With every Christmas season comes tons of controversy over Nativity scenes, the iconic religious displays depicting baby Jesus in his manger. To many, the Nativity scene is a symbol of faith and hope, so when the image is tampered with it tends to spark outrage. This year has been no different, with one home-owner in the haunted house business displaying a horrifying zombie version of the Nativity scene that his neighbors were not happy about.
But this week has brought us some even stranger trouble surrounding the Nativity scene, namely a drunk driving suspect who crashed his car and used the manger display to hide from the police.
According to the Huffington Post, officers in Tadcaster, England, responded to a call about a collision early on Saturday morning. Upon arriving at the scene, the police found the alleged drunk driver taking cover inside a Christmas Nativity scene inside a shed about 200 meters away. They arrested him on the spot.
According to the Telegraph, the drunk driving suspect was hiding beneath the hay bales that were cradling the baby Jesus.
The North Yorkshire Police Department posted a photo of the crash to Twitter, showing the suspect’s Mini Cooper crashed into a roadside railing. The tweet also shared the hilarious bit about how the drunk driver tried to get away by hiding in the Nativity scene.
— NorthYorksPolice RPG (@NYorksRPG) December 12, 2015
Many Twitter users have responded to the tweet, making light of the situation with some manger-related humor.
@NYorksRPG obviously not one of the wise men
— Bill Simpson (@fc963ec364de471) December 12, 2015
— Neil Royce (@royceylufc) December 12, 2015
@NYorksRPG Not even the baby Jesus could save him
— Alan Huddart (@alanhuddart) December 12, 2015
Even one of the colleagues to the arresting officers, Sgt. Paul Cording, joined in the fun.
— Paul Cording (@OscarRomeo1268) December 12, 2015
But a drunk driver seeking shelter in the manger isn’t the only bizarre Nativity scene story to come out this week.
Provoking a typical legal dispute, a live action Nativity scene that had been performed at an Indiana high school for decades was banned by a federal judge because “the living Nativity scene impermissibly conveys an endorsement of religion and thus runs afoul of the Establishment Clause.” This resulted in an unusual compromise that was apparently still effective enough as a religious icon to move the audience to tears.
According to Fox News, after the judge forbid the students from putting on a rendition of the Nativity scene with actors, the students replaced the people on stage with mannequins. School officials claimed that this change complied with the judge’s order, because the injunction only applied to a live action Nativity scene.
“That is, live performers cannot perform the Nativity scene in this year’s Spectacular, and Concord Community Schools will comply with that order.”
The new version of the Nativity scene put frozen statues on stage instead of real people, dressed in traditional Nativity clothes, but otherwise completely still. Even so, when the curtain rose, the Christmas display still had a spiritual impact.
“It’s very emotional, I was actually tearful when it came out,” Roberta Gooding, a parent, told Fox News.
Perhaps some of those emotions can be attributed to the persistence of the Nativity scene tradition in the face of the federal ban. But what do you think? Do Nativity scenes cause more controversy than they’re worth?
[Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]