UPDATE: Snohomish County Deputy Executive Gary Haakenson just called to say KOMO really butchered this story. Turns out, the county has been trying to get the church to remove the 90-foot pole for 15 months. It's only since Pastor Brad Sebranke put some decorations on it and called the press that its become Christmas-related.
Upset that the Nativity scene just approved for the Olympia Capitol grounds hasn't brought the wrath of atheists and the counter-wrath of Bill O'Reilly? Furious that this year's "War on Christmas" has been more like a "War on Interesting Christmas News?" Well fret not, fear mongers, controversy is brewing in Bothell and it involves a church with a 90-foot-tall Christmas decoration, a government official handing out fines and at least two Christians crying foul.
On the one side is Park Ridge Community Church Pastor Brad Sebranke and his 90-foot-tall star-crowned pole and string of lights that needles high into the sky. On the other side is Snohomish County Deputy Executive Gary Haakenson, who says that having a 90-tall electrified anything requires a permit.
KOMO News reports the story on Tuesday and quotes Haakenson explaining why he hates Jesus (note: Gary Haakenson does not hate Jesus):
"Just so we can make it safe. It's 90-feet tall, and it's up in the power lines. And we just want to make sure everybody's safe underneath."
Sebranke's argument is that the 90-foot pole is there already so why not string it full of electric lights and plop a star on top that can be seen by ships at sea.
"We're not forcing that image on anybody," (Sebranke) said. "Churches have spires. They have all kinds of symbols up in the sky."
It's true. We hear the Vatican is installing a new Pope Light that will shine a Mitre hat symbol into the clouds.
At least two townsfolk that KOMO News flagged down in their cars say they love the star. It's unclear from the video footage if there are more than two townsfolk in Bothell.
The church has already been fined $1,500 and could see more penalties if the pastor doesn't take it down or get a permit.
Sebranke is apparently going to fight this to the end, and doesn't care about fines, but about the "principle" of the matter.
He's got a hearing with the county on Jan. 4, but until then, we'll be counting down the seconds until Fox News gets wind of it and unleashes the Hannity.