The National Railroad Museum’s Festival of Trees in Wisconsin has become controversial with the inclusion of a tree decorated by the Satanic Temple of Wisconsin. While some are outraged by this unconventional addition, the event’s host, Jacqueline Frank, the CEO of the museum, has defended the decision, emphasizing the festival’s commitment to inclusivity.
The festival features 66 trees and includes six Christian-themed trees among the 60 non-Christian ones. Frank explained that the museum’s focus is on trains, not religion, and therefore, there was no reason to exclude the Satanic Temple’s tree from the event. She also mentioned that she had vetted the organization to ensure there was no promotion of violence or adult content.
Frank’s decision to allow the Satanic Temple’s participation was motivated by the museum’s desire to be an inclusive organization. She believes everyone should feel comfortable and respected, regardless of their beliefs. Frank argued that canceling the Satanic tree would be even more controversial and go against the museum’s commitment to inclusivity.
While this decision may be controversial by some, it highlights the importance of embracing diversity and providing dignity for all. Frank expressed her willingness to have the Satanic Temple back at next year’s tree festival, stating that the museum does not discriminate against any religion or secular organization as long as they do not promote violence.
The inclusion of the Satanic Temple’s tree at the Wisconsin Christmas festival challenges traditional norms and encourages dialogue about the meaning of inclusivity in a multicultural society. It serves as a reminder that the holiday season is a time to celebrate diversity and respect the beliefs of others, even if they differ from ours.
As the festival evolves, more unconventional entries will likely be seen. The National Railroad Museum’s commitment to inclusivity sets an example for other organizations and showcases the value of embracing different perspectives and beliefs. By providing a platform for diverse expressions, the festival celebrates the holiday season and fosters understanding and acceptance among individuals from all walks of life.
In a world where divisions and tensions often overshadow unity and acceptance, events like the Festival of Trees in Wisconsin serve as a beacon of hope. By challenging societal norms and embracing diversity, they remind us of the power of inclusivity and the importance of coming together during the holiday season and beyond.