By: Sharon Aron Baron
Tamarac has joined other cities as well as our State Capital by having a Festivus pole displayed on government property.
Not just any pole, but a Pabst Blue Ribbon-inspired Festivus pole next to Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus’ Manger. Now, as tasteless as this may sound to some, that until there is a ban on all religious displays on government property, any group’s religious displays are welcome, and the City cannot discriminate against anyone.
Including a Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer Festivus pole.
Deerfield Beach and Delray Beach already have Festivus poles and Plantation, and Hollywood may too. Soon the State Capitals of Georgia, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Illinois as well as Florida will all have poles thanks to local Atheist and political activist Chaz Stevens, who received worldwide attention last year for the one he displayed in the Florida Capital last year.
This year he built a bigger and better Festivus pole for the City of Tamarac, and this time, he says he’s donating it to the city to use permanently.
As long as the manger stays there, he says.
“When they’re talking about religion in America, they’re talking about Christianity. That’s what it’s about. You don’t see Hindus looking to put any stuff up; it’s always baby Jesus mangers. They don’t want freedom of religion. They want freedom of their religion.”
Last year, his Festivus pole was displayed in City Hall. This year, he felt the best location was prominently in front of the Tamarac Community Center, where everyone could enjoy it.
Festivus, a parody holiday, is celebrated every December 23 and is an alternative to participating in the pressures and commercialism of the Christmas holidays. It became part of worldwide popular culture after being featured on Seinfeld. Festivus usually begins with an aluminum pole; however, Stevens has elaborated on the tradition by adorning his with Pabst Blue Ribbon beer cans.
Stevens, who is a recovering alcoholic, doesn’t even drink beer.
So what provokes Stevens to do this?
“I do not like religious displays on State property,” said Stevens.