As the Christmas season comes to a close and Americans look forward to a new year, millions of Christians continue to reflect on the meaning of the holiday and the world-changing effect of Christ’s birth. For many congregations, this historic event was displayed in a traditional Nativity scene, featuring Mary, Joseph, and, of course, the Baby Jesus lying peacefully in a manger.
On the other hand, California’s Claremont United Methodist Church chose to go in a more controversial – and far less biblical – direction. Instead of Jesus, artist John Zachary chose to include a figure wearing a hooded sweatshirt and bleeding profusely from his chest.
The central character was obviously meant to represent Trayvon Martin, the teen fatally shot last after mercilessly beating Neighborhood Watch member George Zimmerman in the latter’s neighborhood.
Though Zimmerman was acquitted of all related charges, the radical left continues to portray the Hispanic man as a racist murderer who targeted the 17-year-old simply because he was black. Such was the inherent message of Zachary’s nativity revision.
The Trayvon mannequin was positioned to be slumped over the manger with a pool of blood in front of him that spelled “A Child is Born, a Son is Given.”
Instead of remembering the life of Christ, the church allowed Zachary to inject his own personal ideology into the display. This marks the seventh year the artist has produced a reimagined nativity for the church.
“What if Jesus was lying there bleeding to death?” he asked. “I was kind of thinking of that.”
Zachary, who reportedly comes from a long line of Methodist ministers, has found in Claremont U.M.C. a welcoming home for his unorthodox artwork.
Pastor Sharon Rhodes-Wickett said the latest display is “hard to look at,” though she contends “[w]e have to take a look at the violence.”
Among Zachary’s previous designs, which many Christians would label blasphemous, are outrageous displays that replaced Mary and Joseph with homosexual couples or illegal immigrants trying to force their way into the U.S.
Political correctness has deteriorated American society in countless ways over the past several decades. The fact that this dangerous philosophy has now infiltrated many churches – the last remaining bastion of traditional values – is a depressing portent of our collective future.
–B. Christopher Agee