Keller @ Large: It’s A *Christmas* Tree, Just Call It That

BOSTON (CBS) – Believe me, I didn’t want to do another story this year about timid bureaucrats and their politically-correct insistence on avoiding any mention of the word “Christmas.”

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

But here we go again, with not just one but two state capitals embroiled in completely avoidable seasonal nonsense.

Read: Guide To Finding A Christmas Tree

Let’s start in Providence, Rhode Island, where Gov. Lincoln Chafee is referring to the Christmas tree in front of the State House as a “holiday tree.”

According to the Associated Press, Chafee says this is in line with his state’s tradition as a safe-haven for religious tolerance and separation of church and state.

And he says: “I would encourage all those engaged in this discussion…to use their energy and enthusiasm to make a positive difference in the lives of their fellow Rhode Islanders.”

Gov. Chafee might follow his own advice, and stop wasting his time gratuitously slighting the overwhelming majority of his state’s residents, who do recognize Christmas.

Show me someone who is truly aggrieved by the erection of a Christmas tree at Christmastime in a public place and I’ll show you a crank, the ignoring of whom ought to be a minimal standard of political leadership.

But kudos go out to Boston Mayor Tom Menino, who was appalled when I told him yesterday that his own Parks Department was refusing to identify the Christmas tree in Copley Square as a Christmas tree.

Menino boldly says he “believes in Christmas and believes in Christmas trees,” and promised to lean on the Parks Department to cut it out.

A few hours later he still hadn’t gotten around to it; a department spokeswoman told me: the Copley Square tree is “a public decoration to celebrate the holidays,” which people celebrate “in different ways.”

I have three words for her, Gov. Chaffee, and everyone else who still thinks it’s the right thing to do to pretend a Christmas tree can’t be called by its proper name – please, stop it.

And have a very Merry Christmas.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. and 12:25 p.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.

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