Skip to comments.'Holiday tree' or 'Christmas tree' in State Capitol? [Madison, WI]
Posted on 11/26/2007 3:49:08 PM PST by SJackson
Another battle over separation of church and state may be on the horizon with a proposal scheduled to go in front of an Assembly committee Wednesday.
The issue? What to call the tree that sits in the State Capitol during the holiday season.
Currently the tree is referred to as a "holiday tree," but the resolution that will be brought to the Committee on State Affairs would rename it as the Wisconsin State Christmas Tree.
Michael Schoenfield, legislative aide to Rep. Marlin Schneider, D-Wisconsin Rapids, who is sponsoring the resolution, said the state should refer to the tree as a Christmas tree because that is what it is.
"A rose is a rose is a rose," Schoenfield said. "Whatever you call it, it is going to be a Christmas tree, so call it what it is."
The tree has been referred to as a holiday tree ever since 1985, according to the resolution. Schoenfield said Schneider brought up the idea of returning to the name Christmas tree because it symbolizes a part of many Wisconsin citizens' heritage.
Schoenfield said that for some, the name holiday tree may also be offensive.
"As a Jew, I have a problem calling it a holiday tree," Schoenfield said. "It's not my holiday."
According to Mike Westling of the state Department of Administration, the tree is not the only display put up in the Capitol to celebrate the holidays.
Westling said there will be a menorah on display Dec. 4-13, a Baptist Church holiday sign up Dec. 3-8 and an interfaith awareness display Dec. 10-14.
Schoenfield said he has not heard any opposition to the resolution so far, but also said he anticipates there will be somebody who has a problem with it.
Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the Madison-based Freedom From Religion Foundation, said Schneider should withdraw the resolution and added that he needed a civics lesson.
"When you call it a Christmas tree, that's a celebration of Christmas, which is a Christian holiday," Gaylor said. "So what does the state of Wisconsin need with a Christmas tree?
"It is a proposal that shows ill will, and it isn't necessary," Gaylor said. "What does it say to the rest of us who aren't Christian if you call it a Christmas tree? Why is he forcing it to be a state-owned Christmas tree?
"It is just a tree, but when you put Christian in front of it, it becomes a symbol of the majority," Gaylor said.
The tree is being put up in the Capitol rotunda today.
I did read the article, thank you very much, I’m expressing MY OPINION about the HOLIDAY crowd, thank you for listening......like I SAID, I’m sick of this nonsense, it took TWENTY TWO YEARS of fighting to get them to revert back to Christmas tree..........so my question remains, WHEN/WHERE does it end?
I think they need to take the tree away from us for ‘The Common Good!’
It’s freedom OF Religion, not freedom FROM Religion!
When is Annie Laurie and her motley crew going to be investigated for financial fraud and tax evasion? Hopefully within my lifetime!
Sorry, misunderstood. I suppose these things never end. I thought the proposal was a positive, but even if they rename it a Christmas tree, can’t believe this dates to 1985, there’ll be discussion in the future.
My ‘Wisconsin Conservative Politics Ping List’ is defunct. No one seems interested, anymore. I’m not taking it personally. Maybe I’ll build a new one after the first of the year. :)
Can't call it that. I prefer "holiday candelabra."
Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the Madison-based Freedom From Religion Foundation...
There are catchphrases that tell you the user is attempting a power grab, and "freedom from" is one of them. "Freedom from fear," for example, tells you that the user is claiming the right to a veto on any of your activities she or he considers threatening. Anyone using "freedom from" wants something from you, usually your freedom.
End the debate and get a Festivus Pole.
Call it Brett Favre.
Yes indeed, it is a Christmas tree. Why would they have it there if it wasn’t for Christmas? A holiday tree could be almost anything. I have never heard of a need to have a tree for any other holiday. None for Easter, none for Memorial Day, none for 4th of July. So why call it a “Holiday” tree. It is and always has been a CHRISTMAS tree and no group of whining, sniveling grinches is going to change my mind. Too bad if they don’t like that name. They just need to grow up and get a life.
Now, Wisconsin and Madison in particular has become the Zimbabwe of the USA.
Sweetheart, I think you are the only conservative left in Wisconsin!
And I’m not going down without a fight, Baby! ;)
This is our GOVERNOR with his "Festivus Pole." (James Doyle, D, WI) I kid you not.
Who cares! Boy I wish this was the only issue we had to worry about. Man we have a war going on, an election very soon, abortions every minute and we worry about some stupid title. God I am so glad I am secure in my Christian Faith. I feel sorry for those who are not and need to be reminded about Jesus Christ.
I would expect nothing less from a “Red Arrow Babe”!
What a Dork!
Thanks for remembering! :)
When I was in the 32d, the insignia was just the Barred Red Arrow and a pain to sew on! Placing it on the rectangle sure makes it easier to sew on!