It’s times like this that I wish I still had time for the podcast, when good time-sensitive stories like this pop up and I’m already working on stories for February. Ah well, plug it in on an empty day!
Just outside of Cincinnati, Ohio, Jasen Dixon put up a nativity scene outside of his home. That’s probably like millions of other homes, but this was a bit different. It was a zombie nativity scene. Dixon runs a local haunted house and it ought to come as no surprise that he’d be apt to put up that kind of display. Police came along and ordered him to take it down because, in theory, it violates a local ordnance and it also pissed off some of his neighbors.
Now I’m not saying he might not be violating the ordnance, but if he is, then there can be no outdoor nativity scenes in any yard in town. If he’s been singled out, the police are just asking for a massive lawsuit that they cannot possibly win. Jasen has the right to free speech on his property, just like everyone else. If these officers had bothered to discuss this with their legal department, I’m pretty sure they’re lawyers would have beat them over the head with a law book for even suggesting such a thing. It’s equal treatment for all or none, you don’t get to pick and choose based on the local dominant superstition.
Of course, Christians don’t get this and in much of the rest of the world, neither do Muslims. They think they get to dictate what everyone sees. In most of the U.S., at least, that’s simply not the case, although it never stops them from giving it the old college try.
Jasen has until Friday to remove the display, which means it makes it through Christmas, which I’m sure was the whole point in the first place. That gives him time to take it down, then sue the city for abridging his civil rights. I’d be out and about the town with a tape measure, making sure that every single other nativity scene and front yard display in the area was exactly the right size. You can’t censor for content. I’m willing to bet he’s not alone. Ka-ching!