This year Santa won’t just come down the chimney. If you are a non-Christian living in Texas, Santa may be coming right down your throat.
Today Gov. Perry signed House Bill 308 which “allows 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 author of the bill, Rep. Bohac came up with the idea when he went to pick up his 6 year old at school and didn’t see enough Christmas bling. He had had enough and decided to pass a law. The law is touted as defending “religious freedom.” So, theoretically, the bill will equally allow Hindus to display pictures of say, Ganesh, Muslims to advocate for say, sharia law, Satanists to mount pictures of the Lord of Darkness, Pagans to dance and sing there in the school, and atheists to refute belief in God on the same bulletin boards and PA systems that Christians celebrate Christmas.
Can anyone guess what would happen if other religions demanded equal time in a Texas public school? Not for nothing was the bill called “the Merry Christmas Bill.” Unfortunately, in Texas, “religious freedom” is generally defined as the right of Christians to invade the public sphere, but also to war against sharia law, abortion and atheists as military chaplains. I predict all hell will break loose if other religions actually try to get equal billing.
So Texans are in the ironic position of having Republican lawmakers forcing us to “don we now our gay apparel.”
Thanks, as always, to Sharon Mock who sends me copies of new bills and laws from the Texas Leg.