Travis Rowley: Governor Chafee is the Embodiment of Modern Liberalism
Saturday, December 03, 2011
“Rhode Island was founded by Roger Williams on freedom of religion — not absence of religion. For Governor Chafee to try to homogenize this very heterogeneous world is absurd…It’s misguided at least, and it’s hurtful at worst.” – Rae-Anne Laprade, Common Sense Rhode Islander
In case anyone was still wondering, this is what people mean whenever they say that the essence of liberalism is to be so open-minded that your brains fall out.
In defiance to a Republican-sponsored House resolution that passed with unanimous approval last January, Governor Lincoln Chafee is insisting on referring to the State House Christmas Tree – notably donated by Big John Leyden's Christmas Tree Farm – as a “Holiday Tree.”
Chafee’s preposterous mindset is precisely the reason for the emergence of such popular phrases as “political correctness run amok,” and is the exact insanity that Americans have not only grown tired of, but also increasingly view as extremely harmful to the country they love.
But is it really any surprise that the man who believes that being extra-super-nice to people is the key to a thriving economy would also be seduced by the Left’s justifications for removing Christ from Christmas?
Pressing for a more “welcoming” Rhode Island, Chafee argued for gay marriage and passivity toward illegal immigration last January, claiming that “these two actions will do more for economic growth in our state than any economic development loan.” “Yes, I do believe that,” was Chafee’s response after Channel 10’s Jim Taricani questioned the Governor on his assertion.
Now we learn from our gubernatorial sage that, because our “world is changing” in terms of its “diversity,” attempting to amend the meaning of a longstanding image makes perfect sense.
Culture, truth, tradition – not to mention, reality – be damned! There are more Atheistic Antarcticans in Rhode Island than ever before!
Chafee has defended his distortion of reality with the Left’s classic incomprehension of the concept of a “separation between church and state,” professing that the barring of all religious symbols is entirely consistent with the spirit of the First Amendment, the vision of Roger Williams, and the whole of the American heritage.
Absurd on its face, the Left believes that public people and public places have no business showcasing any religious imagery.
But if Chafee really wanted to keep religion detached from government, wouldn’t he have simply forbidden all religious symbols from State House property? Instead, the Governor tried to keep with tradition while also attempting to satisfy everybody by giving the Christmas tree a false name.
And here’s where Chafee’s brains fall out.
The word “holiday,” according to Chafee, "symbolizes religious freedom." But this is just Chafee altering the definition of another word. The word “holiday” is, actually, designated for very specific dates during the calendar year in which people celebrate very specific events and values.
Again, liberals want to have it both ways: Allow Christians to continue to view the tree as a celebration of Christmas; but, in order to avoid offending anyone, and in order to satisfy the Left’s understanding of the role of religion in politics, they must also allow everyone else to interpret the tree as they wish.
Surely we aren’t celebrating Memorial Day with the display of this “holiday” tree. So which holidays are being represented? Which ones are in play, Governor? The moment Chafee answers this question, he’s in trouble. The tree, therefore, must represent anything to anyone in order for his design to work. Christmas, Kwanzaa, “religious freedom,” the Church of the Pink Flamingo, Little League Baseball – these are all acceptable objects of worship, and thereby worthy of the “holiday tree.” That’s the only way to truly fulfill the Left’s multicultural religion. In Chafee’s world, the tree symbolizes everything. Therefore, the tree symbolizes nothing.
Nice work, Governor.
Conservatives Were Right
Conservative commentators have long warned that banning traditional symbols that serve as reminders of a people’s history, purpose, and moral foundation – whether a left-wing conspiracy or not – is to ultimately make room for replacements. Worshipping nothing is impossible. Even a void is iconic.
In the case of the West, secular totality, multiculturalism, and moral relativity have been the substitutions for a post-Christian society.
Chafee’s official rationale for the tree’s name-change is informative: "Use of the term 'holiday tree' is a continuation of past practice, and does not represent a change of course on my part."
Chafee is excusing the expulsion of American traditions by pointing to America’s new secular tradition.
Well, well, well. Who’s the “conservative” now?
The “world is changing,” says the Governor. Absolutely. There’s a new religion in town. And its emptiness is just as powerful as any traditional religious symbol.
Political Correctness vs. Common Sense
Explaining the nature, origin, and true purpose of political correctness can be difficult. That’s the Left’s advantage. While spawning confusion as they redesign American society, liberals also scare the hell out of everyone, making it emphatically clear that anybody who questions their new order is doomed to fall under one of their most common categories of defamation – dumb, racist, sexist, homophobic, religious zealot, etc.
As for the five Republican representatives who co-sponsored January’s House resolution, they did a good thing. Even the Democrats – the party of political correctness – were shamed into voting for the measure.
More importantly, however, the enemies of political correctness are allied with men such as Big John Leyden, who commented, "It's not a holiday tree or even an Xmas tree…We're a Christmas tree farm. That's what the name is."
Another nuisance to the politically correct Left is Ted Slader of North Scituate, who took his young daughter to the State House to sing Christmas carols with her classmates: “The whole way here, we were getting fired up about it…I know [Chafee is] just a left-wing nut job and everything, but you can’t say the word Christmas? The average Joe I talk to, they’re fed up with that. To the average person, it’s a Christmas tree.”
Political correctness has nothing on such plain-speak.
Travis Rowley (TravisRowley.com) is chairman of the RI Young Republicans and a consultant for the Barry Hinckley Campaign for US Senate.
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