The subject of Trayvon Martin’s death and the acquittal of the neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman has become lightning rod topic.
But according to the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Claremont United Methodist Church has taken on the subject head on, featuring the black teen in its nativity scene.
The nativity scene, created by artist John Zachary, scene features Christ’s family and a young Trayvon Martin with what appears to be a stream of blood coming from a hole in his hoodie, according to columnist David Allen article.
In a Youtube video, taken by Allen, artist Zachary says the goal was to shine a light on the issue of gun violence. Thus he depicted Trayvon on the nativity scene bleeding to death.
“We’ve come to see the nativity as a representation of something that is comfortable and pleasant and wonderful in our lives,” Zachary tells Allen on the video. “I want to make it about something that Jesus would have taught, something that was thought provoking and something that was a contemporary issue about social justice.”
Trayvon was 17 on Feb. 26, 2012, when he was shot and killed following a confrontation with George Zimmerman inside a gated community in Florida. According to reports, the boy was walking back to his father’s home when he was spotted by Zimmerman, a member of the neighborhood watch group. Zimmerman claimed the teen looked suspicious and suspected he might be responsible for burglaries that occurred in the neighborhood.
A struggle between them ended with the teen’s fatal shooting.
“There is no better time to reflect on gun violence then advent, when we celebrate the birth of Jesus,” according to a sign posted by the Methodist Church on its website that explains some of the artist’s vision. “Jesus was born into a state of total vulnerability as an innocent, unarmed child during a time of great violence much like Trayvon Martin. The Bible tells us of a brutal massacre as Jesus was born. King Herrod Violently slaughtered children under two years old around Bethlehem hoping to kill Jesus. As a result, the original Christmas was a time of great grief and agony for many children and parents.”
“The lesson that Jesus taught his disciples is as relevant today as it was on the first Christmas,” the summery continues. “Violence will not rid the world of violence.”
Several blogs and sites with a conservative base have picked up the Daily Bulletin story since it was posted Christmas Eve. The church is at 211 W. Foothill Blvd.