Monday, December 23, 2013

Man Installs Festivus Pole (made of Pabst Blue Ribbon cans) inside Florida State Capitol

Florida resident and self-described "militant atheist" Chaz Stevens has installed a Festivus pole made of empty Pabst Blue Ribbon beer cans at the Florida State Capitol building.  He did this after learning that for the first time ever, there would be a Nativity scene inside the Capitol. 

Here in Florida, we value religion.

Apparently, what we also value is free religious expression, even when that expression is of a made-up religion from a 1990s situation comedy.

Deerfield Beach resident Chaz Stevens has installed an eight and a half foot tall Festivus Pole, made from empty Pabst Blue Ribbon cans, inside the State Capitol building.  His project is in response to the first-ever Nativity scene installed inside the Capitol, as well as a Three Wise Men display, and stands within a few feet of both displays.

"I figured one ridiculous act required another," Stevens said.

Governor Rick Scott's office approved the Festivus Pole in early December.  This is the first year the Capitol is allowing religious displays, all of which must be privately funded.

Festivus is a non-religious holiday, celebrated on December 23.  It began on a 1997 episode of the popular TV sitcom "Seinfeld."  Traditionally, Festivus celebrations include an aluminum pole instead of a Christmas tree, and family favorite activities like the "Airing of Grievances" and the "Feats of Strength."

Watch scenes from the original Festivus episode:

In 2012, Stevens first made headlines when he installed a Festivus Pole next to a Nativity scene in downtown Deerfield Beach.  The Deerfield Beach city council has since banned private religious displays in public spaces.

Here's a video of Stevens making his Festivus Pole:


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