Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Boston ticks off off people with its "Holiday Tree"

Nation: Its that time of the year for politically correct nonsense from Massy.

A spruce tree grower in Nova Scotia isn't happy his 16-metre Christmas tree has become a "holiday" tree in Massachusetts. Every fall, the province sends a tree to Boston as a thank-you gift for the help the New England city gave Halifax after the devastating 1917 ship explosion that levelled parts of Nova Scotia's capital. Officials with Boston's parks department decided it would be less offensive to some people and generally more inclusive if the word "Christmas" was dropped when they referred to the tree. "A lot of people celebrate various religious holidays but also enjoy the lights, and we're trying to be inclusive," said Toni Pollak, Boston's commissioner of parks. But Donnie Hatt, of Beech Hill, says he wouldn't have sent his 36-year-old white spruce to Boston this year if he knew it would be called a "holiday" tree. In fact, he'd rather see it run through the wood chipper in his backyard. "I think it's a bunch of bullcrap," Hatt said Tuesday. "The States is never happy with the way things are. They always gotta change something. "Ever since I was born, a tree was put up for Christmas, not for holidays, because if you're gonna do that you might as well put a tree up for Easter." Not everyone in Boston agrees with the name change, either. "A lot of us felt it wasn't right," said resident Ray Brochu. "How could they have the right to even change the name of a gift that was given to us from the people up there?"
But they backed down really fast when the word got out.
Jerry Falwell and an army of conservative lawyers drew a line in the snow yesterday, warning Boston and other cities: Don’t mess with Christmas. And even before the first volley was fired, City Hall caved. Just after a top lawyer for the conservative Liberty Counsel blasted the Hub’s annual “holiday tree” ceremony, a Menino administration official scrambled to do damage control. “This is a Christmas tree,” Boston Parks Commissioner Toni Pollak insisted about the Nova Scotia spruce the city will light Dec. 1 on historic Boston Common. “It’s definitely a Christmas tree.” However, the city’s official Web site refers to the event as “Boston’s Official Holiday Tree Lighting.” “Calling a Christmas tree a holiday tree isn’t being inclusive. It’s disenfranchising people of faith. It’s like calling a menorah a candle stick,” said Mathew Staver, Liberty Counsel’s president and general counsel.

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