No room for Jesus at mall
A GROUP of Tweed Heads Christians is threatening to boycott a local shopping centre because it has thrown out its traditional nativity scene.
The outraged Christians claim the management of Centro Tweed have decided not to display the crib with the figures of Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus in the stable in Bethlehem for reasons of political correctness, fearing it will upset people of other religions.
They said unless centre management reversed its decision, they would not shop at the centre during Christmas.
Carmel Turner said people in her prayer group are so upset by the decision they are boycotting the centre over Christmas and have written to management to express their anger.
"This is absolute nonsense," Mrs Turner said.
Centro Tweed management yesterday acknowledged they had received a complaint about the missing nativity scene, but said there was no hidden agenda behind its omission.
"We have had some comments about our Christmas decorations looking dated so we are in the process of upgrading them," centre manager Martine Sutherland said.
"Due to budgetry constraints, we can only do so much this year and we decided to concentrate on Christmas trees and other decorations."
Shoppers were last week shocked to find the figurines in the rubbish bin be- hind the shopping centre. They went to Father Doug Stevens of the nearby St Cuthbert's Anglican Church and asked if his church could use the pieces.
Father Stevens said the figurines were brought to St Cuthbert's where they were set up as a nativity scene in the window of the parish hall.
"It's a shame to see them jettisoned like that, just thrown in the garbage," he said.
"Whatever the reason, it seems just as there was no room for Joseph and Mary at the inn at Bethlehem, there was no room for them in the shopping mall at Tweed Heads, either," he said.
Mrs Turner said she could not imagine other religious groups would be offended by the scene.
"I love taking my grandchildren there to see the crib, they just love it," she said.