The Rick Perry holiday law HB 308 called the Merry Christmas bill will allow religious symbols and traditional religious greetings in government institutions including public schools.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, the Rick Perry holiday law is already controversial because some say the legislation violates the concept of separation of church and state. Texas was already on this path because a judge said Texas cheerleaders could display Biblical messages in high school football games.
But many people do not realize that US Supreme Court rulings of the past actually give a lot more leeway than you might think. For example, the Supreme court ruling in 1963 (Abington School District v. Schempp) said that “the Bible is worthy of study for its literary and historic qualities. Nothing we have said here indicates that such study of the Bible or of religion, when presented objectively as a part of a secular (public school) program of education, may not be effected consistently with the First Amendment.”
Since even the Bible can be read in public schools, how can simply greeting each other with “Merry Christmas” be a violation of the Constitution? The Rick Perry holiday law was explained by the Texas governor in this manner:
“Freedom of religion doesn’t mean freedom from religion, and people of faith often feel like they can’t express that faith publicly. HB 308 works to address that by ensuring that people of all faiths are free to use traditional holiday greetings, and display religious scenes and symbols, even on school property. It ensures freedom of expression where, for many students, teachers and administrators, it’s most important.”
The Rick Perry holiday law called the Merry Christmas bill specifically says that a “school district may educate students about the history of traditional winter celebrations, and allow students and district staff to offer traditional greetings regarding the celebrations, including: (1) “Merry Christmas”; (2) “Happy Hanukkah”; and (3) “happy holidays.”
The major point is that HB 308 allow religious freedom in schools but also says teachers, or any government workers, “may not include a message that encourages adherence to a particular religious belief.” Essentially, Texas is not allowed to take sides in how people express their religious freedom, or make an establishment of religion in the minds of school children. So if someone wants to celebrate the winter with pagan symbols alongside a Christmas tree I’m assuming that’s alright by Texas. But, at the same time, I’m assuming there will be some reasonable limitations. For example, what if someone were to erect a Christmas display that purposefully insulted other religions for that sake alone?
Do you think the Rick Perry holiday law is bringing common sense back to schools?