November 28, 2012
Governor of Rhode Island Removes “Christmas” Again
Providence, RI – For the second year, Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee will not use “Christmas” to describe the evergreen tree decorated to celebrate December 25. “Governor, what do you call a green, pointed, prickly tree we decorate in December? Everyone except for the governor knows it’s a Christmas tree,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel.
Originally, the governor’s office canceled the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony after last year’s controversy, when he refused to acknowledge “Christmas” during the tree lighting ceremony. Just 24 hours later, the annual event was rescheduled.
“Renaming a Christmas tree to a ‘Holiday tree’ is political correctness run amok,” said Staver. “A Menorah is associated with Hanukkah. Its name should not be changed. Santa and his sleigh appear during December bearing Christmas gifts. His name and those of his reindeer entourage should not be changed. Everyone knows that an evergreen tree decorated with lights and ornaments in December is a Christmas tree. The only reason to change the name is due to crass bigotry and ignorance,” said Staver.
Spokeswoman Christine Hunsinger said that the governor believes “holiday” is more inclusive. “For these inclusiveness advocates, Hanukkah is in, Kwanzaa is in, Santa Claus is in, but Christmas is out,” said Staver. “Lighting a ‘holiday’ tree is not inclusive, it is divisive and hypocritical.” Bah, Humbug!
Liberty Counsel launched its tenth annual “Friend or Foe Christmas Campaign” to educate and, if necessary, litigate to make sure religious viewpoints are not censored during Christmas. Liberty Counsel provides information about Christmas at www.LC.org and a “Naughty & Nice” list, which overviews retailers that acknowledge Christmas and those that do not.
Liberty Counsel is an international nonprofit, litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989, by providing pro bono assistance and representation on these and related topics.
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