By: Sharon Aron Baron
A South Florida activist who wrote to Governor Rick Scott’s office asking for approval to erect a festivus pole, has received approval.
After hearing about a group installing a manger display in the State Capitol as well as another group intending to add the Three Wise Men, Deerfield Beach resident Chaz Stevens, a self-proclaimed “militant Atheist,” felt that his festivus pole rightfully deserved a place there as well.
“I figured one ridiculous act required another,” said Stevens.
The American Civil Liberties Union warned that by allowing private groups to set up religious displays, the State was opening itself up to having to allow all sorts of individual monuments.”
Howard Simon, executive director of the ACLU of Florida, said no religious symbols, including a menorah, should be displayed in government buildings. “And I’m not sure the people who manage the State Capitol fully appreciate the door that they have opened,” he said. “They’re not going to be able to say ‘no’ to the group that they don’t favor and ‘yes’ to today’s group that they obviously do favor.”
Stevens, who is a contributor to this website, but is best known for his website MyActsofSedition is feared by politicians everywhere as a corruption fighter. Last year, after negotiating with elected officials, and with the help from the ACLU, Stevens installed the festivus pole outside of Deerfield Beach’s main fire station.
After writing to the Governor’s office asking for authorization to build his festivus pole, which is an 8-foot-tall tower made of Pabst Blue Ribbon cans, he received the approval today and will be making the trip up to Tallahassee to install the festivus pole himself on Wednesday, December 11.
Festivus, a secular holiday celebrated on December 23, commemorates the holiday season and avoids wanton commercialism. Festivus became part of worldwide popular culture after being featured on Seinfeld.
After erecting the festivus pole last year in Deerfield Beach, the city voted to not allow religious displays at all on public owned property.