Perry: First Amendment Does Not Protect You From Religion

perrythumb_christmas_santa_fakePoliticians 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”

  1. I do find it ironic that most of the symbols used for Christmas are actually pagan.

  2. Jill and OS, Just to mix things up a bit, in one (or more) of those TX schools where Christmas is such a big deal, let’s try a bit of theater for each of the religions OS lists.

  3. The law says that both students and school officials may use religious greetings like “Merry Christmas”

    This is THE HOOK. Perry wants his adherents to believe it’s illegal to say merry christmas without this law. Blatantly false, yet so attention grabbing.
    Politics 101, get people to believe the foundational lie, then they are eager to believe all the lies spun from it. I’ll vote for anything to support my right to say Merry Christmas.
    Sheesh, Sheep Sheep BullSheep.
    Texas used to be full of cowboys. Now with Perry leading the way, Texas is becoming full of Sheepboys/girls and BullSheep.

  4. I have said this before, but can’t remember if I wrote it here.

    Anytime somebody says they want to bring prayer back into school, the psychologist in me kicks in. Weird sense of humor is genetic in my family as well. My response is something like this:

    “You are absolutely right! We need more prayer not less. Now lessee. We can start by giving the Baptists the first day of the month. Then Methodists the second. Everybody ought to have a shot, taking turns. Jews on the third day, Muslims on the fourth, then the Buddhists the fifth day. On through the month. The Episcopalians, Bahá’í, and Hindus. Of course the Muslims will need more than one day, because they are like the Christians, they will need days for each sect. The Sufis, Shias, Wahabis, and so forth…..”

    By the time I get to the Atheists, Wicca, Satanists and Flying Spaghetti Monster, I usually find I no longer have a listener because for some strange reason, they turn and walk off.

  5. Well Ottaray I had to relook at that because I did it with Dragon speak this morning… That is kind of funny and orifice would fit as well…

  6. Jill,

    If you made any other comment than the two that appear in this thread, it is not in any of the filters.

  7. AY,
    I either need new glasses or more Cajun coffee. I read your comment as, “Crazy people get orifices…..” 😯

  8. This will probably pass by far above your sloping forehead, Governor Rick, but just to help you get clear on the concept:

    Scapegoat Job Application

    Universal scapegoat wanted
    Applicant(s) apply inside
    No experience required
    Simply pander to our pride

    In our image we will make you
    Nothing you need do or say
    Ambiguity desired
    What you’ve spoken, we will say

    Unpredictable is better
    Less you do, the more we gain
    That way, anything that happens
    Afterwards we’ll just explain

    In your mouth some words inserted
    By our ministers and priests
    Gild the lining of their pockets
    From our meager meals their feasts

    From each one what he produces
    To the church its lustful needs
    You must only never quibble
    With the contents of our screeds

    You must form the perfect mirror
    Simply stand there and reflect
    Into you we’ll pour our darkness
    This, of course, you can’t reject

    We’ll write down what you’ve commanded
    Do not trouble with the “what?”
    Someone else will figure that out
    You just keep your own mouth shut

    Do not feel the least embarrassed
    At the empty praise you get
    Even though you’ve never earned it
    Just pretend and soon forget

    Burnt upon your sacred altar
    Though you’re dead, you’re still not stiff
    On your back our sins we’ll pile up
    Then we’ll shove you off a cliff

    What we do defines our “essence”
    Nothing “is” or ever “was”
    Big spooks in the sky, and little,
    Don’t exist; but “doing” does

    So our learning curve has no slope
    So our E.E.G.-line’s flat
    None can “damn” and none can “bless” us
    Only we can manage that

    So, we’ve got a deal then, don’t we?
    Such an offer, who’d refuse?
    Nothing paid for nothing offered
    That’s what makes you great to use

    Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright 2008

  9. Many people around here have signs which read: “Protect Religious Freedom” by which they mean, protect my version of Christianity and make certain to punish anyone who thinks otherwise!

    I have been wanting to do a full on pagan ceremony in front of one of those signs and I should get cracking on it!

    People like Perry must think Christianity doesn’t have much to offer. They seem terrified that people might learn about other religions and science. Apparently, the law of our nation means nothing as well. He’s not a deist so his claim about the founders is disingenuous.

    It is dangerous to claim you know what god wants for your nation. Evidently, god wants a lot of war, environmental destruction, control of women and children and, especially, more poverty! If that’s your god, maybe it’s time to get another one!!!

  10. And to think this guy was touted to be president…… Crazy people get offices…..

  11. I’ve got one for you, Governor Rick:

    Statutory Religion

    Zeus and Yahweh had a fling.
    They liked that earthly female thing:
    A little Greek, a little Jew,
    They did it like the rabbits do.

    In those days, no man’s law applied;
    If gods desired it, mankind cried.
    If old enough to stab, they bled;
    If old enough to bleed, they bred.

    So here we swirl around in pain,
    With more blood pouring down the drain.
    Upon the wheel mankind revolves,
    While life in violence dissolves.

    The Big Spook way up in the sky
    Keeps screwing over you and I;
    Our sisters and our daughters, too;
    And wives in Utah (quite a few).

    The Big Spook’s got an appetite;
    It likes ’em small; It likes ’em tight;
    It likes ’em big; It likes ’em wide;
    It hasn’t got an ounce of pride.

    No crime the Great Big Spook reproves.
    The Spook will screw it if it moves.
    If it can crawl or walk or run,
    The Spook will screw it just for fun.

    The Spook’s now got an inside track
    For buggering those in Iraq,
    For It has heard the nightly pleas
    Of one dumb Texan on his knees.

    Who wants so much to lead the troops,
    But only in his panties poops.
    The Spook, though, lets George have his way,
    And gives him bullshit words to say.

    “Bad” weddings George has bombed to mush;
    “Safe” houses, too, his bombers crush,
    To spread his own “democracy”:
    In his case, schizoid lunacy.

    The hearts and minds he’s failed to win
    Of those who’ve paid so he could sin;
    But still the Big Spook’s curse he stays,
    As on the world the Big Dick sprays.

    Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright 2006

  12. Why would anyone need protection from religion unless religion constitutes a threat?

    So Governor Rick, in effect has proudly proclaimed: “In Texas, nothing can protect you from the threat of religion.”

    What an ass.

  13. What a great head of hair! I think he’s the Republican version of John Edwards.

  14. It is my religion to oppose all religion, including my own. That might seem incomprehensible, but then, so are all religions.

  15. Really, Rick.

    “[N]o man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer, on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities.” — Thomas Jefferson, Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom (1779)

    “I am for freedom of religion, & against all maneuvres to bring about a legal ascendancy of one sect over another.” — Thomas Jefferson, letter to Elbridge Gerry, 1799

    It would appear that from a governmental perspective, Thomas Jefferson disagrees. And then there is that whole pesky Establishment Clause and Supremacy Clause to deal with as well.

    Keep your religion out of government, Ricky.

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