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Gay nativity scene vandalized at Southern Calif. church

Published: Thu, December 29, 2011 @ 5:27 p.m.

Gay nativity scene vandalized at Southern Calif. church

LOS ANGELES — An unusual nativity display at a Claremont church that conveyed a gay couple was vandalized over the weekend in an incident authorities are investigating as a hate crime.

Claremont United Methodist Church has a Christmas tradition of unusual nativity displays, intended to carry a social or political message.

Despite some of the controversial topics, the scenes had never been vandalized or defaced, according to church officials and John Zachary, the artist who created the scenes.

But this year, suspects vandalized a nativity scene that included wooden light boxes with three couples holding hands — a man and a woman, two women and two men — under a star of Bethlehem and a sign that said “Christ is Born.”

Church officials came in before the Christmas morning service to find that someone had pushed over the two gay couples and left the heterosexual couple standing.

The vandalism occurred sometime between 11 p.m. on Christmas Eve and 9 a.m. on Christmas Day, police said. No suspects have been identified.

The church has never shied away from controversial topics, including a scene of war in the Middle East, a mother and baby in prison and a depiction of the U.S./Mexico border fence.

One year, the nativity depicted a homeless family.


1paulydel(1607 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

You got that right.

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2captdinger(110 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

Or Mary and Josephine.

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3northsideperson(366 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

In other words, if you disagree with something, then vandalism towards a representation of it is acceptable ?

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4AtownAugie(893 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

Two questions come to mind about this edited-story from the LA Times: First, will there be a report about all the other vandalism/thefts of other "traditional" Nativity displays in the U.S.? (Vindy editor, please note the capital N in Nativity when referring to the birth of Jesus Christ, small n in nativity for all other birth scenes.) Second, since "authorities are investigating [the incident] as a hate crime'" why are all those in my first question not being treated as "hate crimes" as well? (Meant as more than a mere rhetorical question.)

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5Superman(31 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

So AtownAugie, if there is vandalism and or theft of regular Nativity scenes, that makes the vandalism and or theft of the gay one OK?

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6AtownAugie(893 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

Was that written, sman? Happy New Year to you.

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