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Government Watch

Christmas Comes Early in Texas, As Gov. Perry Signs Religious Freedom Bill

By Susan Jones – CNSNews.com –

By law, it is now okay to say “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Hanukkah” in Texas public schools.

Gov. Rick Perry signed House Bill 308 on 6/13/13, allowing public school students and staff to use traditional holiday greetings and display religious scenes and symbols on school property.

“I’m proud we are standing up for religious freedom in our state,” Gov. Perry said.

“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 bill states: “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 bill specifically says that schools may display scenes or symbols associated with religious holidays — as long as the display includes scenes or symbols of more than one religion or at least one secular scene or symbol.

Displays “may not include a message that encourages adherence to a particular religious belief,” the bill says.

Supporters of the bill argue that allowing teachers to display various holiday symbols associated with certain religions makes it possible for them to educate students about the history and roots of different religions.

“I am proud to have authored the Merry Christmas Bill which allows students, parents, teachers and administrators the freedom to acknowledge traditional winter holidays like Christmas and Hanukkah in Texas public schools without fear of litigation or punishment,” Rep. Dwayne Bohac, the bill’s author, said.

“When I picked up my 6-year-old, first grader from school and found out school districts and teachers felt pressured by political correctness to change the way they refer to ‘Christmas trees’ and Santa and holiday music, I had enough. HB 308 protects schools and teachers from ridiculous litigation and restores common sense by placing Supreme Court precedent into Texas Law.”

Bill sponsor Sen. Robert Nichols said the bill will help teachers and administrators “feel safe talking about these holidays at school without fear of legal action being taken against them, and of letting our children know that it’s okay to say ‘Merry Christmas.'” – See more at: http://cnsnews.com/news/article/christmas-comes-early-texas-gov-perry-signs-religious-freedom-bill#sthash.hv1JyVUl.dpuf

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Clifford E. Baker

Hooray for Texas! At least one state is working to restore our constitutional rights. The various minorities and their special agendas have corrupted our country. Our congress, White House and its administration, and even the Supreme Court have changed our culture into something it was never meant to be. I believe we need more referendums on subject of a cultural nature since our elected masters no longer represent us. Let the people decide.

Debbie Kampe

While the government should not be involved in lawmaking of any kind with regard to religious freedom guaranteed us by our constitution, I am very happy to see this push-back at those who continue to try to take God and the Christian faith out of our freedoms. This is a tiny bit of salve on the cancerous rot which is being fed by the current administration and democratic liberals in this country whose agendas have nothing to do with the well-being of our great country or its citizens.

twelvecats

People from other countries come to America so they can have freedom in all things including religion. However, their coming here does not give any of them the right to complain or try to change the way America is. We certainly can’t go to other countries and change their policies. We are the taxpayers and the government had no right whatsoever to start removing GOD and everything associated with religion from our schools or any other public building. We have continued to say Merry Christmas no matter what and will always continue to do so and we dont’ give to charities who don’t greet us with Merry Christmas! If they want to come over here then “when in Rome do as the Romans”, speak english and get along with the way America is afterall it was their choice to come here and if you don’t like it then go back… Read more »

T. England

I DO know that, if this country is to survive as a FREE Christian Nation, the Senior Citizens of America must educate these new generations to stand for “Truth” and all that is RIGHT, in ALL facets of human life and dignity. It is a historical proven fact when Hitler started dictating Falsehoods of his own warped stands of control, VERY SOON>>>>>> All RIGHTS WERE STRIPED/TAKEN AWAY FOR MANY-MANY CITIZENS of a Nation. WAKE UP AMERICA BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE.

BigKid

And WHY do we Need Rick or ANYONE to make a law allowing us to say Merry Christmas?? That says something about the way we are “told” to think of our RIGHTS. Stop waiting for “lawmakers” to act, just Follow Your Convictions and Heart.

2chestnuts

Hey, Jerry Brown (CA govenor) did you see that? Texas again leaps ahead of good ol’ CA mentality. Of course I never did expect you and your liberal senate to keep pace with such free thinking.

Karen Kycia

This is the best news story I have heard in a long time. Maybe there is still some hope that the country will again the United States of America and not the United States of muslin. Congratulations on a job well done

Jim

Like so many other seemingly well-intentioned bill, this has a dark side that “conservatives” seldom see. Constitutionalists can see through the smoke and mirrors. Why does the governor need to sign a bill approving something that was already a right protected by the Constitution? Answer: Because such a bill makes a tacit statement that the government has a right to regulate speech. Now that government has established that fact by law, government has the right to change its mind in the future, and those who praised the passage of laws like this will be unable to complain because they have already agreed that the government has that authority. What we need is a governor an a legislature that will tell the federal government that we will not allow it to deprive us of our God given rights. A resolution affirming that state government is willing to go to the mat… Read more »

Carol S.

I will always stand up for Christ, my Lord and Savior and the “Godly Principals” this Great Country was founded on. For believers of a Sovereign God, we need to SHED our passiveness and STEP FORWARD and once again SPEAK UP, STAND UP and Let our Government hear our VOICES over and over again, until they get the picture. Government keeps stressing “discrimination” and making more laws on discrimination, but what about those who believe in a God and are being discriminated against constantly. Its a shame we have to make such laws. If one would just live the Word of God, such laws would not be needed. I love what SLP had to say – awesome. Wish more Government officials would stand up for God. If they believe in God, they need to remember that “they will be accountable” to God for ALL their actions – are they worldly… Read more »

Jim H.

I live in Oklahoma and wish our legislature had the stuff to pass a law like Texas did! Maybe we can soon follow their lead! God bless Texas.

CAPT Mike

Another reason that I’m proud to be a TEXAN!! Obama comes to Texas to tout OUR success in jobs, economic growth, etc. and tries to claim that it’s HIS policies that led to it!!!!! Give me a break!!!!

Patricia Campbell

I am an athiest, and I say to Rick Perry: “You go, Governor. Hurray for standing up for our freedoms.”

SJP

Atheism, the source of most of the discrimination against religion is a belief “about” god and should be classified as a religion since it is all about god. Therefore the Atheists “religious” symbols and icons, that is “absence of any symbol”, are everywhere. Anywhere that there is no religious symbol, or where religious symbols are forbidden, leaves an Atheist symbol. Our legislators should declare that Atheism is a religion. That would stop them from discriminating against religious displays. Cheers for Texas!

KarenFaye

We were all set to vote for Rick Perry during the nominations. Had he not put his foot in his mouth a time or two (I guess he’s not much of a debater) he had a good shot – and may again. If not, Texas is lucky to have him! We desperately need someone with CHRISTIAN VALUES in Washington instead of someone who was raised in Muslim culture at an early age and thinks the call to prayer is the “sweetest sound” he’s ever heard. Send Obama back to Jakarta or Pakistan and let him hear it every day; and let the Christians express their own beliefs. It’s sad when a senior citizen is glad they aren’t long for this world — to see the continuing decay and ruin!

J. Guidry, Battlefield, MO.

Texas is fortunate to have Rick Perry for a Governor. Here in MO, we have a guy who just tries to “o”(step around) his way around laws passed by the legislature and the vote of the people. Just like his hero in the White House. Not to mention that he has his staff violate state laws releasing CCW info to the feds.
Texas is starting to look more and more like the place to be when the cow pies hit the fan in this nation.

Mary

Thank goodness we are finally embracing our Christian heritage. Why did pilgrims come here? To escape religious persecution. Sad that it takes another law to enforce that foundation of our governing principles.

Chas

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances”.

I don’t remember where this little clip came from, BUT, it seems to me, the Congress is restrained, therefore the government, in all forms, is forbidden from control of religious action or speech.

Ya’ gota love Texas.

Aliceinwonder

How nice. The “freest” country in the world (hahahaha) has to sign it into law to say Merry Christmas in a government run school.

Meg Goodenow

It’s about time someone stood in the gap for Christians and others who believe in God. Enough of this God-less stuff that gets crammed down our throats.

Ken Sands

Thank God for Bob Nichols and Rick Perry!!!