Cardboard Tebow Statue Removed After Being Placed By Nativity Scene
After fielding numerous complaints from irate residents last week, Polk County (Fla.) communications director Mianne Nelson removed a cardboard “statue” of Tim Tebow that had been anonymously placed near a Christmas Nativity scene display in a park nearby the county’s administration building in the town of Bartow. Crazy times.
From a report by TheLedger.com (via Off the Bench):
The stylized, rectangular replica of Tebow mysteriously appeared Thursday in Millenium Park, a grassy area adjacent to the Neil Combee Administration Building. The area is designated for approved public displays during the holiday season.
Though Tebow has acquired the nickname “Mile High Messiah” while leading the Broncos to six consecutive victories, the proximity of the cartoonish statue to a plastic version of the baby Jesus apparently offended at least a few local residents.
Nelson said the county received a handful of phone calls Thursday and Friday from citizens unhappy about the Tebow icon. She confiscated the two-foot-tall Tebow effigy, and as of Friday afternoon it rested in her office.
Sadly for the Secret Santa who placed the Tebow icon near Baby Jesus and the Three Wise Men, since they had not applied for permission to erect it from the Polk County attorney’s office. This isn’t the first time Polk County has experienced controversy related to holiday displays. In 2004, members of the First Baptist Church erected a Nativity Scene in the same park which prompted some wisenheimers to respond by going all Frank Costanza and putting up a Festivus pole, straight from the Seinfeld series. You know, for the rest of us.
The ACLU subsequently got involved, and Polk County enacted rules for what could be displayed publicly during the holiday season, restricting it to “a menorah, manger scene and either or all of these symbols: Santa Claus, reindeer, and/or Christmas tree.”
But for now, the tribute to Tebow remains in bondage within Nelson’s office, although she insists she will return the Cardboard Tebow to its rightful owner if they step forward. That’s a nice gesture, very much in the holiday spirit. Yet I say, in light of this Millennium Park’s troubled history when it comes to situations like the one that just played out, the only way Nelson should relinquish the statue is if she loses to the claimant in a Feats of Strength competition. LET’S RUMBLE!!!
UPDATE: Hallelujah! As of Monday, Cardboard Tim Tebow was back in the manger, assuming his place as one of the Three Wise Men while the county reviews the policy and on Tuesday, “a disclaimer sign was placed in the scene saying Tebow was not put in nor endorsed by the county but he will stay there through New Year’s Eve.” Strange days, indeed.