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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’s Defense

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.

You might call those shoes. But I say they’re your twin turbo-cars. You should park ‘em in your driveway!

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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Comments:

Governor Chafee is the Embodiment of Stupidity!

Comment #1 by donatello gori on 2011 12 03

Much ado about nothing! With all the problems Rhode Island is facing, why focus on this silliness?

Comment #2 by Peter Cassels on 2011 12 03

Peter, you are right to a degree. There are more important things to worry about. But that doesn't mean this is a "non-issue". I think there is a great argument to be made that there shouldn't be religious symbols in the State House at all. But if we are going to have a Christmas Tree it should be called a Christmas Tree. Not to do so is Orwellian to the core. And it says a lot about an elected official if they cannot even be honest in the use of words. So to that extent this is not a "non-issue."

Comment #3 by ProJo Login on 2011 12 03

Mr. Cassels: we focus on this left-wing politician's actions because he persists in sticking his fingers in our eyes. We do it because we have a right to do so.Tha right is defined by our National and State Constitutions, and not by the Left's reinterpretations of our rights. We have a perfect right to draw a line in the sand, and to go after this Lefty when he crosses it. Any other questions?

Comment #4 by Michael Trenn on 2011 12 03

And if you caught the Three Stooges reference, 10 extra points! With his haircut so closely resembling that of Shemp, I think it's time for a new nickname: Governor Shemp. He was the stooge that people really didn't like.

Comment #5 by Michael Trenn on 2011 12 03

_________
If I was a liberal, I wouldn't want to focus on this either, Peter.

This is actually very important stuff. As TRAVIS ROWLEY writes, this is "the exact insanity that Americans have not only grown tired of, but also increasingly view as extremely harmful to the country they love."

And every time someone says, usually liberals, that we should focus on other more important things it makes me want to scream. It's not US who are focusing on it. It's the POLITICALLY CORRECT LIBERALS who have been focusing on this stuff for years. And we're just finally getting sick of it, and calling out this garbage for what it truly is.

Comment #6 by Bryan Sullivan on 2011 12 03

chaffee is the worst thing to hit this state since the '38 hurricane . and , possibly causing more devestation . rhode are sick and tired of him p
forcing his absurd and skewed views on the residents of this state .

Comment #7 by Nick Patriarca on 2011 12 03

I think since this has created such a controversy its only necessary that the Governor return the tree back to Big John, and cancel the holiday celebrations all together. We could probably save some money as we face yet another deficit. You want to celebrate Christmas, as individuals and families you can go to church, you spend time together and you actually take time to thank God for the life that you have. You don't spend 6 days complaining that in some press release the word Christmas was replaced by holiday.

Comment #8 by Jared Harris on 2011 12 03

All of you who want to pretend that you're above this discussion, why can't you stay out of it then?? I, for one, think this is an extremely important debate. I repeat myself from above...

"And every time someone says, usually liberals, that we should focus on other more important things it makes me want to scream. It's not US who are focusing on it. It's the POLITICALLY CORRECT LIBERALS who have been focusing on this stuff for years. And we're just finally getting sick of it, and calling out this garbage for what it truly is."

Comment #9 by Bryan Sullivan on 2011 12 03

Chafee has again demonstrated disrespect for the majority of RIer's by purposely creating a problem where none existed to feed his patrician ego.
First,he eliminated a sensible executve order by his predecessor oncerning immigration issues.
Secondly,he tried to take the last 20% of income from destitute veterans at the RI Veterans'Home.Thank God he backed down.
He made an end run around the GA to illegally institute in state tuition for illegal aliens.
He tried to tax EVERYTHING while cheating on his own auto and property tax.
There's more,but this is for starters.

Comment #10 by joe bernstein on 2011 12 03

My humble opinion: this issue is more important than RI's deficit problem. This is about government control and taking God out of our lives in every way possible. No God = No prosperity. No man builds a sturdy home on a weak foundation.

CHRISTmas.

Comment #11 by Kevin O'Connor on 2011 12 04

Travis Rowley: Governor Chafee is the Embodiment of Modern Liberalism

And...Travis Rowley is the epitome of Fox News, kee-jerk, half-truth distortion.

Get a life Travis...

Comment #12 by mike parker on 2011 12 04

___\
Actually, MIKE PARKER, the only thing "knee-jerk" here is your decision to call the article "knee-jerk"...Rowley's article was actually a pretty well-thought-out and articulate opinion.

And notice the continuation of the theme under all of ROWLEY's artices: Almost every critic fails to enter the debate. MIKE PARKER, why don't you try explaining why this is a "half-truth distortion"...rather than just saying so???

Comment #13 by Bryan Sullivan on 2011 12 04

Excellent article it is, one which slams home the point that for more than thirty years, those who misleadingly call themselves 'liberals' are in fact the fascists, nazis, communists, and fifth columnists of an earlier and more plain spoken era.

Yeah, that's right, I said it: communism, fascism, and naziism are well understood to be the three legs of that putrid, rancid, putrescent insect known as socialism, a toxic lab creation of 19th century nutcase, karl marx.

Socialism appeals to the most vain of tyrants, all of whom readily acknowledge that communism has failed everywhere it's been tried, with famine, police states, pestilence, mayhem, misery, and genocide the inevitable and sole results - never prosperity or liberty.

But, say all vainglorious aspiring tyrants, when I implement communism, surely it will work beautifully!

Ah, malignant narcississm, eh?

Yeah. Right. Socialism works all right. Just ask castro, and he'll tell ya, it works. Look what communism did for his Swiss bank accounts, not to mention the power of life and death he's wielded over eleven million suffering Cubans since he stole the country, with the help of the NYSlimes.

Paul Vincent Zecchino
Manasoviet Key, Florida
04 December, 2011

Comment #14 by paul zecchino on 2011 12 05

This must mean that Governor Carcieri was also the embodiment of God-less society. He also referred to it as a "holiday tree!"

Comment #15 by Anthony Bruno on 2011 12 05

@ ANTHONY - Not exactly. It has been Chafee's defiance to people saying that the tree should be referred to as a Christmas Tree that has exposed his ideology. Carcieri was on the radio today saying that he agreed with Chafee's critics. If Carcieri ever called it a "Holiday Tree," it seems to have been a personal misstep.

Comment #16 by Bryan Sullivan on 2011 12 05

Let's call a Christmas tree a Christmas tree, so to speak.
This whole kerfluffle over a tree is not about tradition, or religion. It's about politics, pure and simple. Carcieri called it a holiday tree? Not a peep. Chafee does it? You'd think he was issuing a declaration that Dec. 25 be renamed al-Qaida Day.
This is all about a radio talk show host who has an obvious agenda (and is willing to lie to a 10-year-old on air that Chafee wants to stop Santa from coming and Rhode Islanders from celebrating the birth of Christ), and a few politicians and Catholic leaders who enable him.
And I speak as a graduate of the same fine castle of Catholic learning as this gentleman, and I've called it a Christmas tree my whole life.
Thankfully, on-air demagoguery will not stop Christmas from coming this year. No matter our beliefs or our opinions on what the Christmas tree should be called, let's all take a deep breath.

Comment #17 by David Pepin on 2011 12 05

A personal misstep?! For 8 years in a row? Take your Republican blinders off for two minutes and maybe you'll realize that this is the most overblown issue to face RI in years.

Mr. Pepin: I couldn't have said it better myself. Unfortunately, all too many of our fellow Rhode Islanders buy into the talk-radio nonsense that is spewed on a daily basis.

Comment #18 by Anthony Bruno on 2011 12 06

-----------
I don't know why some people are acting as if this conversation is beneath them. I think it's an important issue and a worthy discussion....That is, the potential for political correctness to drastically alter our society. I thought this was pretty insightful...

ROWLEY, T.
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.
_________________________

Comment #19 by Bryan Sullivan on 2011 12 06




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