my school we had pictures of Gandhi, Buddha and Golda Meir. None of these people were American leaders and all three were also icons for their own respective religions. Yet no one seemed bothered by the images.

In a time when it’s “IN” to be selfish, greed is a common and excepted way of life, and sickos who believe that wiping out dozens of innocent lives with assault weapons at movie theaters and elementary schools will make them “go out in a blaze of glory,” is it really so bad to see an image of a gentle man of peace and love? After all, the school is not teaching about Jesus or Christianity it’s merely a picture on a wall in a hallway. I didn’t become Hindu because I saw a picture of Gandhi every day nor did I ever consider switching to Buddhism or Judaism because pictures of Buddha and Ms. Meir hung in my classroom. I did however admire all three and wanted to strive to be more like them. The point I am trying to make is; whether or not you believe that Jesus was the son of God is totally irrelevant. You do have to agree that he is a historic figure that represents peace, love and humanity; qualities that are becoming quite extinct in our modern world. For the record, I would not be the least bit offended by a picture of Mohammad or Moses hanging in a school either. Maybe the best way to settle the “big picture dilemma” would be to add pictures of Moses and Mohammad rather than remove Jesus. It may do kids good to have small reminders of kindness, leadership and love to reflect upon, if and when they even look up, as they rush through the busy, crowded hallway from class to class.

If on the other hand, the school was “preaching” about Jesus or Christianity, even though I am a devout Christian myself, I would be very upset. A public school is NOT a place for any religious teaching. Such teachings should come from your own individual churches, temples and quite frankly, your home.

When will America’s great offence with religion end? Americans fought to have prayer stopped in classrooms even though the prayers were non-sectarian. Even now, folks are fighting to remove the phrase “Under God” from our pledge of allegiance. I love when they ask, “whose God?” Silly me, I was under the assumption that there was only one!

Every piece of American money we handle says “In God We Trust.” Should we be rallying to have that removed from our currency? What about the Declaration of Independence? It says that “All men are ‘created’ equal. That they are endowed by their ‘Creator’ with certain unalienable rights.” What if you don’t believe in a creator? Should this now be removed from the document that explains the very notion that our country was founded upon? What if non-believers started to feel offended by any sign of religion? Should crosses, stars and windows that adorn our houses of worship be removed to keep all signs of religion inside the building as not to offend the atheists and agnostics who may have to pass them on public streets daily, or so none of us would be offended by symbols of religions other than our own? While we’re at it, why don’t we ban wearing jewelry in the form of crosses, stars and other iconic religious designs in public?

People, it’s a picture. There could be (and certainly are) a lot worse things for our youth to have to look at in a public building or any other place for that matter. I’d worry more about what they’re looking at on television if I were you. Just my humble opinion.

Until next time,


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Excerpt from Unforgettable (Trudy’s Story)

Hi everyone. I thought I might just post another “teaser” exerpt from my soon to be finished novel, Unforgettable (Trudy’s Story). Hoping to take some time this spring and summer to get this book completed. Wish me luck!


(Trudy’s Story)

Copyright 2011 by Donald Philip Massetti

All rights reserved. No part of this book or Blog may be used or reproduced by any means, graphic, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping or by any information storage retrieval system without the written permission of the author except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

This is a novel based on the true-life events of Gertrude Wilson- Massetti-Abate.

December 1948 

It was a positively perfect Christmas season.  Trudy could not have been happier.  She was living a life that she deemed ideal.  She was happily married and had a wonderful baby son.  Dukie was now two years old and this Christmas would be so much fun.  He understood what was going on and Trudy and Mario were eager to see the boy’s reaction to the gifts that “Santa” would leave behind for him. 

The city was alive with excitement.  Red, and green lights were strung in swag formation from one side of the street to the other.  Large candy cane shapes illuminated each lamppost and best of all, while they were out shopping, a gentle dusting of snow had started to fall.  Trudy held Mario by the arm as he pushed the baby carriage down the block.  Dukie was sleeping quietly, kept warm by several layers of blankets that were now topped with paper bags filled with Christmas presents and gift-wrap.  Trudy was smiling while Mario sang out loud as they strolled down the block “Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful and since we’ve no place to go… let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!”  

Trudy rested her head on her husbands shoulder.  “Oh Mario,” she began, “this is such a wonderful night.  I wish it could go on forever.” 

As the couple turned the corner, they noticed a large cardboard box by the curb.  As they got closer to it Trudy saw movement inside the box.  She brought it to Mario’s attention.  “Could it be that someone left a dog out on the corner like that?” he wondered.  

The wind was starting to pick-up and the snow was beginning to fall more steadily now. They approached the box and took a look inside it and to their surprise sat a young teenaged boy wearing an old coat.  He was covered in newspapers and huddled into one corner of the box.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Exactly who was this mystery boy? What affect will he have on Trudy and her family and why? What part will this chance meeting play in shaping Trudy’s life? Find out only in “Unforgettable (Trudy’s Story).”

The Happy Couple with Their New Baby


Thanks for reading!

Untill next time,


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