Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Deltona Artist Not Accepting Religious Discrimination Quietly

The Deltona Florida artist, Lloyd Marcus, whose paintings celebrating Black History Month were censored by the City of Deltona, has retained Liberty Counsel to represent him. Yesterday Liberty Counsel sent a demand letter to Mayor Dennis Mulder and acting City Manager/City Attorney, L. Roland Blossom, demanding that the paintings be displayed. The letter gives the city until noon today to reverse its decision or face a federal lawsuit. To celebrate Black History Month, the City of Deltona allowed City employees and local citizens to display artwork depicting black history. Marcus is a well-known artist, entertainer and composer residing in Deltona. He has emceed city events and volunteers as President of the Deltona Arts and Historical Center. A City employee requested that Marcus display some of his artwork along with other paintings from the community. One picture displays a partially covered Bible and church sign. Another picture depicts a festive New Orleans funeral, and a third shows a Christmas basket. The paintings are a published series based on scenes from Marcus’s childhood in his father’s Baltimore church. After they were displayed, Marcus received a call stating that Mr. Blossom demanded the paintings be removed due to their religious content. Marcus is a well-respected member of the community and a long-time supporter of the city. He is an accomplished singer, entertainer, songwriter and artist who raised funds for Hurricane Katrina victims with his song “America Cries for You.” He wrote a song honoring the city, called “Deltona.” This remarkable patriot served in the army, sang in a Green Beret choir, performed for President Bush, and sang a solo at an inaugural ball for President Reagan. Photographs of his paintings are online at

While trying to avoid complaints from a hypothetical heckler, the City officials’ act of censorship managed to offend a majority of Americans, and most particularly the Constitution. The First Amendment does not require cleansing religion from black history. Under the City’s distorted understanding of church and state, Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural address on the subject of slavery, where he referenced God and repeatedly quoted the Scriptures, would be considered unconstitutional. Black history cannot be separated from its religious history.

Lloyd Marcus' web site

Deltona's web site

City's press release for Black History Month