Protesters Flood Controversial RI Tree Lighting

The controversial tree lighting at the Rhode Island State House came to a head Tuesday night, as Governor Lincoln Chafee lit the holiday tree.

His decision to call it a holiday tree instead of a Christmas tree has sparked national attention over whether political correctness is ruining the spirit of the season. Governor Chafee has received over 3600 calls in protest. 

Chafee claims that the word holiday is a more neutral term, and because the State House is a public building, it should welcome all people and all religions.

His beliefs triggered a protest at Tuesday's tree lighting. Those who believe it should be called a Christmas tree sang “Oh, Christmas Tree” and other carols as the Governor watched from the balcony.

Others took their protest elsewhere and organized tree lightings with the word Christmas included. One of the Christmas trees was lit just moments after the State House tree lighting outside Representative Doreen Costa's office. The other was lit just down the street at St. Patrick's church in Providence.