Florida Pastor Wants Equal Time to Compete with Menorahs

The Rev. Mark Boykin knows how to fill up the airwaves.

“Welcome to our show today, Crossfire Live,” Boykin said into a radio microphone on 1230 WBZT.

This day in particular, the talk on his radio show was coming extra easily. That’s because the pastor is debating something he’s passionate about: Boca Raton’s holiday display.

“I’m going in, Barry,” he said to his co-host, Barry Silver, “and presenting to them a Christmas creche because there is a menorah.”

Boykin is upset about what he saw at the Boca Raton library. The holiday display has a menorah and other decorations, but no nativity scene.

“There are eight different city-owned properties whereby there is a menorah and there is not a creche,” said Boykin. “Our position is we would like to see a creche at each of the places there is a menorah.”

The library lobby has a gorgeous Christmas tree. But Boykin said that has nothing to do with his faith.

“That is not a religious symbol,” Boykin said. “That, to be sure and technically, is a secular symbol.”

Some library patrons missed the nativity; others didn’t understand the controversy.

“I think everybody should have equal time,” Kelly Sullivan said. “I think there should be a menorah and there should be a nativity scene.”

“It doesn’t bother me one bit,” Steve Backaluckas said. “I don’t think it’s necessary to have a nativity scene if there’s a menorah.”

“There needs to be a nativity scene,” Lee-Anne Steinhardt said. “It’s the birth of Christ and that is what Christmas is all about.”

Boykin’s debate partner on the radio clearly didn’t agree with his position. But the pastor said he’ll be donating a nativity scene to the display, and he’s not backing down.

“I’m not going away, and if they — I’m just not going away,” Boykin said. “I’ll leave it at that.”

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