Scott Walker Rechristens 'Holiday Tree' a 'Christmas Tree'

Wisconsin atheists not happy with the switch
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 9, 2011 11:56 AM CST
A 30-foot balsam fir from Merril, Wis, is delivered to the state Capitol Monday, Nov. 29, 2010, in Madison, Wis.   (AP Photo/Scott Bauer)

(Newser) – Scott Walker, never one to shy away from controversy, inflamed atheists on Monday by re-naming Wisconsin’s Capitol Rotunda “holiday tree” a “Christmas tree.” That’s what the tree was called from 1916 to 1985, but for the last quarter-century, lawmakers have called it by the more politically correct name. The Blaze notes that the governor didn’t make a big deal over the switch; he just put out a press release inviting Wisconsin residents to help “decorate the Capitol Christmas Tree.”

But, yes, the decision was made purposefully. “It’s a Christmas tree,” a spokesperson says. “In all honesty, I don’t know what more to say about it.” The Freedom From Religion Foundation is none too happy. “The reason that it was turned into a holiday tree was to avoid this connotation that the governor chooses one religion over another,” says the group’s president. “It’s essentially a discourtesy by the governor to announce that. He intends that to be a slight and a snub to non-Christians, otherwise he would not do it.” (Click for today's other controversial Christmas tree story.)

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