At a Florida Capitol quieting as Christmas nears, a rainbow striped Festivus pole based on the fictional holiday from TV’s Seinfeld show has emerged as the most visible sign of the season.
After three years of wrangling between groups supporting a Nativity scene, atheists, Satanists and those who believe in something called a flying spaghetti monster, the Capitol’s religious wars have mostly gone silent.
“Celebrate diversity. Celebrate inclusiveness. Celebrate the fact that it is religious freedom for all and not religious freedom for some,” said Chaz Stevens, a blogger and software writer from Deerfield Beach, who put up the Festivus pole Monday at the Capitol.
“This is an ode to the separation of church and state,” he added.
But from its humble origins — built from Pabst Blue Ribbon beer cans — just down the hall from Gov. Rick Scott’s office, Stevens’ Festivus pole has evolved and is now getting wider attention.
The six-foot pole wrapped in the rainbow, gay pride colors and topped with a disco ball is going to be displayed in Oklahoma, while Stevens said he expects them also to go up in Georgia, Illinois, Michigan and Washington, and possibly New Mexico.