LSU alters fan photo to remove crosses - Atlanta News, Weather, Traffic, and Sports | FOX 5

LSU alters fan photo to remove crosses

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This photo of The Painted Posse, courtesy of CampusReform.org, was altered by the university to remove small crosses on the fans' chests before it was sent out in an email. This photo of The Painted Posse, courtesy of CampusReform.org, was altered by the university to remove small crosses on the fans' chests before it was sent out in an email.
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A well-known group of Louisiana State University students who paint their bodies in a show of support for their football team say they were shocked that their school altered a photo taken of them at a recent home game, removing tiny Christian crosses painted on their chests.  

CampusReform.org reports that students, who are known as The Painted Posse, are Christians who paint their bodies with their school's colors and small crosses for each home game.  The group was pictured in a photo that was included in an email about LSU's game vs. South Carolina on October 13, but the crosses they had painted above their hearts had been edited out of the photo.  

"I was a bit surprised, because our pictures get used so frequently, and the cross had never been edited before," said Cameron Cooke, one of the students pictured, in an interview with CampusReform.org.  "The cross painting is important to me because it represents who I am as a Christ follower.

"And it reminds me who I need to act like in Death Valley," Cooke told the site, referring to the stadium's nickname.

The university originally told CampusReform.org that they stood by their decision to edit the photo, saying the school altered the image to avoid offending other students who receive the weekly newsletter   But CampusReform.org reports the university issued a formal apology on Monday.  

"We erred in our judgment and we have communicated our apologies to the group of young men represented in the photo whose school spirit is second to none," an LSU administrator acknowledged in a Facebook post on Monday, according to CampusReform.org.  "We did not intend to offend anyone by the editing of this photograph and in the future we will use another photo rather than make a similar edit."

The story made national headlines over the weekend.

According to their Facebook page, The Painted Posse started in 2003.  They describe themselves as "a group of guys from various collegiate ministries on campus who LOVE LSU football and LOVE Jesus." 

More info: The Painted Posse on Facebook

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