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Claremont church Nativity scene features Trayvon Martin

Nativity Scene Features Trayvon Martin Instead of Jesus

A Southern California church nativity scene is featuring a bloody Trayvon Martin in place of the infant Jesus in an effort to stir a community conversation about gun violence.

The nativity scene on the lawn of the Claremont United Methodist Church - which shows Martin in a hoodie, slumped over and bleeding - was created by 57-year-old congregant and artist John Zachary.

Zachary, who in the past has created installations addressing homelessness and poverty, said he wanted to make the Nativity relevant to modern times and generate a community conversation, the Los Angeles Times  The Los Angeles Times  reported on Sunday.

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Zachary said he chose to focus on the Florida teenager whose shooting death captured the nation to draw a parallel to the dark times in which Jesus was born.

But some faithful have shuddered at the depiction and called it sacrilege.

Retiree Viola Saunders, who stopped and took some pictures of the scene with her phone, said she thought the Nativity was too sacred to modify.

"It's pretty bad," she told the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin. "It takes away from the original."

Lead pastor Rev. Sharon Rhodes-Wickett said the church 35 miles east of Los Angeles is a progressive community where many congregants seek to challenge their minds, and hearts, but she can understand if some find the depiction "too edgy."

"It's hard to look at a young man who's shot and bleeding to death. But even though I'm uncomfortable with it, that's the point," she told the Daily Bulletin. "We have to take a look at the violence."

The scene will remain in place at the church through Jan. 5

12/30/2013 7:21AM
Nativity Scene Features Trayvon Martin Instead of Jesus
So what does this accomplish?
12/30/2013 8:41AM
So what does this accomplish?
Absolutely nothing other than how moronic Californians have become.
12/30/2013 8:46AM
keep telling the samelie
The world is up side down.
12/30/2013 9:49AM
Way to go WBEN
Open up your comments for the most divisive stories, bring out your racists, rubes and mouthbreathers to spew the racism they learn on your station. Stay classy.
12/30/2013 1:10PM
Beyond sacreligious
"Sick" is closer to it. As for "way to go": evidently trolling never takes a holiday.
12/30/2013 6:03PM
A Caption For The Manger Scene
The choice is yours: For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.
12/30/2013 7:16PM
Relevant to Modern Times?
Jesus Christ will always be relevant. Unfortunately, the "world" does not believe it. Trayvon Martin is not Jesus Christ. He did not take on anyone else s sin, nor did he die for anyone. He's just part of the American tragedy.
12/30/2013 10:37PM
Trayvon went to Zimmerman because he thought Zimmerman was gay and wanted to "give him a whoopin'" If Trayvon didn't hate gays he would probably be alive today.
12/31/2013 5:14AM
This is beyond sacrilege...."Sick" is more like it. Judging from one of the comments here, evidently trolling doesn't take a holiday.
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