Holiday/Christmas Tree, Round 2

Gov. Chafee's office backtracks from an announcement Monday that there would be no official tree-lighting ceremony this year.

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 Monday when she said 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. 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. The 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 2009. They quote from Carcieri's invitation to the lighting ceremony that year: "The Annual Holiday Tree Lighting."

Does it matter what the tree at the State House is called? Let us know in the comments section.

nancy November 28, 2012 at 02:23 PM
In the Governor's interview with Ch. 10 last night he equated not understanding the changing times we live in, and the Holiday/Christmas tree issue, to the same people who do not understand immigration and gay marriage issues. Not necessarily so....while I support a hearty Christmas celebration, a festive Hanukkah celebration, and celebrations for all, called what they are, this does not make me a conservative on these other issues. Even with new advisors and leaders in the Gov. office, he could not sidestep this issue this year.....sad for all....and only goes to polarization.
Robin Lionheart December 04, 2012 at 07:13 PM
I applaud Governor Chafee's stand for religious pluralism. Alas, it will probably again outrage those Christian haters of religious freedom who rise in anger when the government shows respect to any religious holidays besides their own.


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