Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee Cancels Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony

Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee speaks with a reporter while seated in the backseat of a vehicle, in South Kingstown, R.I., Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012. (Photo Credit: AP)

During the 2011 holiday season, Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee created a firestorm when he renamed the state’s Christmas tree a “holiday tree.”

At the time, the politician said that the decision to change the tradition was rooted in a desire to be more inclusive. Now, just one year later, Chafee has inexplicably cancelled the tree-lighting ceremony altogether.

According to Fox News’ Todd Starnes, no reason was given for the decision to axe the annual tradition. Perhaps the governor was attempting to be even more inclusive by removing the tree-lighting — or, it’s quite possible that he simply wanted to avoid further controversy.

Last year, Chafee told those who voiced their anger over the “holiday tree” designation that they should turn their energies to other issues, like helping those around them who were in need.

“I would encourage all those engaged in this discussion – whatever their opinion on the matter – to use their energy and enthusiasm to make a positive difference in the lives of their fellow Rhode Islanders,” he said at the time.

Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee Cancels Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony

A tree referred to as a “holiday tree” by Gov. Lincoln Chafee is lit up in the rotunda of the statehouse in Providence, R.I. Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2011. (Photo Credit: AP)

There’s no telling how other politicians will respond to Chafee’s newest Christmas proclamation. Last year, Republican State Rep. Doreen Costa was so enraged that she went out, purchased a tree and held a protest lighting. She’s planning to take similar actions again this year.

“I’m sick of being politically correct. Nobody’s been offended by calling a Christmas tree a Christmas tree,” she told Starnes. “If we have a Menorah in the State House, what are we going to call it – a candle with sticks?”

So, while residents may not have a Christmas tree lighting sanctioned by the governor, they will at least have a ceremony to attend that is being organized by one of their representatives.

(H/T: Fox News’ Todd Starnes)

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