This holiday season has seen Christmas used as a soapbox for discussing race, religion, free speech and constitutional rights. Now a new political issue is encroaching on the sanctity of Christmas: the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare.
In a mall in suburban New Orleans a miniature Christmas village scene in constructed every holiday season. The builder claims he puts in a little controversy every holiday season as a means to keep people coming back to the display. His last major controversy occurred three months after Hurricane Katrina when he showed roof tops in the display with blue tarps. But this year he isn’t being so subtle. He’s showing an “Affordable Care Act” hospital complete with people-patients lined up, a hearse and a coffin.
Yes, Merry Christmas indeed.
“Oh my goodness. I’m lost for words basically,” said New Orleans resident Tamany Diaz.
“People need to see that,” said Metairie resident Joe Duhon.
Whether you agree with it or not, part of this year’s Lakeside Shopping Center holiday display targets the Affordable Health Care Act.
“What does that have to do with Christmas?” Diaz said. “That’s my question.”
“It’s amazing what you can get away with nowadays doing a Christmas scene in the middle of a mall,” said New Orleans resident Donald Brisset.
Frank Evans is the landscape architect behind the unconventional holiday season satirical designs, a tradition marking its 18th year.
“We build the train display for the kids, but adults come looking for the satire,” said Evans.
“How do you expect someone to get in the spirit if you’re saying I’m gonna die? Wow,” said Gentilly resident Danielle Buggage of the display.
“Where they’re going is where they’re going to come out at. Is that a wooden coffin they’re getting in? They’re lucky they’re coming out in a wooden coffin. Could be worse,” said display supporter Joe Duhon
As shoppers closely inspect yet another one of Evans’ controversial winter wonderland creations, you can expect an encore next holiday season.
“Until the mall throws me out, I guess. They almost did several times. They might throw me out this time because I put their office on the display,” Evans said, laughing.