December 25, 2008

Reverend defends Jesus clothing campaign

A minister in Kansas says he is trying to bring attention to the role of Jesus Christ in Christmas by having church members dress like the religious figure.

The Rev. Kelly Lohrke said his holiday campaign has been embraced by hundreds of church members in Kansas City, Kan., and Lee's Summit, Mo., The Kansas City (Mo.) Star said Wednesday.

But despite the appearance of the religious figure's trademark robes and crown of thorns in area stores and restaurants, Lohrke maintains he is not pushing religion on the general public.

Instead, the reverend said the coordinated church effort is intended to refocus the annual holiday on its true origins.

I don't think it's pushing religion. It's just recognizing where the origin of this holiday comes from, Lohrke said. Our purpose was just to get people to talk about Jesus this time of year.

The reverend also promises a more widespread holiday effort in 2009.

Next year, Lohrke told the Star, we're going to make this a big deal.