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The Nativity is not Welcome in the City of Chicago

For eleven years the city of Chicago has supported the Christkindlmarket Chicago, a traditional German American market and festival that lasts 4 weeks long and offers shopping, music, traditional German American food and drink, and entertainment. It's a free family friendly celebration of the Christmas season that hosts over one million people and is home to the Chicago Christmas Tree. It's so popular that a variety of groups and companies are eager to sponsor it every year. Here's the sponsorship list as it looked until just recently:

naitivity-sponsor.jpg


See anything that looks inappropriate or out of place? I don't either. But the city of Chicago did.
This year it threatened to pull its support of Chicago's Christkindlmarket Christmas celebration because of The Nativity Story movie and it succeeded.

Why? It makes perfect sense that one of the sponsors of the Christkindlmarket Chicago would be a movie about the birth of Christ, especially since The Nativity Story is the first movie to retell the story of Christ's birth in more than 50 years and 50,000 Christians from all over the country are going to screen the film tonight.

Nonetheless, the city of Chicago wanted nothing to do with the market if the movie's sponsorship continued and Christkindlmarket felt it had no choice but to remove the movie from its sponsor list.

Jenn Giroux, head of Operation Just Say Merry Christmas, an organization working to bring back the birth of Christ as the center and meaning of Christmas, says, "for the city of Chicago to demand that The Nativity Story, a beautiful and non offensive movie about the birth of Christ, be removed from Christkindlmarket's sponsorship illustrates the Chicago city officials' hostility toward Christianity and Christians, not just in Chicago, but all over this country." She hopes that it creates a groundswell of people who then go see the movie in response.

The Corner has New Line Cinema's reaction to the city of Chicago's demand that the move be banned:

We were stunned that our paid sponsorship of Christkindlmarket Chicago - the largest Christmas celebration in Chicago - was rescinded based on the "religious" content of our film The Nativity Story.


We had committed to a $12,000 sponsorship for the market, which was to include a display area in the Festival tent, logo signage in all print ads, direct mailings, brochures, flyers and on the website.

We don't understand why our sponsorship would be rejected for religious reasons, particularly considering the fact that our film details the story that inspired the holiday season that the Christkindlmarket was created to celebrate.

Express your displeasure to Chicago city officials here.


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» third world county linked with Christmas Alliance 1.4: The Nativity

Comments (45)

What's so hard to understan... (Below threshold)

What's so hard to understand? The City of Chicago being supportive of an event that is also completely separately supported by a movie promotion with a decidedly Christian theme (and the Hard Rock Cafe) is a direct violation of the first Amendment because it equates to Congress establishing a national religion.

Right?

I guess the city is also endorsing all of the other corporate sponsors?

It's obvious that a common observer would think, seeing the mishmash of corporate sponsors, that the City of Chicago is endorsing an official religion if they also support this event.

I'm sure they would never lend their support to an event where one of the sponsors was a mosque or a muslim group or a jewish group...

Right?

This country isn't getting any less weird, people, in case you hadn't noticed, when this sort of thing isn't dismissed as a hilarious gaffe deserving of ridicule and scorn. Only anti-religion bigots could pass off viewpoint censorship as indicative of their openness.

Maybe Christians should boy... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Maybe Christians should boycott Chicago. Cancel conventions and public events and then post how much revenue the city has lost because of it's bigotry against religious people. It works for other groups so maybe this is a good place for Christians to start making hostel politicians pay the price. Chicago area Christians can start by boycotting the Christkindlemarket Christmas celebration and local retail outlets. Do your shopping on-line.

Dear Chicago officials,... (Below threshold)

Dear Chicago officials,

WTF?!?!?!?!

Sincerely,
Me

It would be one thing for t... (Below threshold)
Brian:

It would be one thing for the city to not support an organization that produced such a religious movie itself. But pulling support from an event because one of the other supporters has produced the movie? That's not animus, but it's a ridiculous and ignorant overreaction.

"Chicago area Christians... (Below threshold)
Lee:

"Chicago area Christians can start by boycotting the Christkindlemarket Christmas celebration and local retail outlets."

Why? Why hurt the festival and stores/vendors because of actions taken by the City?

I suspect the City has a policy against supporting religious events of any denominations and faiths, and I suppose they feel that the film's sponsorship moves this event from a "holiday market" into a religious Christmas observation.

I say "I suspect" because so far there doesn't seem to be any official word from the City of Chicago confirming this -- just an anonymous "tip" from someone at New Line -- which, coincidentally, is getting a lot of free publicity for the film from all of this.

Christian-NoNazi- Ye... (Below threshold)
yetanotherjohn:

Christian-No
Nazi- Yes

Notice how they don't have problem taking an advertisement from an airline formerly controlled By Herman Goering of Nazi fame. Along those same lines, just what do you think BMZ, Mercedes Benz, Diamler, were building during the war. So throw a few million jews in the oven and kill American soldiers and the democratic controlled city of Chicago loves to work with you. Tell a version of the story that inspired the celebration that the city is ostensibly celebrating and you must walk the plank.

Where is Obama on this? Does he support the idea of working with Nazi supporters, but not a film about the "reason for the season"? Lets hear from the putative 2008 candidate.

I suspect the Cit... (Below threshold)
Jumpinjoe:
I suspect the City has a policy against supporting religious events of any denominations and faiths, and I suppose they feel that the film's sponsorship moves this event from a "holiday market" into a religious Christmas observation

I didn't realize that the word "Christkindlemarket" translated to "Holiday Market".

I learn something everyday here.

Well, I guess "Banned In Ch... (Below threshold)
Mike:

Well, I guess "Banned In Chicago" could become the new version of "Banned in Boston."

Someone might also want to remind Michael Moore (or whoever he plagiarized) that in the wake of the election, he -on behalf of liberals - promised to let us freely practice religion. Maybe the city of Chicago didn't get Moore's message.

hmmmm I'm a simple creature... (Below threshold)
suhnami:

hmmmm I'm a simple creature but christkindle and nativity seem to be in line with themselves. Help me please.

Since so many are so agains... (Below threshold)
Gianni:

Since so many are so against Christmas, does this mean they will forfeit Christmas day off, Christmas bonuses, etc?

$100 says the ACLU will be closed Christmas Day.

I suspect religion can stil... (Below threshold)
Lee:

I suspect religion can still be practiced freely in Chicago, Mike, it just can't be supported with tax dollars.

"I didn't realize that the word "Christkindlemarket" translated to "Holiday Market"."

I didn't say it was, JJ. From what I can gather at the organizer's website, this is just a market, not a religious observation.

Chicago's largest open-air Christmas festival was first held on Pioneer Court in 1996. Inspired by the famous German Christmas Market in Nuremberg, which dates back to 1545, Christkindlmarket brings a cherished German and European tradition with international flair and local color to Chicago.

[snip]

Today, Christkindlmarket Chicago is the largest and most renowned Christmas/holiday market in the US attracting more than 1 million visitors from around the Chicagoland area, both coasts and around the world.

I didn't say it w... (Below threshold)
Jumpinjoe:
I didn't say it was, JJ. From what I can gather at the organizer's website, this is just a market, not a religious observation

Lee, It's a German "Christmas" Market. It's not the German Holiday Market. It is based on German "Christmas" traditions.

But for some odd reason even though it's a "Christmas" event, it somehow got too politically correct to mention the fact that Christmas is the celebration of the "Birth of Christ".

Neither is a movie a religi... (Below threshold)

Neither is a movie a religious observation. Neither is a movie about a religious character a religious observation. A movie about Buddah would not be a religious observation. A movie about Muhammad would not be a religious observation.

It's not that we can't get the reasoning, Lee, it's that the reasoning is *stupid*.

Why? Why hurt the ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Why? Why hurt the festival and stores/vendors because of actions taken by the City?

For the same reason ERA supporters and Gay supporters used such boycotts, they put pressure on the government through the people who pay lots of taxes. If a city doesn't want Christ in Christmas, then Christians should take their business elsewhere. There's no court ruling that the city can't allow a group that promotes religion to contribute money to local events. This is just creeping secularism and Christians have every right to oppose it by all legal means.

"Neither is a movie abou... (Below threshold)
Lee:

"Neither is a movie about a religious character a religious observation."

Uhhh, I dunno.... If there was a live nativity play, that wouldn't be a religious observation? I think yes.

Born and raised in da great... (Below threshold)

Born and raised in da great city of Chicago and I know I won't retire there. It's not the city I grew up in.

I guess in some ways that's a good thing. The Government, Church and Mob were all sort of plugged in to one another when I was a kid.

Christkindlmarkt = Christ C... (Below threshold)

Christkindlmarkt = Christ Child Market. The city has gone more bonkers than ever! The City has a Nativity Scene that it displays in Daley Plaza which is where the Christkindlmarket is held.

Uhhh, I dunno....... (Below threshold)
Jumpinjoe:
Uhhh, I dunno.... If there was a live nativity play, that wouldn't be a religious observation? I think yes

If nativity scenes were displayed at the German "Christmas" Market with the intent to sell then one could assume that would be a violation of the city code too and be forced out of view to spare the religious intolerant.

The City has a Na... (Below threshold)
Jumpinjoe:
The City has a Nativity Scene that it displays in Daley Plaza which is where the Christkindlmarket is held

Interesting.....That makes it all the more confusing as to why the city would ban a sponsor that has a movie about that very thing.

I wonder why no one noticed that before.

Some questions come to mind... (Below threshold)
John F Not Kerry:

Some questions come to mind: What party runs Chicago politics? What party does the ACLU most naturally line up with? Why the hell am I not surprised when Democrats pull crap like this?

I'm only glad Lee doesn't l... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

I'm only glad Lee doesn't live near me. I'd have to consider nailing his doors shut at 3AM, pouring a hundred gallons of diesel fuel on the house and torching it. That would be what the fire departments call a live burn, but not necessarly a practice.
Enough of the anti-christian BS Lee or someone will take you seriously and send one of your lover boy Islamic terrorsists to talk to you.

Seriously Lee, you need to get out in the real world (away from the brain dead, brainwashed anti-American left wingers) and get a life.

I looked up a photo of the ... (Below threshold)
Jumpinjoe:

I looked up a photo of the Nativity Scene on Government property in downtown Chicago.

Photo of Nativity Scene Here

Someone please splain that one.

Lee? Anyone?

Ahhh, basking in the warmth... (Below threshold)
Lee:

Ahhh, basking in the warmth of Scrapiron's outpouring of Christian love. Life is good.

Good catch, JJ.

Oh, great - another year of... (Below threshold)
Jumpin' Jack Flash:

Oh, great - another year of "The War on Christmas". We get to see bunches of posts from whiny, sour Christians who are sore about the fact that they can't reach into my pockets to get me to involuntarily fund their proselytization for their omnipotent, omniscient deity.

The funny part is that it is a deity who is apparently all-powerful but which needs the help of tepid believers and unbelievers in government to get It's word out - a deity so juvenile that gets in a snit when It isn't praised by its lesser creations, creations whom It intends to condemn to an eternity of torture for not falling all over themselves for It.

Oh boo hoo. I mean really. ... (Below threshold)
Rob Hackney:

Oh boo hoo. I mean really. Aren't you sick of these bogus "war on christmas" propaganda peices yet? Every year, since the 1930's ( Yes, I have seen newspaper articles written from then as if it was today, with the same old tired language and phrases ) it's the same old story.

Then again, right wingers and especially their Xian wing, are easily led mush brains. So it's not surprising.

Got to have something to cling to after the Democrats shattered all your dreams I guess.

" Oh, great - another year ... (Below threshold)
John F Not Kerry:

" Oh, great - another year of "The War on Christmas". We get to see bunches of posts from whiny, sour Christians who are sore about the fact that they can't reach into my pockets to get me to involuntarily fund their proselytization for their omnipotent, omniscient deity.

The funny part is that it is a deity who is apparently all-powerful but which needs the help of tepid believers and unbelievers in government to get It's word out - a deity so juvenile that gets in a snit when It isn't praised by its lesser creations, creations whom It intends to condemn to an eternity of torture for not falling all over themselves for It."

Posted by: Jumpin' Jack Flash

Great- another crybaby who didn't get what he wanted out of life so he thinks he must rail against the God who snubbed him and His followers. Nice try Jack. Most "Xians" (poor baby- you can't even type "Christ") I know don't wish for the goverment to faciltate prosyletization, but just wish to be left alone to enjoy a tradition that is still observed by a huge majority of people in this country. And no- I don't see America as a Christian nation- just a nation blessed by God because it followed many of His principles. Go ahead and enjoy your snit.

My bad- it was Rob Hackney ... (Below threshold)
John F Not Kerry:

My bad- it was Rob Hackney who couldn't type "Christ." Sorry Jack. Everything else applies.

Jumpin' Jack Flash, <... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Jumpin' Jack Flash,

No one is trying to reach into your precious pockets, and in fact, what the city did was turn down 12 grand in private money for sponsorship. If you read the story you would know that, but you're too busy bashing others to be bothered by such details.

And what's it to you if people worship God and celebrate religious holidays? Your only problem is what to do with the paid time off you get from work, assuming you work that is. What, you don't like all the ruckus and noise of Christmas. Well I know who you are now.

I'm sorry, but how do you r... (Below threshold)
gattsuru:

I'm sorry, but how do you reconcile "freedom of speech" with "if you mention X, we'll take away money"? Particularly from the political group who considers the loss of federal funding for a specific type of stem cell research equivilant to a complete ban on all types? I'm sure preventing teachers from mentioning any political viewpoint (since, after all, their time is paid for by the government) would be met just as equally.

For those who think the first amendment mentions "Seperation of Church and State" somewhere, I'll bring forth the quote : "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof".

A City ordinance punishing the mention of a religious note seems to fit the bar of the second marker.

Leave it to old "pucker pus... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

Leave it to old "pucker puss" (lee lee) to show how stupid he really is. (Scrap' don't waste that much money on on a piece of pig crap such as p'p'--he's not worth spitting on)

"jumping jackass" just joined the shit for brains club along with "rob hackney".

Help! I'm being oppressed!<... (Below threshold)
Kimberly:

Help! I'm being oppressed!

Below are my comments to th... (Below threshold)
Damion Michaels:

Below are my comments to the provided link:

Dear Morons:

I am a Jew living in New Orleans and visit Chicago often. I thought Chicago to be progressive and cultured. Turns out that the city is run by morons who are stripping the beliefs and culture from every public and private event being held in the hopes of not offending someone. Well, at some point, you will remove the spirit and culture from those said events and the events will cease to exist. Then your city will cease to exist. Then the United States. You guys suddenly develop balls to "protect" those few who do not wish to be offended. But you sure as hell don't care about those those many who are offended when you cow tow to a few. This is America and we celebrate the differences. Keep this nonsense up and there will be no differences. I bet if it was a Muslim or Islamic movie that there would be no objections and any would be considered racist or intolerant. Then again, Cristians and Jews don't behead people and blow up innocents.

And who hired this idiot?</... (Below threshold)

And who hired this idiot?

Cindy Gatziolis (spokeswoman):

"We've worked hard to make sure there is a fair representation of all those faiths celebrating something special," said Gatziolis, who stressed the city did not order organizers not to allow the studio to be a sponsor. "If you add more for one faith over the others, it does tip the scale to that faith."

Uh, I'd say the scale was already tipped with the name Christkindlmarket.

City officials said they didn't threaten to pull their support. Then what DID they do to force New Line Cinema out? I'd like to know why the German American Chamber of Commerce caved.

Greet others the 'enlighten... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

Greet others the 'enlightened' politically correct way:

Merry Ramahanaquanzmas!

""We've worked hard to make... (Below threshold)
yo:

""We've worked hard to make sure there is a fair representation of all those faiths celebrating something special," said Gatziolis, who stressed the city did not order organizers not to allow the studio to be a sponsor. "If you add more for one faith over the others, it does tip the scale to that faith.""


Idiot, indeed.

But ... the CHRISTmas tree is allowed to stay?

Leave it to the WINDY CITY ... (Below threshold)
spurwing plover:

Leave it to the WINDY CITY and its mayor Richard DIRTBAG Daily to be so damn seclar what next for them there?

Whatever, Christmas is tack... (Below threshold)
Bored:

Whatever, Christmas is tacky and Christianity is the world's most successful cult (apologies to Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Harry Potter). There are more important things to care about, like the civil war in Iraq, or what color of M & M you're going to eat next.

Way to go Chicago!!! It's g... (Below threshold)
sue:

Way to go Chicago!!! It's great to see someone stand up to the religious fright! Keep up the good work.

Those last two were such lo... (Below threshold)
nikkolai:

Those last two were such lovely leftist atheistic trolls. What delightful company they must be!

Strangely or not-so-strange... (Below threshold)
John:

Strangely or not-so-strangely it appears to have more to do with the advertising plans than the actual nativity scene. As from the news stories I have read, there are already nativity scenes on display at the festival.

And I have also read that the City of Chicago asked the festival to reconsider the advertising plans. And the festival did so. But the City has made it clear there were no demands, or ultimatums. They expressed a concern, and the festival decided to respond to the concern.

The concern was probably unwarranted.

Chicago hates Christ? Inte... (Below threshold)
Michael:

Chicago hates Christ? Interesting, so I wonder what future Prez candidate Obama thinks????

MY take on this whole thing... (Below threshold)
Nicky:

MY take on this whole thing after surfing and reading for about 3 hours today is that the organizers of this festival brought an issue about advertising by one of it's sponsors to the city for review, feeling it may violate the guidelines. The city made a recommendation back to the organizers, which they followed. The sponsor didn't like the recommendation so they fired back by making a press release and turning it into a religious discrimination issue instead of what it was: they wanted to agressively advertise their film. So now, intentionally or not, newline cinema got what they wanted.... tons of free publicity for their film and tons of sales.... this is the crux of the issue, not discrimination, gross commercialization... hows that for irony?

Nicky, you spent three hour... (Below threshold)

Nicky, you spent three hours on this?

I have made a very simple d... (Below threshold)
Bill Channon:

I have made a very simple decision that may cause me some inconvenience, and that is to walk out of any store that chooses to greet me with a 'happy holidays' as opposed to Merry Christmas, etc. I'll also take a minute to explain to the manager that is what I am doing and why! To some that seems silly .... to me ... just an easy way to make my point. I also intend to return to Christmas cards that have a Christmas theme, not just a Santa claus. Perhaps some will be offended but most know what I am.

yeah, my connection is a b... (Below threshold)
Nicky:

yeah, my connection is a bit slow... :)




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