The following is a quote from Fox 19 and the story of the zombie nativity in Sycamore Township in Ohio.
“SYCAMORE TOWNSHIP, OH (FOX19) – Jasen Dixon’s nativity scene featuring zombies was ordered to be taken down Friday, however, it’s still standing in Sycamore Township.
[Related: Sycamore Township homeowner does unique and unusual nativity scene with zombies]
On Tuesday, Sycamore Township ordered the nativity scene to be taken down. Dixon had until Friday to take the scene down. If he did not take down the exhibit, legal action would have been taken and he would be fined $1,000.
According toÂ documents obtained by FOX19 NOW, Sycamore Township does not allow structures to be located in the front or the side yard to occupy more than 35 percent of the area. Also, the primary structure must be three feet from the street, and six feet from the house.
“They actually said that it is taking up about 35 percent of the yard, and it’s not. We did the calculations and it’s like 14, 17 percent,” said Dixon.
No officials from Sycamore Township came by the zombie nativity scene Friday.
FOX19 NOW’s Lindsey Wopschall reached out to Sycamore Township officials to ask if they plan to come by the home to serve Dixon the violation, but they did not wish to comment on the matter.
Dixon says this was his second violation since the exhibit was put up.
“I’ve lived here for 15 years and I’ve never had a violation of any kind,” Dixon said. “It’s a holiday decoration. I know if it was a real pretty nativity scene they wouldn’t be saying anything,” said Dixon.
Dixon has no plans on taking down the nativity scene. Instead he’s using a crowdfunding site with a $5,000 goal to make a better zombie nativity scene next year.”
So as Christians how should we respond to this?
Is it safe to assume that Mr. Dixon does not understand the true meaning of Christmas? I think so. But the sad truth is that most of America doesn’t understand the true meaning of ChristmasÂ either. One of the things that is constantly mentioned by those who do not follow Jesus is that the church is filled with hypocrites. Well, I must say, that this topic seems to smack of hypocrisy, but not from Mr. Dixon.
1) If he were my neighbor and put this up in his yard then it would indicate to me that I had not invested much in our friendship or in being “neighborly.” He may know that I am a Christian but does not have a deep enough friendship with me to respect my beliefs. You would not do this to a friend — but you would not hesitate if you see your neighbors with Bibles in hand going to church on Sunday, but not caring anything about you or your family during the rest of the week. You would not care if you were offending someone you see as a hypocrite.
Jesus died for our sins, rose again to secure a place for us in heaven, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation. So, instead of focusing so much effort on trying to stop his zombie display why not win his heart through love and friendship? Christians have a long history of fighting the wrong battles. We fight for laws to be changed instead of fighting for hearts to be changed. We fight wars to show that we are right,Â instead of living out a life of gentleness and love.
Romans 12:17 “Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, â€œVengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.â€ 20 To the contrary, â€œif your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.â€ 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (ESV)”
2) Â Christians are celebrating Halloween with Mr. Dixon when he puts up his decorations in October, but now they are offensiveÂ in December? Zombies are cool on Halloween but not in December? Yes, I know Jesus was not depicted as a zombie in October. But the argument about zoning and city restrictions is just a farce. Christians are offended and want it taken down.
But if we want to have the freedom to express our beliefs (i.e. nativity in my front yard), then Mr. Dixon should have the right to display his “interpretation” of the nativity as well. Otherwise, those in power begin to dictate religion and how it is to be expressed. I don’t want anyone telling me who to worship, when to worship, or how to express my beliefs in the life of my family. Mr. Dixon is ignorant in his understanding of who Jesus is, but am I going to change his heart by being hypocritical and dictating how he worships and expresses his beliefs according to my belief system? Just because you find it offensive doesn’t mean youÂ should use the government to have it stopped.
In London, there is the (attempted) development of Sharia law “zones” where if you enter into them you have to follow extremist Islamic law. If you don’t then you will be attacked or taken to a kangaroo court for sentencing. What makes America different than these radical religious group’s efforts is that we value the freedom to express our religious beliefs and do not have to fear repercussions from other groups who do not agree with us. We can not hold toÂ our freedom to put up a nativity while denying another person’s freedom do so as well just because we don’t like it.
3) Focusing on this makes Christians look foolish. Some guy put up a tacky display in his yard. Have you driven though the south on Christmas? Are you telling me all those displays accurately show the Christ Child’s heralding? Seriously? Let it go. Focus on what’s important. Â Why don’t we make some cookies for our neighbors, you can even make themÂ shaped like Â zombies.
Do we love Mr. Dixon, or do we just want him to go away? Honestly, we just want him to stop interrupting our greatly delusional time of the year. However, Mr. Dixon is a wake up call to the true meaning of Christmas. Thank you Mr. Dixon for your undead display. It reminded me that I need to spend more time with my neighbors.