Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Lincoln Chafee, Coward

Protesters Gather At Rhode Island Statehouse For “Holiday Tree” Lighting
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (CBS) – After his decision to call the official, 17-foot spruce in the Statehouse rotunda a “holiday” tree, Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee was flooded with complaints. So he knew, going into this evening’s tree lighting, that he was in for it. So, as a children’s choir sang Christmas carols, he quietly approached the podium, flipped the switch, and just walked away, smiling.

RI residents were rightfully upset about Chafee's decision to call this a "Holiday Tree" rather than a "Christmas tree", and had gathered to sing "O Christmas Tree" over Chafee's speech. Except that Chafee took the coward's way out and declined to give a speech, knowing that there was no way he could possibly defend the name change. Rather than face the consequences of his actions, he bravely ran away. I'd like our elected officials to have greater intestinal fortitude than Sir Robin, but I guess that's too much to ask.

Look, here's the thing. It's a Christmas tree whether you want it to be secular or not. There is no other "tree" associated with any other holiday this time of year - there's no Ramadan bush, or Chanukah shrub, or anything else other than a Christmas tree. If you have such a problem with the concept of Christmas as it pertains to state politics, then pass on the whole tree ceremony entirely. No tree, no ceremony, no nothing. Don't insult people by changing the name only and leaving everything else the same. That's a PC cop-out and everyone knows it.

Either walk the walk, or don't talk the talk, you craven politically correct poltroon.

That is all.


Old NFO said...

Well said, and no four letter words! Proud of you for that Jay! :-)

John said...

I intend putting up a Holiday Tree of my own, but I'm going to do one in July. I'm going to put red, white, and blue lights on it, hang an assortment of various cartridges from its boughs, branches, and limbs, and maybe buy myself a new firearm to wrap in some festive paper to place beneath it... I'm calling it an Independence Tree.

Anonymous said...

I've never understood why people had to try and make Christmas secular. If you want to avoid religious stuff, just don't celebrate it. It's a Christian holiday. It's been commercialized to all get-out, yeah, but it is at the core of it a religious holiday and if that is something you want to avoid, really the only thing you can do is absolutely nothing. You don't have to be Christian to celebrate it yourself, but you can't exactly take a Christian holiday and remove Christianity from it without seeming a little sketchy.

Ed said...

The use of evergreens and the leaves of date palms to mark the endurance and rebirth of life following the winter solstice predates Christianity. In that sense, it truly is a "holiday" tree, and you get to choose the holiday you associate with it. Also, let us not forget the origin of the Yule log.

Daniel in Brookline said...


The non-Christian origins of the Christmas tree are well known. That doesn't stop it from being a symbol of Christmas now. (By way of analogy, we use red, white, and blue on our flag. We were not the first to do so, and we have not been the last. That doesn't stop us from using those colors to mean what they mean to us.)

I'm with Jay. A decorated tree in December in America has significance only to Christians celebrating Christmas, and it's silly to pretend otherwise.

(Among my own people, you may be interested to know that the Star of David is a relatively recent symbol. We had many other, much older symbols... one of which was the swastika. The Nazis took that symbol and made it their own... and today that symbol is uniquely theirs.)

Daniel in Brookline

Ed said...

Ultimately, it is the individual who assigns the meaning of symbolism despite what the state assigns. In Penn Dutch country, sun symbols (swastikas) still adorn barns. Cultures relatively uninfluenced by the disastrous effects of the Third Reich Germans still use forms of them, as is their right. It is wrong for others to prohibit or assign whatever meaning they prefer. For example, many still use what is referred to as the "peace" symbol, which some state is formed by the superimposed semaphore flag signals of 'N' and 'D' for nuclear disarmament. The League of German Girls (similar to the male Hitler Youth) used a similar patch, inverted, signifying "life", for medical workers.

To use your color example, red, green and white are sacred to the Druids, a pagan religion practiced in Celtic cultures long before Christianity. The use by one group does not prohibit the use by others. This is not the NFL, that regulates team color choices.

George Washington favored the use of the six pointed star in the first U.S. flag and used it in his own personal flag. I have read that the six pointed star refers to the authority of God while the five pointed star refers to authority of the nation. Thirteen five pointed stars formed to form a six pointed star as in the Great Seal of the United States refers to the states united under God's authority.

Which of these are correct and which are the results of a very fertile imagination? I don't know. You decide, for yourself.

Robert said...

So, the Rhode Island governor is chastised for calling the Christmas tree a holiday tree. Huh. Here in Wisconson our governor got in hot water for calling the holiday tree a Christmas tree. I have an idea- all the politicians just shut the heck up and leave the poor trees alone. There, I feel better now.

ParatrooperJJ said...

Chafee has always been a wimp....

Charles Lee Scudder said...

I'm putting up my little Yule tree, and decorating it. :) no seriously Dec 22 happy winter solstice. Or happy what ever you believe.