Pastor Michael Butzberger recently posted a controversial message on a sign outside the Lighthouse Baptist Church in North Palm Beach, Fla.
The sign read, "Christmas - Easier to spell than Hanukkah" and generated phone calls from offended passersby.
However, Pastor Butzberger defended the sign.
“I heard someone say, ‘Christmas is easier to spell than Hanukkah,’ it made me smile,” Pastor Butzberger told Fox 29. “We live in such a politically correct climate, people are literally searching for excuses to be offended and outraged.”
However, not everyone thinks it's a matter of political correctness.
“It was not really offensive, just poor taste,” said Rabbi Alon Levkovitz, of the nearby Temple Beth Am. “I think it’s the wrong message to send to their members, but, as a Jew, I am not offended. If the church tries to celebrate one of the most important holidays by putting down another faith, it’s definitely not the spirit of Hanukkah or Christmas.”
Pastor Butzberger said it's not the sign that is the problem, but people's lack of humor.
“It was not in any way shape or form meant to be offensive or disparaging or mean spirited,” Pastor Butzberger told The Palm Beach Post. “And it’s sad to me there are people that are so humorless that they would be offended.”
“There are people that don’t agree with that statement but is it not my right? Is it not our right? Are we not America?” added Pastor Butzberger. “Do we have to take a community survey to make certain that 100 percent of the people that will read the sign won’t find it offensive?”
After defending the sign numerous times, Pastor Butzberger changed the message to “Jesus loves you."