It was his idea, you know.
A Protestant Alaska pastor gets PETA’s attention for advertising a “Living Nativity.” Turns out there were only human actors: Joseph, Mary, and people dressed up in animal costumes. Baby Jesus was plastic. Untruth in advertising, said PETA.
Our animal-loving friends do have a point. Consider the sad/crazy experiences of other nativity animals:
* A donkey used in a Nativity scene in Harrisonburg, Va., was savagely beaten by three young men.
* A calf who was used in another Kentucky church’s Nativity scene bolted and spent two days on the run.
* A camel named Ernie escaped from a Maryland churchyard and was hit by a car and killed.
* In Richmond, Va., dogs attacked animals in a Nativity scene, mauling two sheep and causing a terrified donkey to collide with a car after bolting into the street. All three animals were euthanized.
The only mishap I’ve seen in connection with a nativity scene was at a Christmas Eve Mass. My friend Tom, a newly ordained priest, conked Joseph in the head with the thurible. We took a photograph of the figure with a bandage on his head–insurance purposes, don’t you know. One of the people on the liturgy committee was a hospital nurse, so she drew up a $16,000 medical bill and left it on the priest’s desk.
And by the way, don’t these people know it’s not even Advent yet?