SANTA ANA, Calif. (FOX 11) - It's the Statue of Liberty like you probably haven't seen her. Large eyes, green lips - and she's wearing a hijab. It's a small painting but causing big controversy over two American values: Freedom of speech vs. separation of church and state.
"This is a high school art project - we're rewarding kids for their hard work." says Congressman Lou Corrrea. A Santa Ana high schooler submitted the painting for this year's congressional art competition. It won 4th place, and a coveted space on her local congressman's wall.
"It doesn't belong in a congressman's office." says 'We the People Rising' member Mike McGetrick.
The placement of the art has upset members of 'We the People Rising', who visited Lou Correa's office recently demanding that it be taken down.
"You can't find another place to put that picture...maybe you can put it in your house? In this day in age we want to know our elected officials are patriotic." said McGetrick.
The video showing the confrontation has over 12-thousand views, and the issue now has Sarah Palin's attention on Twitter.
Correa says he won't take it down. "I address issues of terrorism - we're looking at North Korea. We're looking at Russia. We're looking at our economy today...very important public policy issues I'm looking at right now. But freedom of speech is also very important." said Correa.
'We the People Rising' insists the artist should have the freedom to express herself - just not in a place that their tax dollars fund.
"If it was just a beautiful picture of the state of liberty we wouldn't have a problem with it. But she had to put a hijab on it and I don't think that's right...and there's nothing wrong with that but it's in a Congressman's office. It's where it's at." said McGetrick.
The congressman claims there is art depicting Jesus at the Capitol in Washington - and says no one has said anything about that.
'We the People Rising' says they haven't seen that piece, but they believe that should be taken down as well.
Meanwhile the congressman's office also says the painter is getting death threats.
Both sides condemn those threats.
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