A California city official barred a Christian dance group from performing at a city sponsored “Holiday Festival.”
Asked by WorldNetDaily to explain, John Gates, senior supervisor for the Parks and Recreation Division of Chula Vista, offered no comment and said he was asked to refer the matter to the city attorney’s office.
The city attorney’s office did not reply to four calls seeking a response.
The hip-hop dance group was scheduled to perform last Saturday. The six girls, ranging in age from 8 to 12, wore shirts that said, “Jesus Christ Dancer.”
The father of one of the dancers, Al Reyes, questioned the supervisor’s decision, asking why a Hawaiian dance group was allowed to perform “Feliz Navidad,” “The First Noel,” “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” and a Hawaiian prayer song, in a native language.
After being challenged by a city representative on this point, Reyes said Gates replied, “I don’t understand those songs, but I do understand what those shirts say.”
The dance group’s instructor, Lita Ramirez, said she’s disappointed with the decision.
“I made it clear to city officials that this was a Christian hip-hop dance group and that they would perform Christian hip-hop dance,” she said.
Jesus Christ Dancers are sponsored by the school Calvary Academy, associated with the evangelical Calvary Chapel of Chula Vista.
Ramirez also has a contract with the Chula Vista Parks & Recreational Division to conduct dance classes scheduled to begin Jan. 17.
A city brochure lists one of the class subjects as Christian hip-hop dance.
Ramirez said “because of this incident, I am concerned about my future employment with the City.”
She called the removal of her group Saturday a biased decision.
“I was told that there were complaints about the T-shirts,” she said. “When asked further about the complaints, a city official changed his story.”