On The Factor tonight, Bill O'Reilly took on Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee (I) over the "holiday tree" controversy. Chafee first made headlines last year by maintaining that the tree at the Statehouse would be called a "holiday tree" and not a Christmas tree.

In the interview, Chafee pointed out that all he has done is keep the same policy of his predecessor, Donald Carcieri (R), by referring to it as a holiday tree. He said "somehow" this has now become a controversy, even though it's been called a "holiday tree" at the Statehouse since the 1990s.

O'Reilly pointed out that many Christians get upset when politicians decide to avoid using the word "Christmas" or otherwise avoid Christmas traditions.


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"There is no holiday tree, there is no tradition of a holiday tree," O'Reilly said.

Chafee argued that years ago, children in many public schools had to say The Lord's Prayer along with the Pledge of Allegiance before the Supreme Court ruled against it.

"Now you look back on it and you think, 'Of course you can't make non-Christians say a Christian prayer in public school. So these controversies (over the tree), you generate them here. But they really shouldn't be controversies," said Chafee.

O'Reilly countered that the comparison is "invalid," saying that a Christmas tree is a "secular symbol" and that the overwhelming majority of Americans disagree with the governor's view on the issue.

"You're in the minority, you're imposing your will, and you're making people unhappy in a season of joy!" O'Reilly said.

Earlier today, Chafee decided to hold a short ceremony, with very little advance notice, to light the tree. He apparently did so to avoid the protesters that came out to the Statehouse a year ago.

Watch the full debate:


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