UPDATE: 12/08/2010 – Florida Official Responds to ‘Scrooge’ Accusations; Accuses Toll Collectors of Theft
Thanks to an unspecified “record” number of motorists who have grudges against all things Christmas, Florida transportation officials have forbidden toll booth operators from displaying decorations celebrating any religious or cultural holiday.
Christmas might have been the primary target of easily offended motorists (probably the same ones with bumper stickers proclaiming, “Embrace Diversity.”), but Muslims, Jews and African-Americans who operate toll booths are also feeling the effects of the state’s ban on Christmas decorations. In the name of ‘fairness,’ Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise outlawed all reminders of religious and cultural celebrations from display in toll booths.
“The state says it comes down to money,” reports ClickOrlando.com. “It has to be fair to all people of all beliefs and it can’t spend money to buy decorations for everybody’s holidays. The simplest thing was to get rid of decorations altogether.”
Toll booth operator Lana Fontanetta said if she’s not allowed to decorate her workplace — EVEN OUT OF HER OWN POCKET — she will turn herself in to a living Christmas ornament. She thinks the line is blurred between everyone else’s ‘rights’ and her own.
“Christmas is the biggest holiday and it means so much to me,” Fontanetta told KTAR.com. “You want to feel the joy and I feel like somebody’s trying to keep me down. I am a Christian and I’m not afraid to say it.”
Contact Fla. Secretary of Transportation Stephanie C. Kopelousos and Interim Executive Director of Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise Kevin Thibault if you think they deserve lumps of coal in their stockings:
Email Stephanie C. Kopelousos: firstname.lastname@example.org
Email Kevin Thibault: email@example.com