A Dedham, Massachusetts, church is using its nativity scene to make a political statement, and this year church officials chose the theme to be climate change.
A video of the nativity scene shows statues of Mary, Joseph, the baby Jesus, and the three Wise Men surrounded by a sea of blue with plastic bottles and drowned animals throughout the manger.
“God so loved the world’…Will we?” reads a sign above the nativity scene.
Father Stephen Josoma, who represents St. Susanna’s Parish, says that the scene is there to spark conversation and send a message.
“It’s happening as we speak. It’s not a future event that may or may not happen,” Josoma said.
Some of his parishioners agree.
“Jesus was born into the circumstances of his time,” Pat Ferrone said. “You can’t pick up the paper or magazine or whatever without knowing, without learning something dire.”
But other residents say they find the politicization of the nativity “in bad taste.”
“I don’t think it’s a good idea to mix those two topics together,” Mike Looby said. “It’s in bad taste.”
But St. Susanna’s is no stranger to creating political controversy with its nativity scenes.
In 2017, the church created a manger surrounded by a list of school shootings that took place across the country to bring attention to gun violence, and last year the church created a fenced-in nativity scene to draw attention to the country’s immigration crisis at the border.