The managers of a shopping centre in Stirling, Scotland, have said they will not allow a Christmas crib because they want to be “religiously and politically neutral”.
Thistles in Stirling, Scotland, banned the nativity scene which had been proposed by a religious group and this has caused outrage as Christians are accusing them of failing to recognise “the true spirit of Christmas”.
The Catholic Legion of St Mary’s Association lamented the ban, saying,
Their reason being that despite heavily promoting Christmas for commercial gain, they pride themselves on religious neutrality and so won’t allow a nativity to be present.
While we understand that no one wants religious or political evangelists in a shopping centre, the request was simply to have a nativity, which would be manned and anyone approaching could ask about it.
However, a spokesman responded saying:
Thistles shopping centre prides itself on being religiously and politically neutral in its behaviour within the local community and with this in mind we do not feel it would be right to agree to host this type of promotion within a shopping centre.
Our customers come to enjoy a leisure activity without being subjected to individual organisations’ beliefs.
Shoppers and religious groups have asked managers of the centre to change their mind.
However, they added:
We will not be willing to reconsider the application any further and hope that this final decision is accepted.
A spokesman for the Church of Scotland said:
We find it very disappointing that the true meaning of Christmas has been completely lost here.
When a shopping centre can focus purely on commercialism to the exclusion of the reason for the celebration of Christmas it is a sad day for all of us.