R.I. lawmakers: It’s a ‘Christmas tree’ and nothing else

Thursday, January 13, 2011

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State employees in Rhode Island must respect Christmas trees, some legislators say. Yes, that’s right, there is actually legislation on this subject.

On Jan. 6, five members of the Rhode Island House of Representatives introduced a “House Resolution Respecting Christmas Trees” (H. 5005).

Says the measure:

“RESOLVED, That it is the policy of the state that state officials and departments refer to the tree customarily erected or displayed in celebration of the period from Thanksgiving of each year to January of the following year as a ‘Christmas tree’ and not as a ‘holiday tree’ or other non-traditional terms; and

RESOLVED, Further that the Secretary of State be and he hereby is authorized and directed to send a duly certified copy of this resolution to each state agency and department.

Personally, I always refer to Christmas trees as Christmas trees. After all, that is what they are. And I don’t want somebody telling me that I cannot use the word “Christmas.” That is ridiculous censorship in the name of political correctness.

But if some want to call the Christmas tree a “holiday tree,” that is fine too. They might not believe or celebrate Christmas, and that is their right.

The First Amendment allows people to believe as they wish. It also says the government cannot compel us to speak or compel us to believe anything.

State employees should be able to call a tree in their workplace a “Christmas tree,” a “holiday tree,” or just “a tree.”

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