A neighborhood homeowners association has ordered a Pennsylvania family to take down their Christmas decorations after one of their neighbors complained that their display was “offensive.”
The homeowners association now claims that the decorations violate their rules, and it’s demanding that the family take their decorations down.
Christmas is, like it or not, a celebration of Christ’s birth.
Apparently, Christmas decorations that reference Christ are not allowed by the Pennsylvanian homeowners association.
The decorations include a nativity scene and a sign that reads “Jesus.”
All because of one nosy neighbor who didn’t like the decorations, the family has to fight to keep them up.
Fox News reports:
Mark and Lynn Wivell of Adams County, a Gettysburg subdivision, said they put up their Jesus display last Saturday, FOX43 reported.
“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,” said Mark Wivell told FOX43.
The homeowner association claims that the religious nature of the decorations isn’t the reason its demanding they be removed.
How coincidental that their ban on the Wivells’ decorations came after a complaint that the displays are offensive.
The homeowner association took the side of the complainers in this debate. They say one of the decorations should actually be considered a “sign,” which is against their rules.
USA Today reports:
While the homeowner association was not concerned with the content of the sign, officials felt it was not in accordance with normal Christmas decorations and asked it be taken down, the email states
The Wivells’ dispute with the association ultimately boils down to whether the display is considered a sign or a decoration.
Wivell says it is a decoration. The homemade display consists of a piece of plywood painted white and inscribed with the name “Jesus” in red, tinsel garland. He put it in his front yard at the same time as his Mickey and Minnie Mouse Christmas decorations and even draped a strand of lights over top of the wood. A small nativity scene sits beneath it.
However, the homeowner’s association says the display is considered a sign. While the content of the sign relates to the holiday season, the “size, structure, and illumination of the physical sign are the accentuating factors generating the complaint,” according to a second email the association sent the Wivells Dec. 18.
— Michael Gorsegner (@MikeGorsegner) December 22, 2017
The Wivells say they will keep the decorations up until January 15, which is when the homeowner association says all neighborhood holiday decorations must be removed.
The association, meanwhile, maintains that the ‘sign’ that reads Jesus isn’t a decoration at all. If they issue a formal citation to the family, they could force the decorations to be removed.