A family from Pennsylvania was asked to take down their “offensive” holiday display after neighbors complained, according to reports. The family’s homeowners association (HOA) claimed that the display was a sign, not a decoration.
Mark and Lynn Wivell were ordered to take down a homemade sign featured in their front yard that said “Jesus” as it was capitalized in giant, red tinsel garland with strands of lights draped over it. Mark Wivell put up the sign Dec. 16 alongside a Mickey and Minnie Mouse Christmas decoration to the disappointment of their neighbors who deemed it “offensive,” leading the HOA to take action.
The HOA wasn’t concerned with the sign’s content, however. It didn’t believe that the display could be categorized alongside standard holiday decorations.
— ABC6 (@wsyx6) December 23, 2017
“After taking a look at it, it isn’t in accordance with normal Christmas decorations,” Courtyards Executive Board (CEB) President Bud Vance wrote in a statement issued to the Gettysburg Times.
The Wivells wanted to have a decoration in their yard that adequately celebrated the birth of Jesus, and they were surprised to receive an email about the sign’s backlash a few days later. The husband was “quite shocked it offended somebody,” according to The Evening Sun.
“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,” Mark Wivell said to WPMT.
In a second email to the Wivell’s family, the CEB quoted the Public Offering Statement (POS), a set of guidelines signed by residents upon moving in. The email stated: “No signs or billboard of any kind shall be displayed to the public view on any unit,” according to the Gettysburg Times.
The Wivell’s haven’t received a formal citation for…