An advertisement campaign for The Franciscan University of Steubenville’s MA Theology and MA Catechetics programs has been rejected by Facebook. The reason given by the social media site? An image of Jesus on the cross is shocking, sensational and has excessive violent content.
The image at issue features the San Damiano Cross with a crucified Jesus. Facebook sent the university a notice that says, “”Your image, video thumbnail or video can’t contain shocking, sensational, or excessively violent content.”
The university released the following statement on its website:
The San Damiano Cross. Jesus in glory, reigning from his cruciform throne. This is what the monitors at Facebook consider excessively violent, sensational, and shocking.
And indeed, the Crucifixion of Christ was all of those things. It was the most sensational action in history: man executed his God.
It was shocking, yes: God deigned to take on flesh and was “obedient unto death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:8)
And it was certainly excessively violent: a man scourged to within an inch of his life, nailed naked to a cross and left to die, all the hate of all the sin in the world poured out its wrath upon his humanity.
“but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews, an absurdity to Gentiles. But to those who are called, both Jew and Gentile, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:23-24)
As Father Mike Schmitz points out in today’s #ShareJesus message, it was not the nails that held Jesus to the cross: he was God, he could have descended from the Cross at any moment. No, it was love that kept him there. Love for you and for me, that we might not be eternally condemned for our sins but might have life eternal with him and his Father in heaven.
This is sensational, this is shocking. This is only possible because of the excessive violence that he endured for us.
“He was despised and rejected of men.” It was ever thus and will ever be, for those who do not see with the eyes of faith, and love with a love unquenchable.
Facebook later said a spam detection tool was responsible for the ads rejection.