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USA Rhode Island 'holiday tree': A pox on Christmas or just the Puritan way?

Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee’s ‘holiday tree’ is part of a secular ‘War on Christmas,’ critics say. But a peek at the state’s history points to a deep tradition of religious liberty.

Danny Moloshok/REUTERS/File

Conflating public celebrations with the Christ mass was not how the 17th century New England Puritans rolled – and that twinge of religious discomfort is still evident in the debate over what to call the big spruce with all the pretty lights inside the Rhode Island state capitol in Providence.

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