Tamarac Says Yes To Festivus Pole

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By: Sharon Aron Baron

The City of Tamarac will add a Festivus pole to their religious displays at city hall this holiday season.

Tamarac City Manager Michael Cernech has given approval for a Festivus pole to join the religious display of the manger, christmas tree, and menorah, when asked by activist Chaz Stevens in an email earlier on Monday.

“Thank you for your email regarding our holiday displays. Festivus for the rest of us is alive and well in Tamarac! We have plenty of space for one of your custom made Festivus poles.”  –City Manager Michael Cernech

Festivus, a well-celebrated parody, is a secular holiday celebrated on December 23, which serves as an alternative to participating in the pressures and commercialism of the Christmas and holiday season.

Festivus became part of worldwide pop culture after being featured on Seinfeld and includes a Festivus dinner and included practices such as the “Airing of Grievances” and “Feats of Strength” and the labeling of easily explainable events as “Festivus miracles.”

Showing he had a humorous side, the City Manager wrote, “On a personal note, I realize you like to construct your poles from Pabst Blue Ribbon cans, but I’m asking you to consider Hamm’s cans for Tamarac. While I’m not sure Hamm’s is commercially available any longer I do know it was in the PBR family and bit more tasty in my humble opinion.”

Stevens gained notoriety last year after negotiating with elected officials and installing a Festivus pole made out of Pabst Blue Ribbon cans outside of Deerfield Beach’s main fire station, next to a manger scene. However, this year, the city has since stopped allowing any religious displays on city property.

After hearing about private groups installing a religious displays at the state capital, Stevens, wrote to Governor Rick Scott’s office and felt that his Festivus pole rightfully deserved a place there as well. He received permission, and will be heading up to Tallahassee to place a Festivus pole in the rotunda on Wednesday.

According to 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 appreciates City Manager Cernech’s willingness to allow the Festivus Pole and said “I think intelligent city managers are able to see which way the Festivus winds are blowing.”

In all seriousness, Stevens hopes to make a political statement on the need for the separation of church and state.

“I am hoping more cities stop allowing for the display of religious nuttery.”

About Sharon Aron Baron

Sharon Aron Baron Sharon Aron Baron is the Editor of Talk Media and writer for Tamarac Talk and Coral Springs Talk. Tamarac Talk was created in 2010 to provide News, Views and Entertainment for the residents of Tamarac and to give resident's a forum. We are not affiliated with the City of Tamarac. That's why this site can be occasionally opinionated and obviously open.

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  • hostile177

    This is what makes Tamarac great.

    • Michael

      There is no need for anyone to bash another person’s religious beliefs in order to substatiate their own. We should all be respectful for differences, that is what makes our country great. Where does this stop? What if someone wants to put a nazi sign on display or a confederate display, or a muslim symbol up? Then you would see certain groups become outraged, but it seems ok to bash Cristmas these days or use the word Happy Holiday, instead of Merry Christmas. This is the Christmas season, like it or not and we have the right to celebrate just like any other group celebrates their holiday. So don’t put down a beautiful holiday and make it ugly just because of jealousy, mean spirited, or down right nasty objections, because in the future, perhaps, nothing will be allowed to be displayed for any holiday, for fear of offending anyone. How sad that would be…

      • I want to celebrate Festivus. How is that offensive to you?

        • Michael

          You watched Seinfeld and decided that you would borrow a concept from a comedy show and compare that to a religious celebration? Coincidence that your festivus pole has to be celebrated when Christmas is? You know as well as the rest of us that the intention for your pole is to demonstrate your contempt for Christmas, not to celebrate a religious holiday, so be honest about it. So what’s coming when we celebrate Easter and Passover, some other structure you borrow from another T.V. show? It’s you intention that I find offensive and how you are hiding behind the shadow of that pole.

          • 1. Absent a ban on all religious displays, the public rotunda is subject to
            the free speech rights guaranteed everyone by the U.S. Constitution and
            the state Administrative Code.

            2. I am not hiding. My picture has been shown worldwide. If anyone is hiding, it is you.

            3. I celebrate Christmas, the act of giving gifts (from Saturnia), a tree in my house (from the Egyptians). What I don’t celebrate is the unholy act of a woman supposedly impregnated by a god. Good luck trying to get away with that one these days.

            4. My contempt, and I do have much of it, along with ridicule, derision, and scorn is the fact of having religious displays on gov’t property. just move them off the property. And all will be well. Keep them there, and expect others like myself to make a circus out of it.

            You started it, and I intend not to sit idly by.

          • Michael

            I think Chaz should work on Christmas day, but it does happen to be a Federal Holiday. You say the “unholy act of a woman supposedly impregnated by a God”, well it happens to be the one of the most holy acts in the Chrtistian religion and if you choose to not believe that the holy spirit impregnated her with the son of God, so be it. I don’t really care what you believe in and stating it that way once again is offensive. You have a religious chip on your shoulder and I notice how you ridicule Christian beliefs, but not jewish beliefs, which the Christian religion incorporates. Afraid of offending your Jewish friends? So you think Moses parted the Red Sea? You pick and choose your battles I see. Have any comments about the Muslim beliefs or the Asian beliefs? We all have a right to believe in what we have faith in and the likes of you Chaz will not deter us. What do you do when a Christmas show or commerical comes on, turn your T.V. off? Go get a life and get over your hum bug attitude and allow everyone to enjoy the beautful Christmas season…

          • I’m afraid of offending someone?

            Apparently, you are new around here.

          • Christmas is a secular holiday. It’s also a cultural holiday and in some aspects, still kind of a pagan holiday. And for some
            Americans, it is increasingly less a religious one. But that has little to do with Festivus-pole-loving atheists. It’s more about how Christmas has always been an ever-evolving holiday.

            For each generation, Christmas is whatever that generation needs it to be—from a drunken bacchanal to nonexistent, depending on which Christmas you revisit in history.

            Christmas has its origins as a Roman Winter Solstice holiday.
            It was a celebration of Saturn, marked by overeating, drunken
            carousing, gambling and general debauchery. (In other words, it sounds like it was pretty fun.) Christmas then, depending on where you lived, fell in and out of popularity over the centuries, absorbing random pagan or regional traditions as it grew to become what we have now: Christmas trees, the Yule Log, mistletoe, Christmas stockings, Father Christmas, Santa Claus, gift-giving and “uniquely” American things like sporting events and giant ribbons on over-priced luxury vehicles in advertising campaigns.

            This country was founded on getting the state out of our religion, not creating a religious state.

      • hostile177

        Wow. A whole thesis based on my six word comment. Where on Gods green earth did you pull “bash another person’s religious beliefs” out of “This is what makes Tamarac great”? I was just reflecting on the fun and humor our city embraces. I think you might be overly fixated on the ACLU paragraph.

        • David

          Hey Hostile! I guess someone is airing their grievances a little early.

      • Unfortunately, you completely miss the point.

        The idea of the seperation of church and state is to protect the minority view.

        78% of the US is Christian. Just where are you being marginalized? Prayer before commission meetings, the 10 commandments on public property, nods before politicians begin a speech.

        Fox’s War on Christmas is a manufactured story.

        By the way, Jon Stewart of the Daily Show said I was the “General Patton of the War on Xmas.”

        Here’s the question that goes unanswered to this day. “Why not move the displays off taxpayer property?” In the case of Deerfield Beach, there’s a church located two blocks south.

        Greeted with silence, it’s readily apparent folks want those displays there, they want to mix Church and State, they want to make a political statement.

        And if you want to make such a ridiculous argument, don’t get all bent out of shape when I counter your stupidity with my stupidity.

        ***

        Do you know I celebrate December 25? Not as the birth of christ, as that’s not the actual date of when that fucker was supposed to have been born.

        Rather I had out presents (started with the Roman holiday Saturnia)… I have a Christmas tree (began with the Egyptians).

        ***

        If you are of the religious nature, and have you life guided by such nonsense, consider doing more homework. Research. Dig into the mythology.

        I don’t believe in Zeus, do you? I also don’t believe in millions of other gods, so why should I believe in yours? What makes yours so special, other than your faith.

        Read the story of Horus. Start there.

        And try to think. Think. Not have faith, but actually critical thinking.

        *(*

        Faith. Ha!

        I believe in science and math, that’s my faith.

        Think about that the next time you fly an airplane. You better hope those aircraft designers placed more credence on calculus than some mythical sky creature.

        • freedom2speakw/o harsh words

          Was reading through Tam. Talk and just spotted this….

          Way to go Chaz! You display a wonderful exchange of
          tolerance, respect and freedom of speech! You decided to turn a public forum
          into a protest and an attack on the most followed faith in the world.

          I’m sorry that you’re offended by the faith that produces so
          much of the peace and spirit of generosity that we see during the month of December
          (regardless of the holiday stemming from pagan beliefs). After all, I’m sure it’s not pagan beliefs that stimulate the activity of distributing food to the poor
          or vising orphans or elderly individuals during this season….

          What gestures or responses shall we expect from the festivus
          pole, aside from some disgruntled political statement that I anticipate will just produce disputes and fights (exhibit A above)?

          I’m a Christian and I can critically think, which is why I
          don’t believe in the idea that the world evolved out of a random combustion (which FYI is against the laws of thermodynamics and pretty contrary to every
          other scientific law that we see working in reality today). It takes a lot of faith to believe in what you
          imply to be true.

          I’m a Christian, and I’m a Christian because it works baby.
          I’ve seen more families healed, suicides prevented, individuals changed for the
          better than any other religion has been able to show. And the Christian religion has constantly endured persecution (which FYI, is why the pilgrims left England and
          sailed to North America), but yet
          something or rather Someone has sustained it for 2000+ years and has attracted billions of believers. Furthermore, hundreds of predictions have been confirmed
          through this religion, including your Festivus pole.

          Yes, I believe in the God
          that authored love, prevented people from stoning a woman caught in adultery-advocating for second, third and fourth chances, and cares about mankind. If
          you claim to be a critical thinker, I wouldn’t condemn such a thing.

          p.s if you feel so “pressured” by the the CHRISTmas holiday,
          which it is referred to today, why do you bother putting a Christmas tree up or
          purchasing gifts? Don’t you think that’s hypocritical?

          I pray you can use all that energy and good health for something a little more beneficial for your
          fellow Florida citizens.

          God bless you!