As the song says, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year”. And, that’s true…, as long as you color within the lines. But, if your approach to celebrating Christmas falls outside the norm, it is so not “the hap-hap-happiest season of all”. Don’t believe me? Just ask Jasen and Amanda Dixon of Sycamore, Ohio.
Like many people this time of year, the Dixon’s put up a life-size nativity scene. Unlike many people, their nativity scene is pissing people off. Why? Because everyone in this particular crèche, the baby Jesus, Joseph, Mary, the shepherds and the wise men, are zombies. Yes, beloved, you read that right: zombies. As in the undead, walkers, ghouls, zeds…, well, I think you get my point. And, that’s not sitting well with some folks.
If you’re thinking that those folks are religious, you’d be right. Last year, when Dixon first put up his zombie-themed nativity scene, a Baptist pastor from Indiana took to the internet, saying “The blasphemy that’s going on. The blasphemy!” And, this year, some other Baptists left a pamphlet that said “GOD FROWNS UPON THIS MANGER SCENE”. Someone needs to tell these people they are not helping the brand.
Now, I’m no expert, but I’m pretty sure the Divine’s panties are not in a wad over a manger scene in a small, central Ohio town. In reality, there are much bigger fish to fry than one man’s twisted representation of Jesus’ birth. Like, say, the fact that too many people in this world don’t have any fish to fry.
Of course, it’s not just the religious community that’s having a hissy fit over the Dixons’ holiday decorating choices; Sycamore town officials are not pleased. Not, they say, because his crèche is offensive to Christians, but because it violates zoning regulations. Yeah, that’s the ticket. I’m sure none of the council members are God-fearing church folks who are offended by the display and are using their position to defend their faith (and by “defend their faith”, I mean “shit on others”). Christians just don’t roll that way. Right?
The town isn’t playing around, either. Last year, officials let things slide and dropped the charges. But, this time around, they’re a little less forgiving. They rejected Dixon’s permit application and are threatening to fine the couple $500 a day as long as the scene stays up. Repeated attempts to contact the zoning office have not met with success.
While I, personally, think the Dixons’ crèche is pretty fucking awesome, I can see where it might not be someone else’s cup of tea. But, here’s the thing: if you don’t like it, don’t look at it. I have a feeling that people who are expending so much effort to control how the Dixon’s decorate for Christmas are the same ones who cite infringement of their religious freedom when someone tells them they can’t treat others like shit. I also have a feeling that they see no conflict between those two things.
You know, if your faith can’t handle a relatively easy tweak of the nose like a zombie nativity scene, then maybe you need to rethink that faith. Otherwise, you’re going to spend a lot of time being pissed off. And, I’m pretty sure that’s not what the Gospel is all about.