Lawmakers in Texas are reminding schools in the state that it’s okay to say “Merry Christmas” and to celebrate the yule tide and Hanukah holidays without fear of repercussion.
The reiteration was made at a press conference yesterday in Austin, where state representatives Dwayne Bohac and Richard Raymond reminded citizens about the “Merry Christmas Bill” passed last year.
“We can restore fun and magic to the Christmas and Hanukkah season, we can do this together, we can all get along, and have fun doing it,” said Representative Bohac, according to My Fox Austin.
The law “…allows students and district staff to offer traditional greetings regarding the celebrations, including: ‘Merry Christmas,’ ‘Happy Hanukah,’ and ‘Happy Holidays,” and allows for schools to set up nativity scenes, menorahs, Christmas trees and other “symbols associated with traditional winter celebrations.”
“In today’s world of political correctness run amok, Christmas Trees have been replaced with ‘Holiday Trees’ and simple on-campus greetings such as ‘Merry Christmas’ or ‘Happy Hanukkah’ can land a student or teacher in hot water,” a message on the Bohac Campaign-sponsored website MerryChristmasBill.com states.
Unlike the school days of yore, a wave of political correctness has saturated the minds of many who believe separation between church and state extends to the minds of children inside the classroom.
In some Texas schools, children sending letters to soldiers overseas have been instructed not to write the words, “Merry Christmas,” or include the message, “God Bless You,” in what the Veterans’ Administration says is an effort to be “respectful of our Veterans religious beliefs.” Instead, children were told to keep their holiday wishes generic and void of any specific religious/secular material.
In several states, residents have engaged in heated debates over nativity scenes, and others have fought to allow public school students to perform religious-oriented, time-honored Christmas carols, such as “Joy to the World,” and “O Come All Ye Faithful.”
Recently, we’ve also seen how members of the anti-religious left have gone after traditional holiday songs, such as “I’m dreaming of a White Christmas,” claiming the song not to be about snow, but about racism.
Some schools have even gone as far as to ban Christmas trees and the colors red and green, for fear that children who don’t celebrate the holiday may be offended.
The politically correct attack on Christmas has reached such ridiculous heights that the legal organization The Rutherford Institute was compelled to issue guidelines regarding the precedents and legalities of expressing Christmas beliefs in schools.
From The Rutherford Institute’s “The Twelve Rules of Christmas“:
Public school students’ written or spoken personal expressions concerning the religious significance of Christmas (e.g., T-shirts with the slogan, “Jesus Is the Reason for the Season”) may not be censored by school officials absent evidence that the speech would cause a substantial disruption.
So long as teachers are generally permitted to wear clothing or jewelry or have personal items expressing their views about the holidays, Christian teachers may not be prohibited from similarly expressing their views by wearing Christmas-related clothing or jewelry or carrying Christmas-related personal items.
Public schools may teach students about the Christmas holiday, including its religious significance, so long as it is taught objectively for secular purposes such as its historical or cultural importance, and not for the purpose of promoting Christianity.
Public school teachers may send Christmas cards to the families of their students so long as they do so on their own time, outside of school hours.
Public schools may include Christmas music, including those with religious themes, in their choral programs if the songs are included for a secular purpose such as their musical quality or cultural value or if the songs are part of an overall performance including other holiday songs relating to Chanukah, Kwanzaa, or other similar holidays.
Public schools may not require students to sing Christmas songs whose messages conflict with the students’ own religious or nonreligious beliefs.
Public school students may not be prohibited from distributing literature to fellow students concerning the Christmas holiday or invitations to church Christmas events on the same terms that they would be allowed to distribute other literature that is not related to schoolwork.
Private citizens or groups may display crèches or other Christmas symbols in public parks subject to the same reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions that would apply to other similar displays.
Government entities may erect and maintain celebrations of the Christmas holiday, such as Christmas trees and Christmas light displays, and may include crèches in their displays at least so long as the purpose for including the crèche is not to promote its religious content and it is placed in context with other symbols of the Holiday season as part of an effort to celebrate the public Christmas holiday through its traditional symbols.
Neither public nor private employers may prevent employees from decorating their offices for Christmas, playing Christmas music, or wearing clothing related to Christmas merely because of their religious content so long as these activities are not used to harass or intimidate others.
Public or private employees whose sincerely held religious beliefs require that they not work on Christmas must be reasonably accommodated by their employers unless granting the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the employer.
Government recognition of Christmas as a public holiday and granting government employees a paid holiday for Christmas does not violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.
Whatever the pagan origins of the holiday may be, the War on Christmas, in general, is seen by many as an effort to demonize Christianity and the religious authority the nation was founded upon.
Watch Jakari Jackson’s report on the insanity of Texas having to legalize the phrase ‘Merry Christmas.’
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