A family has been asked to take down a sign with the name “Jesus” from their Christmas display, after a neighbour reportedly claimed it was offensive.
Mark and Lynn Wivell said their homeowner’s association had made the request after they put up the display outside their home in Adams County, Pennsylvania.
“As part of our Christmas decoration, we would display the name Jesus to point out to everyone that we in this family believe that the reason for the season is to celebrate the birth of Jesus,” Mr Wivell told the FOX43 news channel.
In a separate interview with the USA Today newspaper, his wife Lynn added: “I was quite shocked it offended somebody, but I guess in today’s world I shouldn’t have been.”
Shortly after putting up the display, the pair received an email from the association asking them to remove it, because an unnamed neighbour had complained it was offensive.
The email said the homemade decoration made of a piece of plywood, painted white, with a red tinsel garland and the name “Jesus” painted in red does not constitute a display.
The “size, structure, and illumination of the physical sign are the accentuating factors generating the complaint,” a second email read.
The Wivells have insisted they have no intention of removing the sign until the new year. Ms Wivell said they had “gotten tremendous support from our neighbors here at the Links and that just makes us feel so good.”
Mr Wivell added: “People get offended by different things, but just because something offends you, doesn’t mean the whole world has to change to accommodate you, so I would say please be more tolerant.”
In a statement provided to FOX43, the homeowner’s association said: “It is, indeed, unfortunate that our attention has been unnecessarily redirected in this manner with a suggestion that Scrooge is alive and well in our community.”
They added: “Many of our families will be in church on Monday with their spirit diminished by this attack.”