The Mulberry Park Homeowners’ Association sent the Faison family, which has lived in the neighborhood for five years, a violation notice for the “wooded cross structure.”
The board members informed the Faisons that they do not “consider this a Christmas decoration, but Eastover/Passover seasonal decoration.”
James Faison and his wife said they will not remove their six-foot-tall cross because it is a Christmas decoration.
“We’re loving and forgiving people, but at the same time that letter and what they said, the intent and the response they gave back to us, I don’t believe it’s enough,” the Faison family said.
After WTVD Eyewitness News reported the attack on religious liberty, the HOA backed down.
“Unless biblical references can be provided noting the cross as a symbol of the Christmas season for the board to reconsider, the cross is not considered to be a Christmas decoration,” the board told the Faisons.
The Faisons submitted Scriptural references to the board.
The board said the Faisons could not display symbols of Christ’s death and resurrection, since Christmas celebrates Christ’s birth.
“I did share your response with the Board and several members of the board are devout Christians and are intimately familiar with the cross being the foundation for which Christianity is based,” the board said. “The cross represents the death of Jesus Christ who died for our sins so we can have eternal life. The Christmas season is associated with the birth of the Savior such as nativity scenes would be appropriate representation of the season.”
The Faisons cannot display Christian symbols year-round because the HOA regulates the freedom of religious expression on private property.
The HOA’s holiday decoration ordinance states that “decorations cannot be permanent and must be removed two weeks after the holiday.
“The Board believes that the Bible is very clear on the distinction between these two major events in Christ’s life on earth,” the board said. “The cross is appropriate for display during the Easter season, but not as a decoration during the Christmas season.”