A lot of things shouldn’t make the national news, and yet the antics happening at the Wisconsin State Capitol over the “C” word are becoming an annoyance for some, a sleigh wreck (In an I-can’t-look-away) for others, and a national spectacle. It started a few weeks ago when the governor of our state put out a news release asking public school children to help brighten up a certain Madison tradition known for many years–25 in fact– as the Holiday Tree, thanks to those who made a huge stink about the C word more than two decades ago.

In the release, Governor Walker invited, “art teachers, parents, and youth all across Wisconsin to help the State of Wisconsin decorate the Capitol Christmas Tree. The theme of the tree this year will be Honoring 163 years of Wisconsin’s Veterans.”

Oops. He said Christmas.  And with that simple media statement, all sanity has left the building.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation, a group of atheists lead by the president, Annie Laurie Gaylor, said the statement was insensitive to non-Christians:

“The reason that it was turned into a holiday tree was to avoid this connotation that the governor chooses one religion over another. 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.”

Fast forward to today, and the Christmas wars continue at the Rotunda of the State Capitol building. As the state prepares to recognize the holiday season, groups are presenting decorations and beautiful sentiments wishing visitors great joy and cheer. Signs of that spirit are everywhere,  like this one from the Freedom from Religion Foundation (Front and back):


Julaine Appling of  Wisconsin Family Action sends us a photo of this sign that her organization displayed nearby:

No matter how you feel about the C word, you would think that there is enough room in our Capitol for both of these displays. That we could all “co-exist,’ if you will. But late today Julaine posted on her Facebook wall this update:

So what are we to make of this? Some will say it doesn’t matter. But as December marches on, it’s hard not to shake my head, and wonder where it will end–or if it ever will.