The Nativity is not Welcome in the City of Chicago

For eleven years the city of Chicago has supported the Christkindlmarket Chicago, a traditional German American market and festival that lasts 4 weeks long and offers shopping, music, traditional German American food and drink, and entertainment. It’s a free family friendly celebration of the Christmas season that hosts over one million people and is home to the Chicago Christmas Tree. It’s so popular that a variety of groups and companies are eager to sponsor it every year. Here’s the sponsorship list as it looked until just recently:

naitivity-sponsor.jpg

See anything that looks inappropriate or out of place? I don’t either. But the city of Chicago did.
This year it threatened to pull its support of Chicago’s Christkindlmarket Christmas celebration because of The Nativity Story movie and it succeeded.

Why? It makes perfect sense that one of the sponsors of the Christkindlmarket Chicago would be a movie about the birth of Christ, especially since The Nativity Story is the first movie to retell the story of Christ’s birth in more than 50 years and 50,000 Christians from all over the country are going to screen the film tonight.

Nonetheless, the city of Chicago wanted nothing to do with the market if the movie’s sponsorship continued and Christkindlmarket felt it had no choice but to remove the movie from its sponsor list.

Jenn Giroux, head of Operation Just Say Merry Christmas, an organization working to bring back the birth of Christ as the center and meaning of Christmas, says, “for the city of Chicago to demand that The Nativity Story, a beautiful and non offensive movie about the birth of Christ, be removed from Christkindlmarket’s sponsorship illustrates the Chicago city officials’ hostility toward Christianity and Christians, not just in Chicago, but all over this country.” She hopes that it creates a groundswell of people who then go see the movie in response.

The Corner has New Line Cinema’s reaction to the city of Chicago’s demand that the move be banned:

We were stunned that our paid sponsorship of Christkindlmarket Chicago – the largest Christmas celebration in Chicago – was rescinded based on the “religious” content of our film The Nativity Story.

We had committed to a $12,000 sponsorship for the market, which was to include a display area in the Festival tent, logo signage in all print ads, direct mailings, brochures, flyers and on the website.

We don’t understand why our sponsorship would be rejected for religious reasons, particularly considering the fact that our film details the story that inspired the holiday season that the Christkindlmarket was created to celebrate.

Express your displeasure to Chicago city officials here.

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