A Staten Island mall has tossed a nativity scene traditionally located as part of the mall’s annual holiday decorating — and Christmas enthusiasts are not happy about it.
The mall is operated by General Growth Properties, one of the largest mall operators in the United States. General Growth declared bankruptcy about a year ago after struggling in several markets with the recessionary economy. Critics and jaded investors frequently complained that General Growth was out of touch with local communities and this was in large part a reason for their failure.
According to local media reports the mall has a history of controversy with religious displays dating back to 2006 where local individuals and organizations either were allowed to purchase space for religious displays or had the space donated to them.
In response to the ban this year on nativity scenes at the mall local activists are planning a “Christ is Christmas” day on November 18th and are circulating petitions that ask the mall to reinstate the displays.