Acton Institute Powerblog

Holiday Minnie Mouse, Good. Baby Jesus, Not.

Share this article:
Join the Discussion:
Oh, come all ye faithful?

Seems like ridding City Hall of Nativity scenes and other religious art is not enough for some people. Now, homeowner associations are getting into the act.

In suburban Detroit, the Samona family was recently notified by their subdivision’s guardians of the common good (and lawn decorations) to remove an outdoor plastic creche. Nothing was said about some other figures on the lawn, including a holiday Minnie Mouse, Winnie the Pooh, and Mr. and Mrs. Claus. The Detroit News wrote a front-page article about the overreaching association watchdogs, and the Samonas were suddenly a cause celebre in Motown.

Of course, the homeowners association backed down, and sent over a holiday gift basket with a contrite letter of apology. But not everyone has simmered down. Here’s what one of the neighbors had to say about the Samonas’ run-in with suburban secularism:

Anthony J. Dickow lives in the same Tollgate Woods subdivision as the Samona family and says the story has “stirred my blood and I am outraged!”

“Let’s say I wasn’t a big fan of Halloween. Why the heck was my neighborhood decorated with all of that nonsense? I didn’t see anyone complaining about that!…. I’m so mad, I plan on going to Wal-Mart after work, buying the largest most elaborate nativity scene and placing it on my front lawn!” Dickow said.

John Couretas John Couretas is Director of Communications, responsible for marketing and advertising, media relations, and print and online communications at the Acton Institute. He has more than 20 years of experience in the news, events and corporate communications fields. He has worked as a staff writer on newspapers and magazines, covering business and government. John holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in the Humanities from Michigan State University and a Master of Science Degree in Journalism from Northwestern University.


  • Via the Acton PowerBlog comes a relatively common story these days – a homeowner’s association attempting to force the removal of a nativity scene from a front lawn. (Funny that Santa and Minnie Mouse can stay.) As irritating as…

  • Josh

    …and Wal-Mart would be the best place to go to buy that large tacky plastic nativity.

    In my hometown, there are several McDonald’s that have nativities from around the world. Some of them have a “Keep Christ in Christmas” sign in the front. This has been the case for many years. I’m lovin’ it.