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Christmas: in Vendée, official posters representing the Nativity are controversial


Placarded on the bus shelters of the department, they revive the eternal debate around secularism. However, their existence is not new.

Le Figaro Nantes

The installation of crèches in public communities is controversial every year.

The representation of the Nativity on bus shelters in Vendée usually goes unnoticed.

For more than 30 years, these panels have covered the department's bus shelters at Christmas time.

But a few days ago, these end-of-year party messages were pointed out on social networks, resurrecting the eternal debate around secularism, beyond the borders of the West.

LR senators want to modify the 1905 law to “preserve nurseries”

On Wednesday, Fayçal Jelil, a former delegate of the prefect of the North, publicly challenged the department via a tweet:

“Does secularism speak to you?

Public service neutrality?



That citizens are attached to their religious values ​​and traditions does not pose a difficulty in itself but that a local authority promotes it by trampling on secularism, it is just not possible

", he added in comments , before explaining that he had received death threats for speaking out on the subject.

The Young Socialists of Loire-Atlantique also reacted: “

Apparently the departmental council of Vendée has forgotten that the law of 1905 also concerns Catholics


Pierre Ouzoulias, communist senator from Hauts-de-Seine, also made his contribution.

Dear colleague, dear Bruno, The 1905 law establishing the separation of Church and State also belongs to our common cultural heritage.

Just like the neutrality of public services.

These principles are consubstantial with our republican ideal.

Respect them!

“, he informed Bruno Retailleau, when the latter had just intervened on the subject.


Christmas is not only a commercial holiday but is first and foremost a Christian holiday which belongs to our common cultural heritage

", had just underlined the senator from Vendée and former president of the general council.

Two hours later, his predecessor Philippe de Villiers recalled that he was behind it.

It was I who decided in 1989 to display Vendée Christmas on bus shelters.

The Vendée is an old Christian land which has paid for it.

Notice to new Robespierre.

Merry Christmas, while we are in France.


Contacted by

Le Figaro

, the departmental council of Vendée, through the voice of its first vice-president Guillaume Jean, does not remember any such controversies in recent history.

According to him, this buzz "

reinforces the idea of ​​continuing and not giving in to people who support a totalitarian conception of secularism, refusing any pictorial reference to a religious event


A conception that the Vendeans

"understand well"

, defends the elected official.

We feel that these are people far from the department who are trying to create buzz on a subject that does not deserve it.

Look around you, these people who put nativity scenes near the tree when they are not necessarily believers.

It's part of the atmosphere and the themes of Christmas

, ”he continues.

The nursery of the hotel in the department of Vendée.

Department of Vendée

The hotel in the Vendée department has itself housed a crèche for around thirty years.

Summoned to withdraw it for attacking secularism in 2012, the judges had finally authorized the installation by mentioning "

a local cultural use and a festive tradition of more than 20 years constituting special circumstances


The posters have not been the subject of legal action.

Exposed for another week on the 600 bus shelters of the Vendée municipalities, they represent, according to data from the community, a budget of around 5,000 to 6,000 euros.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2022-12-23

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