“HOLIDAY TREES” ARE DIVISIVE
Catalyst January/February Issue 2012
In Wisconsin, for the first time in years, they reverted back to calling the Capitol Rotunda Christmas tree a Christmas tree: it was called a Christmas tree for 70 years until it was renamed a Holiday tree in the mid-1980s.
In Rhode Island, Governor Lincoln Chafee decided to continue the politics of intolerance by calling the Capitol Rotunda Christmas tree a Holiday tree.
Annie Laurie Gaylor of the Madison, Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation explained why the Christmas tree in Wisconsin was rebranded the Holiday tree: “Calling it a Holiday tree was meant to be inclusive.” Ironically, it has proven to be divisive—the uproar was in Rhode Island, not Wisconsin.
According to the Providence Journal, 87 percent of the people in Rhode Island prefer to call the Christmas tree a Christmas tree; only 8 percent think it should be called a Holiday tree. In Wisconsin, there is no discord: calling the Christmas tree a Christmas tree has brought people together. Which is why Rhode Island should learn a lesson in civility and community by calling its Christmas tree a Christmas tree.
By the way, what holiday does the Holiday tree represent?