A family in Raleigh, North Carolina were shocked when their homeowner’s association (HOA) tried to force them to remove a six-foot Christmas cross that the family put up as a holiday decoration, stating that crosses can only be displayed during Passover or Easter.

“Lo and behold, after putting it out right after Thanksgiving, we got a notice in the mail. It shocked us,” James Faison said to the local ABC affiliate in the city. “We believe that the cross is symbolic of hope, salvation and deliverance. It’s so important that we have this cross up for Christmas time.

But the HOA disagreed.

In a letter, the Faisons were told, “The board does not consider this a Christmas decoration, but Easter/Passover seasonal decoration.” Ironically, James reports that there are many Christians on the board, but they believe that there should be a distinction and separation between Christmas and Easter.

Perhaps they forgot that you need Christmas to get to Easter, or maybe they haven’t gone to a Christmas Eve service that serves communion as a reminder of Christ’s ultimate sacrifice.

Either way the Faisons were given notification that if they didn’t come into “compliance,” they would be forced to pay a $100 fine.

“They didn’t mention anything in the bylaws, they didn’t say go look here in the bylaws as far as it relates to the HOA in the community, this is the reason why. They didn’t say any of those things,” James said. “They asked me to provide biblical references.”

The Faisons did as asked.

Part of the HOA’s response included, “The cross represents the death of Jesus Christ who died for our sins so we can have eternal life. The Christmas season is associated with the birth of the Savior such as nativity scenes would be appropriate representation of the season. The Board believes that the Bible is very clear on the distinction between these two major events in Christ’s life on earth. The cross is appropriate for display during the Easter season, but not as a decoration during the Christmas season. Unless biblical references can be provided noting the cross as a symbol of the Christmas season for the board to reconsider, the cross is not considered to be a Christmas decoration.”

When the local new station reached out, the HOA adjusted course and said that the cross can stay, but like all Christmas decorations, it has to come down within two to four weeks after the holiday.

Screenshot from ABC7News