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Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee has defied lawmakers and decided that the state would have a “holiday tree” instead of a “Christmas tree.” Does Gov. Chafee realize that the word “holiday” means “holy day”? Not everybody is happy with the governor’s politically correct actions:

“One state representative called the governor’s politically correct tree a farce. ‘I’m sick of being politically correct,’ Rep. Doreen Costa said. ‘Nobody’s been offended by calling a Christmas tree a Christmas tree. If we have a Menorah in the State House, what are we going to call it — a candle with sticks?’

So Costa has decided to erect her own Christmas tree — at the State House. And she plans on lighting it on Dec. 6 — the same day Chafee plans to host the official ‘holiday’ tree lighting event.

“‘We’re going to sing Christmas carols and drink hot chocolate,’ she said. ‘And I’m going to make a sign — Christmas tree lighting to the right and holiday tree to the left. We’ll see who gets the crowd.’”

I realize that some government officials are substituting Happy Holidays for Merry Christmas and putting up Holiday trees instead of Christmas trees, but the trend is semantic smoke and mirrors.