California Man Triggers Protests After Creating Lawn Display of Jesus Shooting Santa

There is a controversy brewing in Nipomo, California over the right of a resident Ron Lake to display a decoration on his lawn depicting Jesus shooting Santa Claus. Neighbors want the display removed, but Lake insists that it is a work of art.

Lake insists that it is a political statement against the commercialism of Christmas. He added “[y]ou can tell your kids and make it as if there’s a Santa Claus, and let them believe all that, but you can’t explain these things or ignore this thing. I don’t get it.”

On the law, there is a first amendment right here that must be protected. Even under common law nuisance, such aesthetic nuisances claims are heavily disfavored even without the free speech elements.

Well, there is a difference between opposing the commercialization of Christmas and forcing it on passing children. I entirely support Lake’s right to have this display but I strongly disagree with his decision. While you may disagree with the commercialization of the holiday, this is a very traumatic image for young children who pass by the house. The display shows Jesus pointing a double-barreled shotgun at Santa’s dead body as Rudolph lays sprawled across the hood of a pickup truck nearby.

Lake insists that “It’s an expression of my repressed creativity.” Some creativity, Mr. Lake, might be better left repressed. Indeed, many of us call it restraint.

For the story, click here.

34 thoughts on “California Man Triggers Protests After Creating Lawn Display of Jesus Shooting Santa

  1. I guess Grandma did not get run over by a Reindeer in California. But, my Jesus shot your Rudolph clear between the Eyes. It was Christmas Eve and Ron said Screw the Eggnog and Just give me my bottle of Rum. I’ll show you how dumb I think your Santa really is…..

  2. I think it could easily pass the test of being a work of art and a funny one at that, though I doubt that was the intent. Could be a tad disconcerting for smaller children, but it’s still art. I appreciate and respect this guy’s approach to keeping a religious aspect to Christmas far more than the screeching insistance on placing creches and other religious symbols on public property.

  3. I really don’t get how this is art. Looks more like something a bunch of drunk guys did on a whim!

    But I do agree that Christmas is completely commercialized!!
    It’s all about getting everyone you know the latest and greatest gift.

    I have never taken my two children to see Santa because I want them to know what Christmas is truly about, the birth of Jesus Christ.

  4. rcampbell–

    Some adults might consider Lake’s “artistic” display an attempt at dark humor. My concern would be for little children who will be truly disturbed by seeing this display. They won’t understand the message that this man is attempting to convey about the commercialization of Christmas. There may be a number of parents who will have to console and comfort their kids because of Lake’s “expression of his repressed creativity.”

  5. Sally,

    I could not agree more with you than that, this looks like a think a drunk would do. Hell, you should have seen my house at one time and it was not even Christmas.

    However, where I do disagree with you is that December 25 is the birth of Jesus. A person by the name of Jesus may have been born on that day but it was really a Pagan celebration long before it became recognized as a Birth date. Isis comes to mind even from way before the Jews and Greeks first were given the word and not in that order. Or came to believe.

    I will bet and I will not prove at this very moment. That each and every Christian Hoilday (Holy Day) is based upon each and every pagan date. Even the minor ones such as Candlemas or Groundhogs Day is based upon a pagan celebration. The Christian not to be out done with the Gift of Love even stole Valentines Day. Some stuff about Eros and all of the other mighty Gods of the day. Eros hmm, wonder what else can be used with that word as a root?

    Even May 1st celebrated as a USSR day was incorporated as a Saint Day call Joseph the worker….. Heck the Irish even Celebrated other carnal dates, having group orgy’s in the spring. Maybe thats why they call it the spring fling. Never know. In as much I am not presently being paid by the word so I’ll shut up.

    Pick a Christian Celebration and you will find all sorts of Pagan customs and beliefs. It is kinda crazy to think that ones religion based theft is one that espouses love, but at the same time condemns something different than they are… Make Sense to me, now pass the basket. The Sermon is over…

  6. I believe it passes the test of art in that it represents an original display or arrangement conveying the expression of the displayer’s (artist’s) viewpoint, opinion and emotion. A piece or work of art doesn’t have to be pretty to be art. Nor does have to conform to everyone else’s perception of the artist’s viewpoint.

    As an atheist, I don’t agree with the sentiments expressed by Mr Lake’s display on his private property, but I maintain he has a legitimate claim to call it art. I did mention the potential for confusing children, but then, both characters in the display are essentially fictional or at the least greatly expanded mythologies, so telling children the whole truth is the better plan anyway.

  7. Consider a display that showed Santa holding a double-barreled shotgun over the splayed body of Jesus. The message being that secularization has killed Christmas. Talk about your outrage.

  8. Mr. Lake is only displaying the death of a dummy Saint Nick at the hands of a Jesus-like dummy.

    However, there have been millions of human deaths, multitudes of misery, and lives lain to ruin worldwide by the mere mention of “in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ”…

  9. No one, not a single adult and not a single child has the right to avoid things that disturb them. If you want your children to live in a happy, safe place filled with teddy bears and rainbows stop having them. That place does not exist and never will exist. F*(k your children

  10. Ms EM’,

    As a teacher, I am sure you run up a’gin incorrigible boy students such as I who were rowdy in class and who never were quite sharp enough to understand ewephonics–much less a’tryin’ to grasp homophobnics…

  11. FF LEO–

    My principal was usually kind enough to place more than the typical number of obstreperous boys in my class each year. (That’s the reward for being good with discipline.) The boys weren’t incorrigible–just a tad boisterous and rowdy at the beginning of each school year. Seeing as I was a tad irreverent and silly myself–we got along just fine because I spoke a language they could understand. They also understood my serious “teacher” look. I could always appreciate a little lad with an excess of energy. My teaching life would have been dull without those ebullient boys.

    I ain’t never heard of ewephonics. Does it have anything to do with ramalambadingdongs?

  12. Outsandin’ Ms. EM’, simply outstandin’

    “I ain’t never heard of ewephonics. Does it have anything to do with ramalambadingdongs?”

    (Originally done in 1961 by The Edsels)


    The muppets are hairlarious:

  13. Lee, Nal, & FF LEO–

    I agree that children have to learn that the world and people aren’t perfect…that bad things DO happen. But there’s a time and place for everything. What’s wrong with young children experiencing a time of innocence? Why show or subject them to things that are truely disturbing? Most of the children who grow up to be well-adjusted adults come from loving and caring families who don’t traumatize their kids when they’re little.

    I think I have a right to avoid anything I choose to avoid. By saying that, I’m not suggesting that one bury one’s head in the sand…not keep one’s self aware of what’s going on in the world.

  14. On the third day, Santa arose from the dead. Santa grabbed the gun and sent Jesus away. The disciples came to Santa and said, Master, where will I find the best year end bargains this year? Santa leaned over and secretly told them, and them alone, where the bargains would be.

  15. This Halloween just past some idiot on my block put up a display of Batman and Spiderman. Spiderman had Superman webbed to a tree and encapsuled his head in a cacoon of web. I marched right up to the door and demanded that he take it down. I told him it was just plain offensive. He didn’t understand what I was upset about. After about 15 minutes I gave up. He just couldn’t see what the big deal was. That guy was so dumb. I don’t think he’ll ever realize that Spiderman was a cartoon character-HE ISN”T REAL-And Superman is real, I mean he IS human. I see the same thing with this Guys’ “ART”

  16. “A school bus stop is just outside the fence that separates the display from the town’s main roads.”

    There probably isn’t much they can do to get the display removed but could the local authorities get that school bus stop moved? He could well have some antisocial tendencies and I wouldn’t want my children anywhere near him or his property.

  17. Nal : “Consider a display that showed Santa holding a double-barreled shotgun over the splayed body of Jesus. The message being that secularization has killed Christmas. Talk about your outrage.”
    Agreed, that seems to be a more appropriate representation of what is eating at Mr. Lake anyway. Mr. Lakes’ Jesus is a man that isn’t very Christ-like :-) I don’t mind him having his art or his political statement but if kids are walking by I’m of the mind that he’s a Grinch. I’m all for majik and would let kids keep theirs for a few years. He’s also sending a pretty perverse message about Jesus if his point is a defense of Christmas as the birth of The Prince of Peace.

  18. Sally,

    That was an interesting read. And from a Ukrainian to boot.


    Good show. However, you are on the wrong side of the thread. Corrections, Corrections, Corrections. Thats where its at. Like in Real Estate, Location, Location, Location.

  19. A song pardy, I learnt from livin’ a real life with real people.

    To the tune of ‘I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus’

    I saw Jesus shootin’ Santy Claus
    Underneath the manger scent last night

    God didn’t see me creep downstairs to take a peep
    And I thought *he* knew all, even where we eat n’ sleep

    Then, I saw Jebus blastin’ Santy Claws
    In his snowy beard now turned red from white

    Oh, what a laugh it would have been
    If only Daddy had seen
    Jesus wastin’ Santy Claus last night.
    Mommy? Oh Mommy, shouldn’t you dial 911!?
    Mommy! Who *is* that other man kissin’ you, Mommy!?

    Ho! Ho! Ho!

    Merry Christmas!

  20. Tootie,

    Although you are ultra-religious and I am an ultra-irreligious ex-Southern Baptist, I do like you.

  21. FF LEO–

    I somehow missed your comment addressed to me on December 19 at 1:58 PM. Thanks for that video. I love the Muppets. I used to crack up when I watched the show with my daughter.

    One of my all-time favorite Muppet sketches was the Swedish chef and the lobster banditos.

  22. I no longer believe that shielding young children from something graphic is the best way to protect them. It is much better off to do everything possible as guardian to educate the children regarding the underlining messages of such a display, instead of us merely giving a blanket statement that children are too young to grasp anything and to cry woe when they encounter the unpleasant things.

  23. you guys are silly. im making one of these things this year. its why theirs freedom of speech. not everyone is going to approve of this? whoooo caaaarrrreeeeessss i bet your all church people.

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