Florida atheist and First Amendment activist Chaz Stevens has made the president-elect the subject of his “Distresstivus” Pole, placed next to a Nativity scene on city property in Deerfield Beach.
That’s his version of a Festivus pole, the centerpiece of the secular holiday celebrated on Seinfeld known for its “airing of the grievances.”
And when it comes to Trump, Stevens ― founder of the Religious Liberty Project ― has plenty of grievances.
“Wrapped with an upside-down American flag (acknowledging the majority of Americans who didn’t vote for the Pumpkin In Chief), this year’s pole is shorter, a shout-out to Donald’s tiny hands,” Stevens said via email. “We’ve donned Distresstivus with the infamous Make America Great Again red cap, and fastened it all together with a big ol’ safety pin.”
He is hoping to eventually burn the display and has applied for a fire permit from the city, but said he hasn’t heard back.
Stevens has trolled Trump before. Earlier this year, members of his group wore a giant penis costume with Trump’s face as they crashed rallies.
But it’s the holiday displays that have gained him national fame ― which may be ironic since his initial goal wasn’t to create a holiday scene, but to have the Nativity display in Deerfield Beach removed on First Amendment grounds.
When the city refused, Stevens took a different tack and instead pushed for the inclusion of his own seasonal message ― choosing Festivus, with the pole each year themed to a topical issue.
Last year’s poles were set up in at least five states, in capitol buildings and other public locations where governments have allowed Nativity scenes and other religious symbols.
This year, Stevens has a pole going up in Delray Beach, also in Florida ― the third time it has been placed there ― along with the one in Deerfield Beach.
“Additionally, we’re returning late this month to the Florida State Capitol rotunda, planting Distresstivus right down the hall from Gov. Skeletor’s office,” he said, referring to Florida Gov. Rick Scott.
Stevens has eight poles ready to go. Supporters who want to see them erected around the country can contribute to the Religious Liberty Project.