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

There are lots of people in this country who are not Christians. I am all about saying "Happy Holidays" and making sure non-Christian kids can participate in EVERYTHING that goes on at school in December, and all sorts of other diversity-welcoming stuff.


A Christmas tree is a Christmas tree. Calling it something else doesn't really change anything. If you're gonna have a tree, it's gonna be a Christmas tree, unless a large portion of your population is ancient celtic or something (I think that's where the evergreen bit came from, anyway - but wherever it came from, it is solidly a Christmas thing now!).

Either call it what it is and have it, or call it what it is and don't have it, is what I say. 

Happy Holidays everyone! :o)

Felip... FelipesMom

PS I also agree with your point about watering things down. I don't see any problem with a conversation like this: "Christians celebrate Christmas. Here is how they do it." 

Cassandra Huber

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!!!

miche... micheledo

That's fine.  YOu want to quit using the word Christmas because it isn't all-inclusive, that's fine.  But changing the name doesn't change a thing.  You can't rename a menorah and call it a holiday candlestick.  It's still a menorah for Jewish celebration.  And a Christmas tree is to celebrate Christmas (which anymore has very little/or nothing to do with Christ).  

It is the Holiday time of year.  But 'holiday' is a generic word.  We have holidays all year round.  So wish everyone a happy holiday, call it a holiday celebration if you want, and then include something from ALL the holidays.  Renaming a decoration is stupid.

Wheep... Wheepingchree

I am not a religious person at all. However, I still celebrate Christmas. I find it very easy to remove the religion aspect and still celebrate the holiday. It's an important celebration to me regardless of my lack of Christian faith, because it is still an opportunity to give to others, spend time with loved ones, and watch my daughter light up with the magic that is Christmas.

divam... divamomtjcj

this makes me sick. noone will tell me what to say or how to say what i want. if i want to celebrate CHRISTmas i will.

nonmember avatar PCinWV

Christmas is Christmas no matter what you call it. Get over it and enjoy the season in your own way.

CPN322 CPN322

Christmas trees were around long before Christianity......just a thought. I'm a Christian and this wouldn't bother me if I lived there.

nonmember avatar H'sMom

Christians didn't invent the Christmas tree, so calling it a holiday tree is both more inclusive and accurate ;)

Many many non Christians enjoy putting up a Christmas tree this time of year. It isn't "taking the Christ out of Christmas" it's just making it easier for people to celebrate together, no matter what they pray to. I truly don't understand how anyone who calls themselves a Christian can truly be offended by trying to make this time of year a time for all humanity, not just themselves.

nonmember avatar shan

Actually, not every tree is a christmas tree and you don't have to be part of an ancient celtic tribe to have a tree either. I'm wiccan and most of my family is christian. I celebrate winter solstice/christmas in my home. I have a solstice tree up and we decorate it for the winter solstice then my children put a few christmas decorations on it as well. I personally don't think its PC to make a PUBLIC celebration open to all religions. If a city that had a high pagan population had huge winter solstice celebrations every year with a solstice tree and solstice activities, Christians would be complaining and protesting the whole time. NOT everyone is a christian so why are only christian holidays recognized? My kids don't get days off to celebrate Mabon or Samhain, I have to call them off schoo and they end up with an absence on their record

The only time they get a day off for a holiday with no repurcussions is if our holiday happens to fall on a christian holiday break such as our fall harvest or winter solstice celebrations. Why is it only christians that get to celebrate publicly and why are only christian holidays acknowledged? Being PC so that ALL people can participate is a good thing.

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