Of all the strange things that go on at Florida's Capitol in Tallahassee -- and we report on plenty -- a growing holiday display there has reached Seinfeld-esque proportions.
Literally. As in the all-purpose holiday conjured up on a Seinfeld episode, one anyone could celebrate without religion or meaning. The decoration was an aluminum pole.
"Festivus for the rest of us."
So now there is a "Festivus" display, complete with a pole made of aluminum beer cans, inside the Capitol Rotunda. Why, you ask? It's meant to be a local guy's religion-free counterbalance to a Christmas Nativity scene that was placed there.
A few weeks ago, a group called the Florida Prayer Network had pulled a permit and got the OK for the Nativity display. The group's mission, according to its website, is to "spread the gospel". And as meaningful as that Nativity scene is to so many people, others raised red flags about religion in a government building.
In other parts of the country, the permitted Nativity might have raised an important public debate about the separation of church and state. On one hand, in a public forum like the Capitol, all voices are supposed to be welcome and provided for. On the other hand, government is Constitutionally bound to operate free and clear of any and all religion.
But this is Florida. Insightful debate did not happen. But plenty of national cable comedy sketches did. And Florida, once again, is the butt of the jokes, thanks to cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon and an absence of common sense.
At this writing, several other applications for permits are still pending for displays at the Capitol.
One was submitted by the Satanic Temple of Tallahassee.