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Boston "holiday tree" stirs controversy

Old 11-27-05, 12:59 PM
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Boston "holiday tree" stirs controversy

this is so stupid.....

http://today.reuters.com/news/newsar...REE.xml&rpc=22

BOSTON (Reuters) - Boston set off a furor this week when it officially renamed a giant tree erected in a city park a "holiday tree" instead of a "Christmas tree."

The move drew an angry response from Christian conservatives, including evangelist Jerry Falwell who heckled Boston officials and pressed the city to change the name back.

"There's been a concerted effort to steal Christmas," Falwell told Fox Television.

The Nova Scotia logger who cut down the 48-foot (14-meter) tree was indignant and said he would not have donated the tree if he had known of the name change.

"I'd have cut it down and put it through the chipper," Donnie Hatt told a Canadian newspaper. "If they decide it should be a holiday tree, I'll tell them to send it back. If it was a holiday tree, you might as well put it up at Easter."

Falwell and the conservative Liberty Counsel led a campaign that threatened to sue anyone who spreads what they see as misinformation about Christmas celebrations in public spaces.

The controversy reflects the legal vulnerability of city and state governments over taxpayer-funded displays of religious icons and concern over crossing the line in the separation between church and state.

Last year, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger lit what he called a "Christmas tree" at a state ceremony. The year before, he and former California Gov. Gray Davis presided over ceremonies for the more secular "holiday trees."

In Boston, many residents voiced their dismay over the Web site that promotes a December 1 ceremony for "Boston's Official Holiday Tree Lighting."

Christmas has become too politically correct, said 64 percent of people who responded to an online poll by a CBS television affiliate in Boston.

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino said he would keep calling the Nova Scotia spruce a "Christmas tree" regardless of what it said on the city's official Web site.

"I grew up with a Christmas tree, I'm going to stay with a Christmas tree," Menino told reporters on Thursday.

But the controversy cast a pall over a long-standing tradition between Boston and Canada. Nova Scotia donates a tree each year to Boston in gratitude for the city's help after an explosion killed about 1,900 people and injured 4,000 others in Halifax in 1917.
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Old 11-27-05, 01:06 PM
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Next thing ya know, they'll be telling us there's no Santa Claus ....
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Old 11-27-05, 01:07 PM
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You mean Holiday Claus?
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Old 11-27-05, 01:16 PM
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Well, I'm confused. I thought Christmas trees were totally secular, and therefore, nobody should object if a Christmas tree were put up on public prooperty using public funds. Why is Falwell getting so upset?
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Old 11-27-05, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by JasonF
Well, I'm confused. I thought Christmas trees were totally secular, and therefore, nobody should object if a Christmas tree were put up on public prooperty using public funds. Why is Falwell getting so upset?
It has nothing to do with a tree. It's all about the use of holiday instead of Christmas.
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Old 11-27-05, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Trout
It has nothing to do with a tree. It's all about the use of holiday instead of Christmas.
Well, then I'll speak more plainly:

Should the City of Boston be using taxpayer funds to celebrate Christmas?
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Old 11-27-05, 01:51 PM
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This would make for a great Boston Legal episode - get Denny Crane on the case.
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Old 11-27-05, 05:22 PM
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Going through something similar in my area, I was amazed that about half of those who were upset were not religious. But, I think if that made press, it would kill the sensationalism.
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Old 11-27-05, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Red Dog
This would make for a great Boston Legal episode - get Denny Crane on the case.
My initial thought as well.
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Old 11-27-05, 07:27 PM
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This is a shrewd move on Bostons part...call it a holiday tree and you legally celebrate Christmas with taxpayer money.

Its not like anyone in Boston thinks its NOT a Christmas tree


Boston Mayor Thomas Menino said he would keep calling the Nova Scotia spruce a "Christmas tree" regardless of what it said on the city's official Web site.
Comeon, this is Boston...if you aint Irish Catholic, they dont give a fuck about you
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Old 11-27-05, 11:13 PM
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wait long enough, and they'll probably rename christmas ....
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Old 11-28-05, 02:07 AM
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This is crazy. When you get a big tree all done up with lights and the works in November or December.. guess what? It's a freakin' Christmas tree no matter what you call it. So, enough with the PC crap already.
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Old 11-28-05, 06:33 AM
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Falwell should just shut up. He hurts his cause by going there and being a cry-baby. The furor that the renaming is going to create is now going to be re-directed towards him.
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Old 11-28-05, 07:41 AM
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What? Athiest don't like hundreds of blinking lights on a huge tree? I thought it would increase their high. Fucking pagans...
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Old 11-28-05, 07:45 AM
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I put up my "Holiday-Mas" lights yesterday on my balcony. It was a sight to see. My first set of icicle lights.
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Old 11-28-05, 07:50 AM
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I think it's a beautiful thing how, this holiday season, the Reverend Falwell has brought the liberals and conservatives here together, by giving them something they both oppose - himself.
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Old 11-28-05, 08:36 AM
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I'm waiting for Fallwell to say the City of Boston will now face the wrath of God......and then backpeddle.
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Old 11-28-05, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by JasonF
Well, I'm confused. I thought Christmas trees were totally secular, and therefore, nobody should object if a Christmas tree were put up on public prooperty using public funds. Why is Falwell getting so upset?
Probably because of the ridiculous lengths some will go to separate church & state.
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