Tuesday, November 28, 2006

You can't spell Christkindlmarket without Christ

From the AP (via the Chicago Tribune):

Worried that ads for "The Nativity Story" would offend non-Christians browsing in the traditional German Christkindlmarket in the heart of downtown, the city asked the German American Chamber of Commerce to reconsider New Line Cinema, which made the film, as a sponsor. The group then told the studio it would not be part of the bazaar that began Thursday.
Read the whole story when you have a chance, but let me give you the highlights, as well as my (admittedly unoriginal) take.

“Christkindl” literally means “Christ child” in German. So you have to wonder why the Mayor's Office of Special Events feels that advertisements for a story about the Christ child would be “insensitive to the many people of different faiths who come to enjoy the market” named for Him (or him, if you prefer).

“Cindy Gatziolis, a spokeswoman for the Office, said the city does not want to appear to endorse one religion over another” (emphasis added). This is a City that has a public college named after Malcolm X and an expressway named after a Bishop. Apparently the city isn’t concerned about appearing to endorse the Nation of Islam or the Church of God in Christ with these taxpayer funded public properties. So why are they concerned that advertising space purchased by a private film study would appear as an endorsement of Christianity?

I think that the City's unreasoning attempt at "political correctness" is far more offensive to many more citizens than any inclusion of Christ's story in the Christkindlmarket would have been. I’d love to hear your thoughts, but I’d love even more for you to share your thoughts with the City and the GACC:

Mayor's Office of Special Events
moseinquiry@cityofchicago.org

German American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest
info@gaccom.org

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