The “Merry Christmas Bill” signed by Rick Perry to much religious cheering Thursday has not gone over well universally, and many say the legislation violates laws regarding separation of church and state.
Rick Perry’s “Merry Christmas Bill” was signed in the presence of several Santas, and Perry declared the new laws a victory for “religious freedom” in his state of Texas.
Fox reports that the governor stated:
“I realize it’s only June. But it’s a good June and the holidays are coming early this year … It’s a shame that a bill like this one I’m signing today is even required, but I’m glad that we’re standing up for religious freedom in this state. Religious freedom does not mean freedom from religion.”
Texas state Senator Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville) agreed with Perry’s sentiments about “freedom from religion,” suggesting that Christmas revelers are persecuted and saying:
“I think it was Thomas Jefferson who said the price of liberty is eternal vigilance. One of those freedoms is the freedom of speech, freedom of expression, and as the governor was saying the Constitution refers to the freedom of religion, not the freedom from religion.”
“So, challenges to these freedoms that we enjoy can come in a lot of different ways. They can come in very large ways like the war on terror or our freedoms can be taken away in small ways like the removal of a Christmas tree from a classroom.”
Gov. Rick Perry’s official account tweeted:
One user replied:
Do you agree with the provisions of Rick Perry’s “Merry Christmas bill,” or is such a law a threat to church and state separation?