Canadian Punk Band Returns Government Loan After Album Cover Flap

Living With Lions will return a taxpayer subsidy after federal government expresses anger over "Holy Shit" album cover that depicts Jesus Christ as a giant turd.

TORONTO – Jesus Christ will still be depicted as a piece of turd in the liner notes, but Vancouver punk band Living With Lions is returning a Canadian government loan used to release their controversial album "Holy Shit."

“In light of the recent controversy regarding the artwork for Living With Lions' album, "Holy Shit", the band and label have voluntarily agreed to return the $13,248.00 loan in its entirety, which was offered in support of this record,” Ian Stanger, a spokesman for the band’s Ontario label Black Box Recordings, said in a statement Tuesday.

Living with Lions last week released the album in North America with liner notes that thanked Canadian Heritage, the federal department responsible for arts and entertainment, for helping underwrite the music album through FACTOR, a government foundation to encourage Canadian music.

The Canadian punk album is subtitled "The Poo Testament," and in its packaging, designed to appear like a faded Bible, Jesus Christ is portrayed as a giant piece of excrement wrapped in a white sheet.

The federal government last week slammed the homegrown album as punk culture that mocked Christians.

In response to the media furor, Black Box has pulled the album from store shelves, ahead of a reissue in the coming weeks with the same linear notes and artwork, but with no mention of FACTOR support.

“The material was not intended to be offensive, though we regret it was interpreted that way. Further, we regret the negative attention that this matter has brought to FACTOR,” Stanger added in his statement.