The Claremont United Methodist Church in Claremont, Calif. has included a "Trayvon Martin" figure in its Christmas nativity scene this year.
This Trayvon wears a hoodie and is bleeding from his chest, as the traditional figures of the nativity scene family gather around him, notes BreitBart.com.
The unusual nativity, entitled A Child is Born, a Son is Given,” was created by artist John Zachary, who says the killing of Trayvon is symbolically similar to King Herod killing all the babies in Bethlehem in an attempt to kill Jesus.
“What if Jesus was lying there bleeding to death? I was kind of thinking of that,” Zachary told the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin.
Pastor Sharon Rhodes-Wickett, who leads the progressive church, added, “I think the value of this is that it stretches us to think, what does the birth of Christ call us to do? I found this year’s hard to look at. It’s hard to look at a young man who’s shot and bleeding to death. But even though I’m uncomfortable with it, that’s the point. We have to take a look at the violence.”
Zachary, who is a Hollywood production designer, said he was approached by the church to build a nativity scene in 2007. Ever since then he has been putting together unusual scenes that are supposed to tie the past with the present.
In 2007, Zachary portrayed Joseph and Mary as homeless on a city street.
“It was appropriate historically. They were homeless refugees,” stated Zachary. “You try to put it in a context of how it would be today. It was received very well. From then on I’ve kept it in the contemporary context."
On the Trayvon nativity scene, Zachary said, "I thought this would be more controversial, but I come to find out people don’t really like people getting shot. They may not agree what to do about it, but they agree it’s a bad thing.”