Politicians love popularly named bills like the PATRIOT Act and DREAM ACT, an art in itself to name the most compelling acronyms and names. Texas Gov. Rick Perry and state Senator Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville) therefore can be credited with coming up with the “Merry Christmas Bill” — just try voting against that in Texas. However, the purpose of the bill is far from benign if you are a secularist, atheist, or agnostic. Perry explained the purpose of the bill in a way that put anyone on the other side of a Merry Christmas: “I’m proud we are standing up for religious freedom in our state.” He then added this legal interpretation of the First Amendment: “Freedom of religion doesn’t mean freedom from religion.”
The law says that both students and school officials may use religious greetings like “Merry Christmas” and display various holiday symbols on school grounds. The problem with this approach is that a state law cannot curtail the federal constitution or its interpretation by federal courts.
However, no one has ever said that students and teachers cannot wish each other Merry Christmas. Moreover, the Supreme Court in Good News Club v. Milford Central School voted 6-3 that a religious group had the right under free speech to use of a school’s facilities after hours. Where you cross the line is with the endorsement or entanglement with religion or forcing children to participate in religious events or observations. They are indeed protected “from” such religious doctrine and rituals.
Of course, I somehow doubt that these politicians would be as thrilled by displays celebrating Eid Al-Fitr, Ramadan or Eid Al-Adha.
Source: Houston News
37 thoughts on “Perry: First Amendment Does Not Protect You From Religion”
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@ PAUL IT IS…
Satanism is the answer.
It’s as stupid as any other religion. But when people insist that their religion be taught in schools, insist that Satanism be taught right alongside.
I recall that Antonin Scalia made exactly the same statement.
Constitution is religious being as godless as the religions that were against Jesus. Have everyone be like Jesus is would make the Constitutions a useless piece of paper with scribblings on it.
The head that’s quite hairy
Goes by the name Parry
Interprets the Constitution
In ways that are scary.
Those Texans ought to start thinking about Dog of The Week in Texas schools. Rick Perry is the epitome of dumb looking schmuck from Texas trying to appeal to the masses. No he is not catholic so not that kind of mass. When he was busy out campaigning to be President one of the many inmates on death row had a stay of execution request put before him which he ignored due to campaign obligations. The guy was killed and it later turned out he was probably innocent. Of course all of the People of the State of Texas killed that guy. Not just Rickyboy or some court or some jury. Texas has the Y’all Can exception to the Sixth Commandment of Thou Shalt Not Kill.
If memory serves me correctly…. I think Greg Abbott is in a wheelchair… Though I don’t think that should be an issue…. You just never know…. What depths people will use to discriminate against another….
Is Perry still taking drugs? Wasn’t that his excuse for forgetting (at the debate) the three agencies he would cut, he was medicated?
Text of the relevant part of the bill:
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
SECTION 1. Subchapter Z, Chapter 29, Education Code, is
amended by adding Section 29.920 to read as follows:
Sec. 29.920. WINTER CELEBRATIONS. (a) 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.”
(b) Except as provided by Subsection (c), a school district
may display on school property scenes or symbols associated with
traditional winter celebrations, including a menorah or a Christmas
image such as a nativity scene or Christmas tree, if the display
includes a scene or symbol of:
(1) more than one religion; or
(2) one religion and at least one secular scene or
(c) A display relating to a traditional winter celebration
may not include a message that encourages adherence to a particular
So, according to (b) (2) if you put up a nativity scene and put a candy cane in baby Jesus’ hand you got it covered, right?
Dear AdA Official….. Mental illnesses such as Rick Perry’s don’t require a wheel chair… better, a Straight Jacket….
It is not nice to discriminate, or talk against those elected officials that are in wheelchairs. Please refrain from any slanderous accusations.
Won’t miss Gov. “goodhair” or his probable successor, Texas Tea Party Patriot, Greg Abbott.
A shotgun would protect me from ”DICK” Perry’s religion…….
Yep. That’s exactly what’s going on.
Texas version of pirate face plant —
The only consolation is that that bouffant hairdoo will protect us all from ol’ President Rick. Reminds me of VA guv, Bob Mcdonnell, whose got his own political problems:
This law will come off the books in a hurry, or become a dead letter, if a dozen kids in the largest high schools in Houston, Dallas, Austin, and the like all start greeting people with “Salaam Aleikum!” Can’t say I’d be sorry to see it.
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