Controversial display shows Jesus hunting down Santa, Rudolph

Controversial display shows Jesus hunting down Santa, Rudolph
NIPOMO, Calif. -- A Christmas display is being blamed for spreading holiday jeer around the neighborhood.

The display features Santa, Jesus and Rudolph, but it's not your typical holiday decor.

Santa is shown dead on the ground with X's over his eyes. Standing over Santa and staring down the barrel of his shotgun is Jesus. And the dead, limp body of Rudolph is strewn over the back of a pickup truck.

The video is the work of Ron Lake, who says he's simply trying to make a point about the commercialized holiday.

"Christmas isn't about Santa; it's about Jesus," he said. "It's an expression of my repressed creativity."

But neighbors don't care what Lake's point is.

"It's morbid," said neighbor Karen Clement."It's private property and everybody has a right to it, but then I have a right to stand up and say, 'I don't like it."'

Since the display went up on Monday, they've filed multiple complaints to law enforcement and held several conversations with artist himself in an attempt to get the display taken down.

One of the biggest points of contention: the location of Lake's property.

Just outside of the chain link fence that separates the display from one of the town's main roads is a school bus stop.

"I know it's freedom of speech, but it's pretty disturbing and there are lots of children. And that's our main concern," said neighbor Susana Cruz.

But Lake doesn't think anything in his display is unfit for kids' eyes.

"You can tell your kids and make it as though there is a Santa Claus and let them believe all that, but you can't explain this thing? I don't get it.

"Not that Jesus is a killer with a shotgun, but come on. There's a little bit of humor here, a little bit of tragedy here."

Area residents say they may start a petition to fight the display.


KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, Calif. contributed to this report.