"It Is About Perseverance Against Cruelty": California Church's Nativity Scene Shows Holy Family Separated in Cages

A Nativity scene in the southern Califiornia city of Claremont depicting the Holy Family as a separated family held in cages at the U.S. border is sparking controversy and conversations over President Donald Trump’s immigration policies.

“In a time in our country when refugee families seek asylum at our borders and are unwillingly separated from one another, we consider the most well-known refugee family in the world.”
—Rev. Karen Clark Ristine

“If this isn’t your church’s politics, you’ve got the wrong faith,” tweeted music journalist Zel McCarthy.

Vanity Fair writer Anthony Breznican said that the Claremont United Methodist Church tableau, depicting Joseph and Mary in cages on either side of a caged baby Jesus Christ, was an accurate representation of the meaning of the Bible story.

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“I love the Nativity story,” said Breznican. “I love it not because it is warm and fuzzy, but because it is about perseverance against cruelty.”

Breznican added that the Nativity story points the finger at those who, when faced with evil, do nothing.

“The monster of the Nativity story is not King Herod, the bloodthirsty tyrant,” said Breznican. “He is just the backdrop.”

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