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Jesus Is Just Not Alright With the City

By Scott Smith in News on Nov 28, 2006 3:00PM

Organizers of the annual Christkindlmarket have dropped New Line Cinema as a sponsor after a talking-to from the city, which expressed concerns of religious favoritism over plans to run an ad for the upcoming film The Nativity Story during the event at Daley Plaza.

Wow … where to begin?

2006-11_buddychrist.jpgWe’re all for religious tolerance, especially this time of year. In fact, now’s the best time to get to know a religion other than your own since this is when all the good stuff is happening.

But if you come downtown to shop at something called the Christkindlmarket, you ought to expect a little Jesus mixed in with your holiday bargains. It’s like going to Burger King and getting upset because you object to monarchies as a form of government.

A city spokeswoman said that the city didn’t force the organizers of the market to drop New Line as a sponsor. Right. We’re sure they just suggested it very strongly, with absolutely no subtext at all.

The head of a local group of superchurches is predictably up in arms and notes that the city itself allows for the display of a nativity scene in Daley Plaza (along with a menorah and other religious symbols) put up by private groups.

Wouldn’t such a display — divorced from context and not so easily avoidable — be more offensive to someone who’s easily offended by religious symbols other than his or her own? As opposed to ads for a movie based on religious themes at an annual market that’s at least tangentially related to said religious holiday? Wouldn’t you just avoid the Christkindlmarket and save yourself the aggravation? Or are you the kind of person who walks into Hi-Tops and complains about the Cubs paraphernalia? Seriously, what’s with you? Why you always trying to start shit?

Somewhere in the back of our heads, there’s a little voice decrying the commercialization of religious figures, but we can’t quite hear it over the radio that’s blaring “Christmas Is The Time To Say I Love You” by Billy Squier. Now, who wants Glögg?