A holiday joke or offensive message? Pastor says his intent was to make people smile

Church's sign causing some mixed feelings

NORTH PALM BEACH, Fla. - For fifteen years, Lighthouse Baptist Church Pastor Mike Butzberger has put up a different slogan on his front sign every week.

"Something encouraging, inspiring, informative and occasionally for the purpose of making them smile," says Butzberger.

A recent sign read, "Christmas easier to spell than Hanukkah."

"It was not really offensive, just poor taste," said Rabbi Alon Levkovitz from Beth Temple AM.

The humor was lost on some who called the church demanding that the sign be taken down.

"Everybody out shopping for Hanukkah and Christmas, I heard someone say 'Christmas easier to spell than Hanukkah,' it made me smile," said pastor Butzberger.

"I think it's the wrong message to send to their members, but as a Jew I am not offended," said Rabbi Levkovitz.

On Facebook, users had a mixed reaction to the picture: Some said Christmas is easier to spell and that it was funny. Some thought the comparison was unnecessary.

"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," said rabbi Levkovitz.

"We live in such a politically correct climate, people are literally searching for excuses to be offended and outraged," said pastor Butzberger.

Pastor Mike says his congregation should not have to change their signs just because others find it offensive. However, he says he removed the sign because he didn't intend to offend anyone.

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