Local News

Religious McDonald's Sign Draws Attention In Raleigh

Posted December 14, 2005

— Everyone celebrates religion and holidays in their own individual ways, but currently there are questions about whether the two should be more connected. One of the latest places involved in the controversy is a McDonald's restaurant in Raleigh.

The sign at McDonald's on the corner of Falls of Neuse and Spring Forest Road reads: "Merry Christmas, Jesus is the Reason for the Season." It is a holiday message that Amanda Alpert thinks comes on a little too strongly.

"It offends me because it specifically talks about Jesus, Merry Christmas. It doesn't give credit to anyone else," Alpert said.

Alpert called the McDonald's corporate office in Atlanta and requested that the sign be changed to the politically correct Happy Holidays. The response was the owner has the right to do what she wants with the sign.

"I care because I'm Jewish, and the reason for the season is upsetting to me," Alpert said.

None of the drivers WRAL spoke to were offended by the sign.

"I've always known it to be Merry Christmas, and it is Jesus' birthday," said Tom David of Smithfield.

It's a debate that's struck a chord nationally and locally. The White House Christmas card surprised some with its "Happy Holiday Season" message. A proposed nativity scene in Raleigh recently drew a crowd at council chambers.

McDonald's managers say the sign has been good for business. They say church groups have stopped by to eat, and some people who usually don't eat food from McDonald's have stopped by because of the sign. The store's owner did not return WRAL's calls.

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