RI governor defends holiday tree in Statehouse

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by Trader666, Dec 8, 2011.

  1. RI governor defends holiday tree in Statehouse
    By DAVID KLEPPER, Associated Press – Nov 29, 2011

    PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The governor said Tuesday that lawmakers upset with his decision to call the blue spruce erected in the Statehouse a holiday tree instead of a Christmas tree should focus their energy on feeding the poor.

    Calling the 17-foot-tall spruce a holiday tree is in keeping with Rhode Island's founding in 1636 by religious dissident Roger Williams as a haven for tolerance, where government and religion were kept separate, independent Gov. Lincoln Chafee said.

    "I would encourage all those engaged in this discussion — whatever their opinion on the matter — to use their energy and enthusiasm to make a positive difference in the lives of their fellow Rhode Islanders," Chafee said, offering an initiative to feed the needy as a good place to start.

    But critics of Chafee's seasonal semantics said he is taking political correctness too far — and defying the will of the Legislature. In January, the state House of Representatives passed a symbolic resolution declaring that the tree customarily erected this time of year be referred to "as a 'Christmas tree' and not as a 'holiday tree' or other non-traditional terms."

    The resolution's sponsor, Republican Rep. Doreen Costa, said she plans to erect and decorate a tree at her Statehouse office on Dec. 6, the day Chafee plans to host a tree-lighting event. Costa said she'll be taking up a collection of canned goods.

    "Anybody that wants to go see a holiday tree can do so, but I will be decorating a Christmas tree," said Costa, of North Kingstown. "It may only be a little Charlie Brown Christmas tree, but at least it will be a Christmas tree."

    The head of the Roman Catholic church in Providence also criticized Chafee's decision not to use the word Christmas.

    Chafee's decision "is most disheartening and divisive," Bishop Thomas Tobin said in a statement. He said it ignores American traditions and is "an affront to the faith of many citizens."

    "For the sake of peace and harmony in our state at this special time of the year, I respectfully encourage the Governor to reconsider his decision to use the word Christmas in the state observance," said Tobin, who was on retreat and was unavailable for additional comment.

    Chafee isn't the first Rhode Island governor to refer to the annual Statehouse tree as a holiday tree. His predecessor, Republican Gov. Donald Carcieri, used both holiday tree and Christmas tree in his correspondence. Other governors have made no specific reference to Christmas at all with invitations to "holiday celebrations" featuring a "tree lighting."

    The Colorado blue spruce at the center of the holiday hullabaloo was donated to the state by Big John Leyden's Christmas Tree Farm in West Greenwich, R.I. Tree farmer John Leyden said he's disappointed with Chafee's yuletide word choice.

    "It's not a holiday tree or even an Xmas tree," he said. "We're a Christmas tree farm. That's what the name is."

    Chafee insists he's just respecting the state's history as a place respectful of all religions.

    The colony's hands-off policy toward religion quickly attracted sects that had been persecuted elsewhere. Rhode Island boasts both the nation's first Baptist church and the oldest surviving Jewish synagogue.
    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap...7GuyHA?docId=cfb3d218583e4560bac3986caeb0d8bd
     
  2. Anyone else see the conflict with liberals wanting diversity but not allowing a Christmas tree to be called what it is, even in light of Christmas being a federal holiday?

    Yeah, I know Chaffee claims he's an Independent but something this ridiculous could only come from a liberal.
     
  3. pspr

    pspr

    Damn liberals. I wish they would all just get out of the U.S.A. There's plenty of room in Russia for them.
     
  4. Lucrum

    Lucrum

    It's liberal hypocrisy, and they excel at it.

    "Holiday tree", WTF is that anyway?
     
  5. lol I wish people had some humility so that comment would shut them up.
     
  6. It's how a Christmas tree appears (a hallucination) to some afflicted with the mental disorder of liberalism.
     
  7. rew

    rew

    No tolerance for Christians.

    But I'm willing to make concessions to a governor who doesn't want a Christmas tree in the statehouse: Replace it with a nativity scene.
     
  8. You guys should read the ADL guidelines for the December Holiday, we would not want you offending anyone.:p
     
  9. rew

    rew

    According to the ADL, Christmas trees must be forbidden from our public schools because they are religious symbols. But menorahs are permitted.
     
  10. Happy Hanukkah:D
     
    #10     Dec 9, 2011