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Monday, December 21, 2009                                                                                       View Comments

Sexy Nativity scene draws chorus of critics

This time of year, nativity scenes are going up, but one in particular is drawing a chorus of critics.

The display is at a 3rd Street boutique and features a scantily clad Virgin Mary near wise women posed with shopping bags.

"I'm not a Bible-thumper, not someone who is going to jam my beliefs down your throat," display critic Kaaren Benton said. "I just said to them, your display is degrading, it's disgusting and it is an insult to my religion."

Diane Gan, another critic of the display, said that she didn't like the display because it desecrated Mary and it showed a lack of respect.

The public relations representative for Madison, the boutique chain, says they are making no comment.

Some onlookers wonder why people are making such a fuss.

"It's done in good taste," Los Angeles resident William Smith said. "If the image had high heels and garter belts, yeah, but no."

"There is so much going on in the world," Los Angeles resident Beryl Smith said. "This should be the least of anybody's worries."

Although some people are OK with the display Benton says someone needs to take a stand and urge the store to remove the display.

Benton and her co-workers are reaching out to the faithful, even the head of the Los Angeles Archdiocese.

"Cardinal Mahony, it was an e-mail and a couple of Protestant churches in the area," Benton said.

The response from one church said that the campaign to take down the display could backfire.

"We didn't want to bring publicity to the store. At the same time we wanted to speak out," Benton said.

A group that works across the street from the store said sex, their religion and shopping in a single tableau is too much for them to handle.

Said one woman, "The way they have presented Mary in a very provocative position with a baby in her crotch, and that baby is supposed to be Jesus... No."

The group is asking that the display be changed immediately.

If the store doesn't oblige, they plan to go to every church in the area to garner support for the removal of the display.


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