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Cranston's Christmas Tree Lighting Set for Monday

The trees in front of City Hall will shine brightly for the holiday season once again, and yes, the city is calling it a Christmas tree.

With the flip of a switch, the grounds in front of Cranston City Hall will glow Monday night. 

It's the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony, and yes, the city is referring to it as a Christmas tree.

The event starts at 6 p.m. with music from the BASICS Glee Club and Ensemble.

The tree (trees, actually) will be lit at 6:30 p.m. Moments later, Santa will arrive to help usher in the holiday cheer.

On Facebook, Cranston Mayor Allan W. Fung said "yes, I did say Christmas!!"

Fung's proclamation is music to the ears of many residents who are frustrated at what they feel is a creeping political correctness that has compelled other government officials to avoid using the word Christmas and refer to lighting ceremonies and decorations as "holiday" events rather than "Christmas" events.

"And this is why we love our Mayor Fung," said Angie Mederios Salvato. "Not afraid to say that word Christmas."

John November 30, 2012 at 03:44 PM
Have we really learned nothing about the separation of church and state over the past year? Honestly ashamed of this city! Non-Christians are deliberately made to feel unwelcome here...and so unnecessarily. I wish we could agree to celebrate diversity.
Cranston Resident November 30, 2012 at 04:20 PM
Here they come folks!!!! The annual migration of militant non-believers decending upon the City of Cranston to spread their special brand of Christmas Cheer!
Melissa November 30, 2012 at 04:35 PM
I am so glad Mayor Fung is keeping this GREAT tradition alive and not letting all this political bullshit drag us down!!! Everyone wants to hop on the bandwagon about calling it "Holiday" crap well Kudos to you Mayor for keeping the Christmas spirit!!!!!!
Leeann Watts November 30, 2012 at 05:03 PM
I was very pleased to see that Bain Middle School showed the movie "Elf" last night for the kids & families of the school. It was a good feeling to know Cranston still believes. CHRISTMAS is Chirstmas no matter how you look at it. Several people have tried to take away from our beliefs & yet many of us still teach our kids the true meaning. Why take this away from all of us who still believe? Thank you so much Mayor Fung. For keeping all of us believers in the spirit. :-)
Small Change November 30, 2012 at 06:04 PM
John- There is a Federal Holiday on Dec 25 known as Christmas. if you wish to repeal that, as an illegal religious imposition, you may feel free. But for the present it is quite legal. The tree is not viewed legally, at present,as a religious symbol. Someone called Gov Chafee's office and asked for an appointment on Dec 25. They told her they would be closed, as it was a holiday. She , quite rightly, asked 'What holiday?' They refused to answer, as they didnt know how to respond 'correctly'. Anti-religious agitators really are going through ridiculous contortions to somehow suggest that a Christmas tree lighting event is illegal, when Christmas is an official, legislated, national holiday.
Cranston Voter November 30, 2012 at 08:29 PM
Cranston Voter Thank you Mayor Fung. For those of you who don't believe or don't want to celebrate CHRISTmas, thats OK, we don't have anything against you. However please don't bad mouth, disrespect, or prohibit those of us that do! Another good decision by Mayor Fung. With bold moves such as this, the road to the State House gets shorter and shorter. Merry CHRISTmas everyone!
Yojan Santes December 01, 2012 at 12:43 AM
The truth is even if politicians were unable to say the word "Christmas", Christians will always know it as the celebration of Christ's birth. Making "Christmas tree" a taboo because of religion is ridiculous in itself, for the this tradition was originally adapted from the pagans anyway. It just depends on how you view a symbol, not what it is called. In the same way you might as well not be able to call a holiday Easter for what it is celebrated for, even though the origin of the world is technically unknown. You could also look at it by saying you might as well change the word for "marriage" (because it was made to mean when a man and a women come to together) because the world's view on "marriage" has changed. Althought the world's view on Christmas might change, changing its name to try and fit your own views and not someone else's is unrealistic. Just celebrate your own Holiday, and make your own traditions and your own symbols, call it Holiday if you want. And for "separation of church and state", look at why it was created and how it was first carried out. One cannot deny that this country was founded on Christian beliefs and meant to be a country Under God. 
John December 01, 2012 at 12:12 PM
Whether or not it is legal, it is insensitive to people of other religions to hold a ceremony honoring Christmas at City Hall, which is paid for by all of the residents of the city, while ignoring all other traditions. It is particularly insensitive to do so after a protracted battle over a Christian prayer banner that was removed because it made a non-Christian student feel excluded at her public school. Yes, I'm very saddened that this community has learned nothing from that and that our Mayor is so insensitive to the feelings of exclusion and intolerance that non-Christians experience. Of course, the majority of our community is Christian, so that will get you the most votes. Those who truly espouse Christian beliefs, however, would seem to me to favor inclusiveness and a more welcoming attitude towards people of other faiths. Very saddened by this. I much preferred Mayor Laffey's approach of including all religious symbols equally. The flamingos were cool.
Joe Richer December 01, 2012 at 04:54 PM
We celebrate diversity by honoring all of our traditions, not be removing the traditions of the majority in order to sanctify the new tradition of the annual attempts by the minority to remove those traditions that they don't share. Tell me, how can NOT including a Christmas tree as a tradition celebrate DIVERSITY? If you truly wish to celebrate diversity then suggest additional celebrations.
Joe Richer December 01, 2012 at 04:57 PM
Then suggest adding additional ceremonies. Taking a ceremony away cannot logically be branded as supporting diversity!
John December 01, 2012 at 05:02 PM
That sounds great, Joe. Another idea would be to hold a variety of celebrations at sites other than city hall, which is simply not the appropriate venue for them. How about a Christmas tree lighting at Garden City? There's more parking there, and it would encourage shopping in Cranston.
Maya Lincoln December 01, 2012 at 05:34 PM
Joe richer, I totally agree with you. I feel that if anyone has something to add, they should add it. Also, I know the budgets are awful, but if a group of people volunteered to donate items (or even raised money throughout the year) so that they could display their culture's holiday celebrations that would be amazing. I bet there are Menorah lightings for Hanukkah, and even Kwanza Celebrations being put on by many organizations. I feel that no matter what you celebrate, you should display it. One of the best things about displaying things from the differing cultures is that we all get to learn about the different holidays that everyone in the world celebrates.
Maya Lincoln December 01, 2012 at 05:38 PM
John, that would be an amazing idea. Also, Garden City is a great place to have it, especially with the wonderful stores and the Gazebo, as well.
Joe The Plumber December 01, 2012 at 06:58 PM
John you can be "sad" and you can feel that the City is "insensitive". That's okay, if you want to feel that way. I have been saddened by govenment issues from time to time. For example, along with almost half of our country's voters, I was greatly saddened about the last election results. But that does not mean I am in favor of discontinuing the tradition of free election in our country. For you and a very few others, just being "sad" is not a justification for changing traditions. I would suggest that you take your own advise and be more tolerant and inclusive in your own attitudes about other peoples' beliefs and traditions. In other words, get over it John. Christmas time is a happy season. Don't be so sad.
Joe Richer December 01, 2012 at 09:29 PM
Well that's a fine idea...though since Garden City is private property, I respect their right to display whatever kinds of symbols and messages they wish to. But please tell me more about how diversity of expression at City Hall is not "appropriate" in a country of free men and women devoted to liberty.
Cheryl December 02, 2012 at 12:44 AM
Thank You Mayor Fung for keeping the tradition. It seems like everytime we turn around, something is being taken away from us. I embrace different religions to show the way they celebrate. If you feel you want to celebrate in your own way.. Do it. We would not fight to have your celebration come to an end. This is a diverse city. Everyone has a right to show how they celebrate. THis is how we as Christians celebrate the birth of Christ. If you don't believe in our christianity, then don't go.
John December 02, 2012 at 01:27 PM
The point is, not everybody in this city is Christian. At City Hall, which we all pay for, there should either be no religious symbols or a variety of them representing the religious diversity of our community. Celebrating the traditions of one religion is discriminatory and unnecessarily exclusive. It makes non-Christians feel unwelcome in our community, a sentiment which I, for one, do not support. I can understand traditions and why people of the Christian faith want to celebrate Christmas, I just can't understand why they have to do it at City Hall. Is there any good reason it has to be there? Or why other traditions cannot be included?
Joe Richer December 02, 2012 at 01:50 PM
Many citizens of the city LIKE it. What other reason is needed? If you wish your beliefs to be represented, then ask for a place at the ceremony to represent you beliefs. I don't believe for a second that you would be turned down. Who has ruled out inclusion of other traditions? I believe you will find the answer to be...no one. This is the people's government - you must participate to be part of it...not simply complain that you are not included when you've done nothing to be included. Why not contact the mayor or your council rep?
John December 02, 2012 at 02:01 PM
You don't seem to get it. People in the minority with respect to their religious beliefs should not need to ask for special accommodations. The default setting of our government institutions should be broad inclusiveness. I think this discussion has gone as far as it can, but I respect all of your opinions and hope you respect mine. Church and state need to be separate as a basic foundation of civil rights.
Joe The Plumber December 02, 2012 at 08:54 PM
Church and state need to be separate. The establishment clause requires that the government does not establish or show preference to one religion The free exercise clause that follows requires that the government not prohibit the free exercise of religion. A Christmas tree in the public square is the peoples free exercise of their religion. No one is being required to come to that public square and worship Jesus Christ. And the courts have found that to be the case. Free exercise, John, is also a basic foundation of civil rights.
Joe Richer December 03, 2012 at 08:59 PM
I respect your point of view, I simply do not agree for the reasons I've given. You have elected to ignore those reasons rather than refute them. If you want to open the 1'st amendment Pandora's box again...please do so....but please do me a favor and use the words of tha actual law to support your argument instead of the words "seperation of church and state". These words appear in no federal or state constituion or law. Also, please describe the process by which someone is MADE to feel unwelcome. The city sure seems crowded for such an unwelcome place. Is see churchs of every stripe and plenty of atheist activity as well (which I have no problem with) - this place seems plenty welcoming of diveristy to me.
Joe The Plumber December 03, 2012 at 08:59 PM
Borrowing this link from anothe thread: Since 1923, the United Stated National Christmas Tree is a living tree located on the Ellipse near the White House. http://dc.about.com/od/hoildaysseasonalevents/a/ChristmasTree.htm John, please just stop your foolishness.
James Demers SR December 21, 2012 at 06:30 PM
HEY WE GIVE YOU YOUR JEWHOLIDAYS AND CHRISTIAN HOLIDAYS ANDBLACK HOLIDAYS ANDEVRYTHING ELSE SO LEAVE CHRISTMAS ALONE...INGRATE ATTENTION HOARDERS
James Demers SR December 21, 2012 at 06:34 PM
RIGHT WE HAVE TO PRESS 1 FOR ENGLISH AND CATER TO THOSE WHO DONT KNOW IT OUR CHILDREN HAVE TO GO TO SCHOOL LONGER IN JUNE BECAUSE OF DAYS MISSED FOR HOLIDAYS SUCH AS RASHASHANA(I KNOW ITS SPELLED WRONG)LOL BUT YET CHRISTMAS IS SO HORRIBLE GET OVER IT AND LET US CELEBRATE OUR HOLIDAY OUR WAY AS WE LET YOU CELEBRATE YOURS YOUR WAY THANK YOU AND MEEEERRRYYYYY CHHHRRRIIISSTTTTMMAAASSSSSSS
James Demers SR December 21, 2012 at 06:40 PM
OH GET OFF IT JOHN SERIOUSLY WE ARE OVER PEOPLE LIKE YOU MOVE OUT OF THE 1 NATION UNDER GOD INDIVISIBLE IF YOU DONT BELIEVE IN ITS VALUES ORJUST CANT ACCEPT THAT OTHERS DO ...BET YOU HAVE NEVER SERVED YOUR COUNTRY EITHER RIGHT?
James Demers SR December 21, 2012 at 06:42 PM
GOOO JOE THE PLUMBER GOOD JOB
James Demers SR December 21, 2012 at 06:48 PM
MEEEERRRRRYYYYYYY CHHHRRIIIISSTTTMAAAASSSSS EEEVVVVEERRRYYY OOOONNNEEEEE IF YOU DONT BELIEVE IN CHRISTMAS DONT TAKE THAT FREE PAID DAY OFF SO EASILY AND WORK IT SO THAT THE PEOPLE THAT DO BELIEVE CAN STAY HOME WITH YOUR FAMILIES...YOU PEOPLE DONT MIND CHRISTMAS THEN DO YA
James Demers SR December 21, 2012 at 06:51 PM
I AGREE SMALL CHANGE GOV. CHAFFEE AND JOHN LOVE THAT PAID TIME OFF ON CHRISTMAS DONT THEY MEANWHILE MY DAD AT AGE 63 HAS TO WORK IT CUZ THESE PEOPLE DONT STEP UP THEN ONLY WHEN THEY TRY TO GET ATTENTION BY DOOGING OUR TRADITION

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