By James Tillman

WASHINGTON, DC, December 7, 2009 (—The Obamas were planning a “non-religious Christmas” and intended not to put the traditional White House créche scene on display.

White House Social Secretary Desirée Rogers reportedly told a meeting of former secretaries that the Obamas did not intend to put the manger scene on display – a suggestion that was greeted by an “audible gasp” from her audience.  The White House confirmed that there had been discussion regarding whether to make Christmas more “inclusive.”

Despite such discussions, the White House eventually bowed to tradition, reports the NY Times; the creche scene is now on display.

In an email to Fox News' Todd Starnes regarding the issue, the First Lady's office quoted a speech given by President Obama at the lighting of the National Christmas Tree.  The President's remarks emphasized that Christmas has a lesson for all, not merely Christians, and that it represents, “a tradition that we celebrate as a country – a tradition that has come to represent more than any one holiday or religion.”

Catholic League President Bill Donohue said that it should be no surprise that President Obama and “his wife would like to neuter Christmas in the White House.”

He continued: “That's their natural step – to ban the public display of Christian symbols. Have any doubts? Last April, Georgetown University was ordered to put a drape over the name of Jesus as a condition of the president speaking there.”

“It is the business of the public to hold [the Obamas] accountable for the way they celebrate Christmas in the White House. We know one thing for sure: no other administration ever entertained internal discussions on whether to display a nativity scene in the White House.”