Rhode Island to leave 'Christmas' out of tree ceremony
Rhode Island will go ahead with plans to hold a "holiday tree" lighting ceremony in the state capital despite controversy last year over Governor Lincoln Chafee's decision to avoid using the word "Christmas" in reference to the tree.
The announcement on Tuesday that the state would hold a tree-lighting ceremony in Providence came just 24 hours after the governor's spokeswoman said the annual event had been scrubbed. Last year, protesters interrupted the ceremony with demands the conifer be officially referred to as a "Christmas tree."
Spokeswoman Christine Hunsinger blamed the confusion on a staff communication error and said there would in fact be a "holiday tree" lighting at an unspecified date.
"The governor has stated his position very clearly: He believes 'holiday' is more inclusive," she said. "It's in a building paid for by all Rhode Islanders."
Chafee's decision not to use the word Christmas in reference to the tree drew criticism from conservatives last year, including one state lawmaker who dubbed him "Governor Grinch." Some Christians see the trend towards "holiday" parties, cookies and trees as part of a secular drive to scrub the lexicon of references to Christmas.
The governor has argued that the term is consistent with the state's history of religious tolerance, and Hunsinger noted that Chafee's predecessor also used "holiday tree" on official invitations to the ceremonial lighting.
Rhode Island was founded as a 17th century haven for religious dissidents from England and neighboring Massachusetts. (Reporting by Jason McLure; Editing by Paul Thomasch and Ciro Scotti)
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Suit: Claremont's North Country Smokehouse claims $606,011 spent on diamond, SUV, more - 9
- Winnipesaukee watershed association looking to raise its profile - 0
- New Ipswich cemetery’s future is anybody guess after state objects to graves - 1
- Goffstown artisan gives new face to Wolfeboro tower - 0
- Town may have to fix grave error - 3
- Updated: Winning Powerball ticket sold in Fla.; 2, $1M tickets sold in NH - 0
- No more Winni whoppers: Fishing Derby winner will have to take lie detector test - 11
- Learning the way of the gun in Wakefield - 2
- Peterborough's renovated Adams Pool to open in June - 0
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Gambling bill scuttled, 'Now it is going to be really tough' for budget - 6
- NHIAA Roundup: BG girls’ tennis team sweeps Pinkerton - 0
- NHIAA box scores, summaries for May 22 - 0
- Officials say Goffstown High ‘safe’ after threat of violence - 0
- Manchester Community College graduates told ‘speak your minds’ - 0
- Portsmouth manhunt suspect turns himself in to police - 0
- Nurse said Exeter Hospital is making her a ‘scapegoat’ in hepatitis case - 0
- Derry council defends officials' purchases - 0
- Nashua librarian reports E-books flying off virtual shelves - 0
Memorial Day events in New Hampshire
Bruins seek repeat effort and complete sweep
Milford team wins seatbelt challenge
License revocations for DWI announced
Consider Nevada: Gambling always expands