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Tree name ignites pre-Christmas controversy in US
Associated Press
2011-12-07 01:30 AM
Some Christian groups are enraged over a U.S. state governor's decision to call the state's official Christmas decoration a "holiday tree."

The Roman Catholic church and others are offended. An hour after Gov. Lincoln Chafee lights the official tree, state Republican Rep. Doreen Costa intends to light what she is calling a "Christmas tree" outside her legislative office in protest.

Several past Rhode Island governors have called the official evergreen a "holiday tree" to be more inclusive of those who do not celebrate the Christian holiday.

Chafee's event also features Santa Claus and a specially decorated tree honoring the U.S. military.

There has been debate since the founding of the U.S. over how separate religion should be from government. Some Christian conservatives see de-emphasizing or altering Christmas traditions as a rejection of their beliefs.

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