It was disappointing to hear the news this week, when our Governor Lincoln Chafee decided to remove the word “Christmas” tree and replace it with the word “holiday” tree
Governor Chafee, for the last 34 years I have been a proud Rhode Islander my family immigrated to America from France in 1977, and in our hearts we always have been grateful to these two great nations for opening their doors to our family. We Portuguese-Americans are 90% Roman Catholic. During the years we lived in France and later America, we have met and established friendships with people from all religious and ethnic backgrounds, and we always respected each other’s religious convictions and shared our traditions, inviting each other for our religious and cultural celebrations. That’s why we call Rhode Island a “Melting Pot” a place where immigrants of different cultures, race and religion all come together, merge and mix to form an integrated society. Today in our family we share two faiths, Buddhism and Roman Catholic, and we always share and respect each other faith and convictions.
As a student I learned that “Rhode Island was founded by Roger Williams on freedom of religion-not absence of religion”. Today in the name of political correctness we are disrespecting each other’s religious freedom and ignoring long held American values and traditions. It’s hurtful and an affront to the faith of many citizens.
When I look around, I can see that in a world that is almost morally corrupt and constantly changing, most liberals are banning our traditional and religious symbols that for centuries served as reminders of our history and moral foundation. Today because of political correctness and diversity, we are confusing our sons and daughters about our cultural values, faith, truth and traditions are no longer part of their daily lives.
This week again our (Portuguese liberal Media) Portuguese Times, O Jornal failed to inform the Portuguese speaking population about this issue. Our Portuguese-American legislators that are mostly catholic and can be seen in our churches every Sunday, have failed to speak up in defense of their faith and values.
On Tuesday, December 6 at 5:00 PM Bishop Thomas J. Tobin is pleased to extend an invitation to anyone who is seeking a deeper understanding of the Advent and Christmas season, to join them for a Prayer Service and Christmas tree lighting at St. Patrick’s Parish on Smith Street in Providence.
Also for the next two weeks on our TV show “Portuguese Americans in Rhode Island” we can see an interview with Bishop Thomas J. Tobin on Cox channel 15 and Verizon channel 34, Saturday at 4 PM and Sunday 10 AM