NATIVITY SCENES VANDALIZED NATIONWIDE

Catalyst January/February Issue 2009

Every year we are flooded with reports from across the nation about nativity scenes being vandalized. This year was no different.

Here is a list of some of the incidents that came to our attention:

· In Sandusky, Ohio a 50-year old figure of the Baby Jesus was stolen from a downtown park; it was found a few days later hanging from a ceiling fan in the apartment of the thief who stole it

· A Christian pastor in Loma Linda, California was beaten and left in critical condition while decorating his church

· In Orange County, Florida a Christian church’s drive-through nativity scene was completely demolished by vandals

· The Blessed Virgin figure was stolen from a nativity scene in front of a home in Colorado Springs, Colorado

· Twice within a couple of weeks, the crèche in Norwood, Massachusetts was vandalized

· A Baby Jesus and manger were stolen from the Beta Sigma Phi sorority in Eureka Springs, Arkansas; the statue was recovered a few days later damaged and covered with a Hitler mustache and satanic and anti-Semitic graffiti

· A drive-through nativity built by a Christian church in Stone Mountain, Georgia was destroyed

· In Waggaman, Louisiana, a 38-year old man, accompanied by a 15-year old and an 11-year old, trashed Christmas decorations at five homes

· A 50-year old statue of a shepherd was beheaded in a nativity scene in downtown Kingsport, Tennessee

· Five figures of the Baby Jesus were stolen within a week in Cape May County, New Jersey, including one from a funeral home and another from the Cape May Courthouse

· The Holy Family was stolen from a crèche outside of a home in New Albany, Indiana

· A Baby Jesus was stolen from a Catholic church in Brookline Village, Massachusetts and found a few days later smashed to pieces

· A sheep worth $10,000 was stolen from a nativity display in Malibu, California

· The nativity scene in front of a Christian church in Christoval, Texas was splattered with red paint

· Nativity scenes were damaged at homes in a neighborhood in Wenatchee, Washington

· Christmas decorations were destroyed and strewn over a yard in Melbourne, Florida

· Figures of the Baby Jesus were stolen from homes or churches in Fawn Township, Pennsylvania; Memphis, Tennessee; Grand Haven, Michigan;  Ashland, Kentucky; Littlestown, Pennsylvania; Valrico, California; Akron, Ohio; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Andover, New York; Somerset, Kentucky; Sumter, South Carolina; St. Charles, Illinois; Fishkill, New York; Sandy Creek, Pennsylvania; Moberly, Missouri; Hattiesburg, Mississippi; Roslyn, Washington; Lehighton, Pennsylvania; Lower Township, New Jersey; Alameda, California; Rowlett, Texas; Franklin, Tennessee; Stony Point, New York;  Bismarck, North Dakota; Webster, Connecticut;  Omaha, Nebraska; Paw Paw, Michigan; North Richland Hills, Texas; La Crosse, Wisconsin; Ketchikan, Alaska; Dublin, Georgia; Arlington Heights, Illinois; Fort Mill, South Carolina; Red Lion, Pennsylvania; Fort Collins, Colorado; Wichita, Kansas; and Independence Mall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

All of this was bad enough, but we got sick when we read the following by Deborah Lauter, national civil rights director for the Anti-Defamation League: “If Baby Jesus is removed, it tends to be seen as a prank. Vandalism or theft of a menorah is just more sensitive. You feel like you’re really being targeted for your religion.”


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Written by Bill