Press Release

And the 2006 Ebenezer Award goes to…

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Becket has given its annual “Ebenezer Award” to Chicago’s Mayor Richard Daley, for removing the film The Nativity Story from the list of sponsors of the city’s annual Christkindlmarket festival.

Shortly after being named for the annual mock-award, Mayor Daley announced that he was reversing a previous decision announced by his office, and scenes from The Nativity Story would be allowed to play at the festival.

The Ebenezer Award– a stocking full of coal– is offered each year by Becket for “the most ridiculous affront on the Christmas and Hanukkah season.” The group observed that the fair from which the Nativity film was barred is named for the Christkindl, or Christ-child. “Apparently this was lost on the mayor and his staff,” the Becket statement observed.

“Banning Christ from a Christmas festival is like banning the Irish from the St. Patrick’s Day parade,” said Kevin Hasson, the president of Becket. “It just doesn’t make sense.”

In announcing the annual award, Becket said that Daley had close competition from a Florida school principal who ruled that “A Penguin Christmas” was too religious; the airport managers in Seattle who removed Christmas trees; and the Best Buy store for excising the word “Christmas” from all advertising.