Gregg Easterbrook on the Holiday Tree

In his pro-football column for ESPN, Gregg Easterbrook (who has written about the subject Christmas decorations for years, mostly on the subject of how they come out much too early for his tastes) offers various thoughts on the RI “Holiday Tree” controversy, including…

It is yet another sign of the low state of political discourse that the governor of Rhode Island doesn’t know the difference between religious and secular symbols. One reason respect for government keeps declining is that public figures, such as Gov. Chafee, make themselves look ridiculous on basic subjects. If a governor of a state makes himself look ridiculous on something a schoolchild can understand, how can government be trusted with complex matters? And whether a holiday frill is a “holiday” tree or a “Christmas” tree is a trifling matter, but speaks to the inability of modern political correctness to use straightforward language. As Orwell warned, we cannot think clearly unless we call things what they are.

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10 years ago

Sheesh. National coverage including even ESPN.

Bucket Chick
Bucket Chick
10 years ago

THIS. It is not that government should be in the business of endorsing religion or that religious celebrations should be acknowledged by government. It is the incredible intellectual dishonesty involved when a man elected governor decides it is within his power or his duty to rename a universally recognized symbol in the name of “inclusiveness.” There are several holidays that are celebrated in December, but only one is associated with a decorated evergreen. It is not endorsing a particular faith to acknowledge that that symbol is a Christmas tree any more than it is to call a Menorah a Menorah.

Max D
Max D
10 years ago

If a governor of a state makes himself look ridiculous on something a schoolchild can understand
Easterbrook is giving Chafee way too much credit if he thinks Chafee should be able to out think schoolchildren.

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