Tallahassee, Florida (Tallahassee Democrat) -- There were no feats of strength and no airing of grievances, just a
simple barren pole made of empty beer cans accompanied by the freedom of
religion and a defining separation of church and state.
the newest addition to the holiday displays in the public spaces of the
Florida Capitol, a pole representing the fictitious holiday Festivus,
joined a manger depicting the birth of Jesus and a recently removed
menorah in celebration of Hanukkah.
The menorah was removed at the end of Hanukkah.
is about separation of church and state," Stevens said pointing to
various other holiday displays saying they shouldn't be in the Capitol
either. "The government shouldn't be in the business of allowing the
mixture of church and state."
Stevens, a Deerfield Beach
blogger, is erecting the monument -a plot line played out in a 1997
episode of the NBC sitcom "Seinfeld"-after securing the permit from the
Department of Management Services and just a week after the nativity
scene was installed by the Florida Prayer Network.
TV series, character Frank Costanza (Jerry Stiller) invented the
"holiday" in opposition to the commercialism and stress that comes with
the holiday season.
Festivus is celebrated on Dec. 23, but
the pole will remain in the Capitol until Jan. 3, along with the other
holiday displays. It sits opposite a sign from the Freedom from Religion
Stevens, who drove the 7 hours from his
home in Broward County, purports there is no point to adding the display
"it's just ridiculous," he said. "This is the most ridiculous thing I
could come up with. The only people I'm worried about offending is the
Florida Prayer Network President Pam
Olsen, who unveiled the first nativity scene in the Capitol just last
week, said she was not shaken by the addition of the Festivus display.
I think it's inappropriate to have beer cans in the Capitol with kids
coming in, probably," Olsen said, "but they have freedom of speech to do
that. I said that when we put the nativity scene up."
met Stevens face to face in the rotunda because she wanted to meet him,
which led to a mild argument between the two over the placement of
religious symbols in a public building.
Stevens was visibly antagonistic.
didn't come up here to argue Christ with you," Olsen said. "Thank you
for exercising your freedom of speech and your welcome. In your Capitol
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