A Florida minister is defending the holiday message he placed last week on a sign in front of Lighthouse Baptist Church.
Pastor Michael Butzberger said he’s put a different slogan on the sign every week for 15 years, usually a light-hearted message intended to encourage, inspire or inform.
But not everyone found the humor he says he intended by repeating something he recently heard.
“I heard someone say, ‘Christmas is easier to spell than Hanukkah,’ (and) it made me smile,” Butzberger said.
A rabbi from a nearby congregation said it’s rude to compare different faiths.
“It was not really offensive, just poor taste,” said Rabbi Alon Levkovitz, of Temple Beth Am in Jupiter. “I think it’s the wrong message to send to their members, but, as a Jew, I am not offended.”
Butzberger said he didn’t mean to offend anyone, but he changed the message Sunday to “Jesus loves you” after he received complaints.
“We live in such a politically correct climate, people are literally searching for excuses to be offended and outraged,” Butzberger said.
Levkovitz said he thought the pastor had made the right decision.
“If the church tries to celebrate one of the most important holidays by putting down another faith, it’s definitely not the spirit of Hanukkah or Christmas,” Levkovitz said.
Watch this video report posted online by WFLX-TV: