Rhode Island’s Governor Lincoln Chafee is getting criticized for not excluding non-Christian citizens this holiday season:
… lawmakers [are] upset with his decision to call the blue spruce erected in the Statehouse a “holiday tree” instead of a “Christmas tree”
Chafee insists he’s just respecting the state’s history as a place respectful of all religions.
In a state home to the nation’s “oldest surviving Jewish synagogue,” you would think that state politicians could at least pay some lip service to minority groups by applauding the governor for trying to be inclusive.
Nope. They passed a resolution last January demanding that it be called a Christian tree:
The resolution’s sponsor, Rep. Doreen Costa, said she plans to erect and decorate a tree at her Statehouse office on Dec. 6, the same 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,” Costa, R-North Kingstown, told The Associated Press. “It may only be a little Charlie Brown Christmas tree but at least it will be a Christmas tree.”
Justin Vacula speaks for me when he writes in a comment:
… [the] amount of Christian privilege in this country is stunning. One/two months out of the year, persons attempt to make the holiday season a holiday season for everyone (which it is), but Christians want to unjustifiably claim some monopoly on the holiday… like we need to believe in [the virgin birth of the baby] Jesus to celebrate? Give me a break. Celebration needs no reason. Liberals don’t have trouble separating church and state, but rather, it is generally the religious right who has a problem and wants the government endorsing religion rather than playing a neutral role like we secularists want.
This shouldn’t be a big deal, but in America, when someone implies that we’re not just a Christian-only country, they get all sorts of backlash.
***Update***: FOX News Channel is all over this story: