Every year, decent, red-blooded Americans attempt to celebrate the humble holiday of the birth of their savior. And every year, more and more government bureaucrats paper over Baby Jesus because of some antiquated "separation of church and state" policy. At least the Rockefeller Christmas Tree-Corpse is still a Christmas tree. But the same can't be said of Rhode Island's "Holiday tree," which Governor Lincoln Chafee lit up last night. "He's trying to put our religion down, one man told the AP. "It's a Christmas tree. It always has been and it always will be, no matter what that buffoon says it is."
Chafee's office was inundated with 3,500 phone calls about the tree's designation, and Rhode Island is an overwhelmingly Catholic state. The governor responded to questions of his Christmas cred by playing the "inclusiveness" card: "If it's in my house it's a Christmas tree, but when I'm representing all of Rhode Island I have to be respectful of everyone." For shame! What would Roger Williams think? Wait, scratch that. On second thought, what does Pauly D think?!
Timothy Reilly, chancellor of the Providence diocese, agrees that the governor has lost his way: "He probably had the best of intentions but somewhere, somehow we lost hold of the true meaning of the season. It's all about the baby Jesus. We tend to almost forget this." Wait, the baby who? Baby Bjorns are on sale? Where?
Stephen Nissenbaum, a professor emeritus at UMass-Amherst and the author of "The Battle for Christmas," attempts to put things in perspective. "I don't think Christmas has ever been a settled tradition," he says. "We always look back to the days when Christmas was pure and simple and it never was." What about thousands of years ago when those polar bears were sliding around and drinking Coca-Cola? Things seemed pretty simple then.