Holiday ‘House Divided’ Flag Gets Mixed Reviews from Community

house-dividedThe Breitenbach’s have always had a good sense of humor about their respective families’ differences in religious beliefs. Zack Breitenbach comes from a Jewish family and his wife Cynthia, comes from a Lutheran family. When they first decided to get married, there were of course some concerns from each of their families. Eventually, these concerns were forgotten, with each family accepting a new person into their family. “It was never that big of a deal,” says Zack. “We knew we wanted to be married, and our families would quickly become supportive.” Cynthia says her family was pretty understanding from the beginning. “My family is Lutheran,” says Cynthia. “So, pretty much anything goes. It’s not like we are those judgmental Catholics. I mean, those people are judgmental.” The Breitenbach’s have two young children, and they try to expose them to aspects of both of their religions. “I don’t think it is confusing to them,” says Zack. “We try to explain why we have each tradition, and how it came about. I think it actually helps them appreciate religion more instead of just throwing a bunch of decorations up.” One of the things the Breitenbach’s decided to do this year was to hang a flag outside of their home letting people know they come from different backgrounds. “It is kind of our way of saying, ‘hey, we are making this work,’” said Cynthia. “It’s also kind of funny. Or at least we think it is funny.” Some Stapleton residents are not appreciating the humor. “I am not sure why, but I am pretty sure it is sacrilegious,” says resident Royce Meyers. “There has to be something somewhere in the Bible that says a Menorah and a Christmas tree can’t be in the same photo together. Does not seem right.” Mike Jepsen agrees. “This is just bizarre,” says Jepsen. “There is something wrong with these people. It’s not so much about whether I think people are offended but about who I think is offended more. Jewish people, by the way. I’m sure they are offended more.” Leah Richardson disagrees. “I can’t imagine any actual Jewish people or Christians are offended. What would they be offended about? Now, if neither of them are actually Jewish or Christian and they were just using it for the joke, now that wouldn’t be funny.” Dave McCoy feels similarly. “It’s really funny. And the truth is, most things that are funny are going to be offensive to some people. I mean, how many things do you think are funny that probably would offend someone?” The Breitenbach’s plan to keep the flag flying throughout the holidays regardless of how others feel about it. “We have had some people leave notes on our door requesting we take it down,” says Cynthia. “But truly, it is who we are. So no, we aren’t taking our flag down. This house remains divided.” ]]>

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