Holiday Tree vs. Christmas Tree, Rd. 2

Gov. Lincoln Chafee is planning to hold a tree lighting at the State House, following his predecessor's practice of naming the state's evergreen a "holiday tree."

There will be a tree-lighting ceremony this year, after all. Gov. Lincoln Chafee's top press aide said Tuesday that she spoke in error when she previously announced that there would be no tree lighting ceremony. 

"There will be an official tree lighting ceremony at the State House with the Governor in attendance," said Christine Hunsinger in an email statement, adding that no date has been set.

Now, the question is, will protesters turn up again as they did last year, when Gov. Lincoln Chafee referred to the large evergreen in the middle of the State House rotonda as a "holiday tree" instead of a Christmas tree?

This year's tree was erected Monday.

Last December, Chafee was lambasted by GOP lawmakers, some talk show hosts, and the Roman Catholic Bishop Tobin for his decision to use the term "holiday tree."

As pointed out in a story by the Providence Journal Tuesday, former Gov. Donald Carcieri also did not use the term Christmas tree in 2010, his last year in office.

Chafee staffers showed an ornament from the 2010 ceremony that commemorates the "holiday tree," the Journal reported.

JohnstonPatch asks you: Does it matter what the tree at the State House is called? Do you think Gov. Chafee was unfairly criticized, knowing that former Gov. Carcieri also termed it a "holiday tree?"

Sound off in the comments below.

RS November 28, 2012 at 03:34 PM
Considering that only Christians use a decorated tree for a particular Holiday in December, I don't see how he can call it anything but a Christmas Tree. If the Gov is so set on being politically correct, He should just stop putting decorated trees in the State House, or better yet, how about also a Holiday Candle Holder.........
Joseph Hutnak November 28, 2012 at 06:43 PM
Interesting point, RS. In the interest of adding more context to the issue, I'd point you to this Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_tree It explains that the first recorded instances of decorated trees were in the 1440s "in guild halls decorated with sweets to be enjoyed by the apprentices and children." The tradition was then apparently adopted by Protestants in the 18th century. This article also notes that Pope John Paul II "introduced the Christmas tree custom to the Vatican in 1982" — and that Boston went through a controversy after officially terming the city's tree a "holiday tree" in 2005.
DFRI November 29, 2012 at 12:00 PM
Political correctness has gone WAY too far. It is a Christmas tree......... If someone doesn't like what it's called, GET OVER IT. Chafee is not being unfairly criticized.
Chris L. November 29, 2012 at 12:40 PM
Let's call a Christmas tree a Christmas tree. What next, the Easter Bunny called a holiday bunny?
Litesp33d December 04, 2012 at 06:35 PM
As an atheist it amuses me greatly to see the ultimate pagan symbol, the evergreen tree, cut for display at this time of the year, adorning Christian churches all around the World. The flexibility of the morals, ethics and idolatory of churches when there is the chance of making a fast buck is as pliable as ever. How long before instead of fairy or a star on top of the tree we have that mythical figure of either a baby Jesus or full grown one on a cross? Ha Ha Ha!


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