Thursday, January 15, 2009

Ringling College and Planned Parenthood

At the beginning of each performance of the Ringling Brothers circus, the ringmaster exclaims, "Ladies and gentlemen and children of all ages ..."

But, the Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida is near a final decision on a lease with Planned Parenthood in Sarasota that will put artwork from the college’s students directly below a Planned Parenthood abortion facility – where future circus attendees will be killed.

Under the lease, reportedly at $1 a year for 99 years, the school would display student art in a 1,000-square-foot street-level gallery in the new Planned Parenthood building. The gallery would be visible from the sidewalk through a large glass wall. Patrons could go inside to view the art closely and the school reportedly would have at least some of the art for sale.

On the floor just above the proposed gallery is Planned Parenthood's new abortion facility that will commit an estimated 1,000 abortions a year.

In a previous statement, Ringling college president Dr. Larry Thompson said the school would not be supporting Planned Parenthood but its own students. He added: "As an organization, Ringling School does not espouse any views on the activities of Planned Parenthood or any pro-life organization. We are not a part of any of those organizations and do not intend to be."

Can you imagine a college bearing the prestigious Ringling name not caring about the killing of children? Can you imagine students proudly displaying their art while wondering if blood will drip from the ceiling onto their work? Can you imagine how gallery visitors will react when they learn what is occurring over their heads?

The Ringling family has a long and proud relationship with the arts. The Ringling Museum of Art was established 82 years ago by John and Mable Ringling. Their home, Ca d'Zan, is a treasure trove of art, visited by millions from around the world. Sarasota was the home of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus for decades and its legacy remains throughout the community. The art museum grounds include a circus museum.

Now, all of this grand history will be tarnished because the Ringling College administration wants a free facility to show the students’ art. With this 99-year lease, the Ringling name will be linked to Planned Parenthood, operator of the nation's largest abortion chain, forever.

Every time the Ringling Brothers' circus arrives in any town in America, people will be reminded of the association between Ringling College and Planned Parenthood.
ACTION ALERT: Now is the time to speak out. To express your views on a student art gallery at Planned Parenthood’s killing center, contact these key people:
Larry Thompson, president

Christine Meeker Lange, special assistant to the president for media and community relations

Dr. Tammy Walsh, dean of students
(50 students are in the Catholic student group FOCUS, which operates under her authority.)

Christine DeGeorge, vice president for human organizational development
(She is very concerned about Ringling's image and wants to keep everyone happy. Cigarette butts on campus or offensive art displayed there or bad food in the Ringling cafeteria are major concerns to her and she takes action immediately to correct the problem)

Jim Dean, dean of admissions
(Each student is worth $140,000 to the college.)

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