Traditional White House crèche

The Obama administration sought to ban baby Jesus from the executive mansion as part of its plans for a “nonreligious Christmas,” according to a participant at a White House luncheon.

In its Dec. 4 issue, the New York Times published an article highlighting accomplishments of Desirée Rogers, the new White House social secretary.

Rogers, a woman who markets what she refers to as the “Obama brand,” is responsible for every event that takes place in the White House.

“Her job is to carry out the vision of the president and first lady, and to make their social events reflect their sensibilities,” the Times reported.

As part of that mission, a participant at a White House luncheon for former social secretaries said Rogers announced that the Obamas were planning a “nonreligious Christmas.”

The Times called the announcement “hardly a surprising idea for an administration making a special effort to reach out to other faiths.”

The luncheon conversation purportedly shifted to whether the Obamas planned to display the traditional 18th century White House crèche. Since 1967, past administrations had featured the nativity scene as a centerpiece of the East Room. It was donated to the White House more than four decades ago and made in Naples, Italy, of terra cotta and carved wood.

The participant said Rogers announced the president “did not intend to put the manger scene on display – a remark that drew an audible gasp from the tight-knit social secretary sisterhood,” the Times reported.

“What do we want the personality and the tone of the experience to be?” Rogers asked in an interview this year, explaining the Obamas’ philosophy.

“We want it to be inclusive, diverse, representative of all Americans, celebratory, authentic,” Rogers said. “So you sit and you say, O.K., how can we make this event,” she paused, “Obama-tized.”

However, the newspaper notes that “tradition won out,” as the crèche is now in its usual East Room location.

Rogers helped plan an Easter Egg Roll at the White House earlier this year, allocating tickets to at least 100 families with homosexual parents as part of the administration’s plan for increased diversity.

However, as the Jerusalem Post reported, the Obama White House slashed the guest list for the annual White House Hanukkah party in half this year, from 800 to 400. Officials claimed it was due to cost concerns.

Eric Metaxas, former editor of the Record at Yale University, reacted to the news about the crèche in his Fox News commentary this week.

“If President Obama wanted to fuel the fears of every serious Christian in America and actually prove that he is every bad thing they’ve ever heard about him on every crazy Web site, the idea of symbolically taking Jesus out of the White House at Christmas would be just the ticket!” he wrote.

“Let’s face it: ‘Brand Obama’ dodged a bullet by not going forward with this terrible idea, but only barely dodged it. After all, the facts of the story are right there in the New York Times for all to see.”

Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.