President Obama Banned Nativity Scene Display at White House-Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
Rumors that President Obama banned a nativity scene displayed in the White House’s East Room have been circulating since 2009.
President Obama didn’t ban a nativity scene display at the White House. A report that appeared in the New York Times‘ fashion section that made reference to the Obamas planning a “non-secular Christmas” is behind those rumors.
The original report was about Desirée Rogers, a “glamorous corporate executive from Chicago,” joining the Obama White House as social security. In that role, Rogers would orchestrate White House special events and celebrations. Rogers mentioned the Obamas were discussing a “non-secular Christmas” display at the White House during an introductory luncheon:
The lunch conversation inevitably turned to whether the White House would display its crèche, customarily placed in a prominent spot in the East Room. Ms. Rogers, this participant said, replied that the Obamas did not intend to put the manger scene on display — a remark that drew an audible gasp from the tight-knit social secretary sisterhood. (A White House official confirmed that there had been internal discussions about making Christmas more inclusive and whether to display the crèche.)
In the end, the Obama White House displayed the nativity scene. But rumors that Obama banned the nativity scene persisted throughout his presidency. In 2015, a social media account titled Fox News The FB Page (which is not affiliated with Fox News in any way) reported the story as “breaking” news, reigniting the controversy.
‘Obama Bans Nativity Scene’ Rumor Persists Post-Presidency
Many stories about the Obamas’ so-called “war on Christmas” have circulated over the years. There was a bogus claim that the FCC fined ABC for airing a Charlie Brown Christmas special. Claims that Obama refused to deliver Christmas cards to soldiers followed. Those are just a few examples.
The claim that Obama banned nativity scenes (or other Christmas traditions or symbols) still persist today. President Trump repeatedly said he’s “ending the war on Christmas” — which has reinforced the idea that Obama was leading the war on Christmas. In fact, in October 2017, Trump renewed his commitment to Christmas at the Value Voters Summit in DC:
“We’re getting near that beautiful Christmas season that people don’t talk about anymore. They don’t use the word Christmas because it’s not politically correct. You go to department stores and they’ll say ‘Happy New Year,’ or they’ll say other things and it’ll be red, they’ll have it painted. But they don’t say — well guess what? We’re saying merry Christmas again.”
In the end, Obama didn’t ban nativity scenes. But those rumors are likely to persist well into the future.