Christmas Is Canceled in Rhode Island (Well, Not Really, But Sort Of)

Say What!? 52

Christmas tree, Rhode IslandIt’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas everywhere except Rhode Island, apparently, where Governor Lincoln Chafee has zapped an annual celebration of that pesky “C” word. If you, like an evident number of residents in the Ocean State, tire of all the repeated mentioning of and hoopla about the birth of this Christ guy ‘round this time of year, head on over to their upcoming celebration, where onlookers will light a “holiday tree.”

That, in case you’re unsure, is like a Christmas tree 4.0: all the glitz, all the decorations, none of that overt, in-your-face Christianity. Phew. Sweet relief. Finally a place to celebrate Christmas without the cumbersome mentioning of Jesus.

Wait. Whaaaaat? 

Indeed, a spokeswoman announced on Tuesday that "the governor has stated his position very clearly: He believes 'holiday' is more inclusive,” adding that the event will take place “in a building paid for by all Rhode Islanders.” Too bad, so sad for you self-absorbed Christians who just want to gather round and sing off-tune renditions of “O Holy Night” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” Not at the official holiday ceremony in Rhode Island you won’t. Not on the dear gov’ner’s watch.

Last year, he attracted similar criticism from conservatives and Christians in the state not surprisingly disgruntled by the trend to take the Christ out of Christmas and the Christmas out of parties, cookies, and tree lightings in an effort to make the holiday more secular and less sacred. Govs insists using “holiday” in the festivities is consistent with the state’s history of religious tolerance.

Le sigh. Political over-correctness rears its ugly head again. If we start watering down traditions based on inclusion, we're not really staying true to diversity at all. (Even though the tree isn't really part of the original birth-of-the-Lord-and-Savior program, but still...) It would be impossible to understand the intrinsic value of Diwali or Hanukkah or Easter or Eid al-Adha, for example, if its celebrants were forced to compromise the authenticity of their observations in order to accommodate folks from outside the culture or religion. That’s not doing anybody any favors.

Anyway, I invite everyone from Rhode Island to the lighting ceremony here in lovely Washington, D.C. on December 4, where Christmas trees are still Christmas trees and the streets will be filled with endeared and sentimental onlookers. You may have to gird your loins for the Metro ride back to your hotel room and cut an old lady off for a parking space, but it’s a small price to pay in the name of Jesus.

Do you agree with the Governor Chafee’s decision to obliterate the mentioning of Christmas?

Image via janineomg/Flickr

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Felip... FelipesMom

@H's Mom, Nazis didn't invent the swastika either. Does that take away all the nasty stuff that the swastika represents today? I think the same is true of the Christmas tree. It has been a symbol of Christmas in this country for so long, and is such a strong symbol of Christmas, that you can't really separate the two that easily. 

IKnow... IKnow0101

I said some time ago when they start calling the Easter bunny the Spring bunny things were going to change.  I'm all about religious or non- religious freedom.  I actually like learning about other people traditions.  I'm tired of having to politically correct all the time.  I understand though that cities and states are afraid to get sued but I rather try my best to carry on with tradition.  Shoot I'm even afraid to wish someone Happy Holidays in fear I may offend them.

hello... hellokd87

Funny how pre-1990s a majority of the Christmas classics were all about celebrating CHRISTmas and about 90% of Christmas songs that radio stations play mention the birth of Jesus Christ and only in this decade are people making a big deal about it. I blame the internet and social media. There is so much power to voice your opinion and have it be heard by millions that people are "telling it on the mountain". If they want to be all inclusive why not light a menorah next to the tree, or add an ornament of a kinara. Christians did not invent the Christmas tree as a symbol of Christ. Without the message, half of what celebrating Christmas isn't even Christianity related. The mistletoe is actual a pagan symbol that's supposed to "bring couples together" (I'm paraphrasing, it may also stem from the Druid belief as well). What people need to do is get over themselves and their "beliefs". Us Christians are not shoving our beliefs down everyone's throat like people claim they are. If  you don't agree or don't like it, don't participate. Simple as that.

Elise48 Elise48

Meh, not a big deal. The city is trying to be all-inclusive and that's fine. If they were arresting/fining/otherwise punishing people for referring to it as a "Christmas tree" then people would have just cause to complain. But they're not. They are actually NOT force-feeding you the meaning of a celebration. This is a good thing. It allows you to obtain whatever personal meaning you want from it. Seriously, getting offended by someone's attempt to not offend makes absolutely no sense. Just be happy they're having any kind of community celebration at all and celebrate it however you wish.

Also, that's a ridiculous question as no one is trying to "obliterate the mentioning of Christmas" just by not saying it themselves.

nonmember avatar Sharon

Y'all know Christmas was a pagan holiday. Same as Easter and rest. They're all just celebrations of the solstice and equinox. I love the idea of taking Christ out of Christmas. Congrats Rhode Island.

Karen Dowling-Barth

If you are a true atheist you should not celebrate Christmas at all!!!  I mean it is celebrating the birth of Christ which you don't believe in!!  The Jolly Old St. Nicholas didn't come along until way later!  Why should you get to enjoy one of our religious holidays?  Doesn't that make you a hypocrite?

nonmember avatar April

Karen-if you're a true Christian, why don't you celebrate Christ's birthday on his actual birthdate, instead of celebrating on a PAGAN holiday? Afterall, Christmas was created so the pagans can keep their holiday. Doesn't that make you a hypocrite? Did you know the easter bunny and eggs are pagan symbols for fertility? that are used in celebration for the rites of Spring? And YOU are the type of person everyone complains about. Christmas is not YOUR holiday. Shouldn't you welcome people in? Aren't you supposed to spread the word? Instead you get nasty. Cute.

As for the article, I think it's silly and I am NOT a Christian. I would love, instead of taking things OUT they would be more all inclusive by adding things from other belief systems in

wamom223 wamom223

Christmas is a national holiday people that should make this pretty simple.  Also Christianity is not just a religion but a philosophy.  A person can agree with the teaching's of Christ without believing he was the son of God.  I also agree with the previous poster that made the point about the monorah.  I am a Christian and it would offend me if Jews were asked to call it a holiday candle stick so we should be able to call the tree whatever we want.  Especially since Christmas tree's have been a tradition in this country for over 200 years.  

Spark... SparklingHope

Well, I'm glad I don't live there! What a scrooge! I'm gonna say Merry Christmas and that's just what I'm gonna say! Yep, I say Get it over crybabies and let me celebrate Christmas how I'm gonna celebrate CHRISTMAS! Bam. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. ;)

"Facebook comment from Cassandra Huber 
on Nov 29, 2012 at 7:56 AM

Tired of everything having to be PC. I'm sorry, but I could care less who is offended by this and that. Get over it crybabies!"

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