Shopping Mall Pulls Nativity Scene to Avoid Offending Non-Christian People
Mall bosses ban traditional display to remain 'religiously and politically neutral'
Shopping mall bosses have decided to pull their traditional Nativity scene display this Christmas in a bid to avoid "offending" non-Christian shoppers.
A spokesperson for Thistles Shopping Centre in Stirling, Scotland, said the mall decided to ban festive displays to remain "religiously and politically neutral" and ensure that non-Christian customers won't be "subjected" to Christian beliefs while shopping.
The move has caused outrage for the majority of the mall's customers, who accuse Thistles of failing to recognize "the true spirit of Christmas" by banning the nativity scene.
In response to the anti-Christian decision, The Catholic Legion of St Mary’s Association said: "Their reason being that despite heavily promoting Christmas for commercial gain, they 'pride themselves on religious neutrality' and so won’t allow a nativity to be present.
"While we understand that no one wants religious or political evangelists in a shopping center, the request was simply to have a nativity, which would be manned and anyone approaching could ask about it."
According to Metro, a spokesman for the mall responded saying: "Thistles shopping center prides itself on being religiously and politically neutral in its behavior within the local community and with this, in mind, we do not feel it would be right to agree to host this type of promotion within a shopping center.
"Our customers come to enjoy a leisure activity without being subjected to individual organizations’ beliefs."
Shoppers and religious groups have asked managers of the center to change their mind.
However, they added: "We will not be willing to reconsider the application any further and hope that this final decision is accepted."
A spokesman for the Church of Scotland said: "We find it very disappointing that the true meaning of Christmas has been completely lost here.
"When a shopping center can focus purely on commercialism to the exclusion of the reason for the celebration of Christmas it is a sad day for all of us."
According to the Daily Mail, mall bosses refused to budge when MP Stephen Kerr urged them to reconsider their ban on "affiliating with any specific religions or beliefs."
Mr. Kerr said: "Surely there is room for a simple display that may be of interest to people.
"I would hope that an application from any faith group would be considered on its own merits."
A spokesman for the Catholic Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh said: "It seems Grinch-like for the Thistles shopping center to ban the Christmas crib and, in the true spirit of Christmas, we would ask them to reconsider."
A spokesman for the Thistles said: "We are unable to accommodate it.
"As is common among shopping centers, our policy is to support our local community in celebrating the festive season without affiliating with any specific religions or beliefs."
The shopping center has faced criticism over their decision which has been described as "a politically motivated inference that has targeted a Christian religious festival."
One outraged Christian, Sarah Moorehouse told the DM: "The origins of Christmas, is a celebration of Christian orthodoxy through the birth of Jesus.
"The sacrificial lamb.
"Myself and many Christians are facing reprisals for practicing our faith.
"Across Europe, our fellow Christians are being tortured, brutalised and murdered.
"Those who profess to being non Christian, atheists or agnostic, could bestow the same tolerance and consideration towards practicing Christians, that we, ourselves show towards them?
"I would like my grandchildren to see the Nativity.
"We have as much right as any other non Christian religions, to celebrate Christmas in this way.
"The Nativity is a Christian religious festival and should be acknowledged as such like any other religious festival."