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Gov. Perry signs 'Merry Christmas' bill, stands up for religious freedom

Gov. Perry signs 'Merry Christmas' bill, stands up for religious freedom
MGN Online
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POSTED: Thursday, June 13, 2013 - 1:32pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - 9:50am

AUSTIN, TX (OFFICE OF RICK PERRY) — Gov. Rick Perry today 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. The governor was joined by bill author Rep. Dwayne Bohac and sponsor Sen. Robert Nichols for the signing ceremony.

“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.”

HB 308 ensures that adherence to one particular religion is not in practice, but rather allows the freedom of expression toward religious holidays to be a part of our schools. By allowing teachers to display various holiday symbols associated with certain religions, they are able 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. Bohac 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."

"I have heard from many constituents who dislike that it is becoming less culturally acceptable to openly celebrate these holidays in the ways past generations have," Sen. Nichols said. “To me, this is a matter of helping our 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.’” 

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We need more of your kind, Gov. Perry! Can we borrow you here in CA? May GOD bless you with more power and sensibility to your people. Texas must be super proud of you!

This is America. We shouldn't need a bill to be able to display our beliefs. Everyone who is an American citizen should be allowed to celebrate their beliefs and accept other beliefs. I guess it's good to have a bill but I think that was a waste of time and tax payers money. I honestly don't like being told what I can do and can't do.

Thank God someone has done something about this. Let's put Jesus back into Christmas and remember why we celebrate Christmas. Christmas Trees, carols, pageants, cards, gifts, decorations, and Santa Claus should all continue to be a part of our celebration in all our schools and communities around the Christian world. No other culture should insist on removing our traditions just because it doesn't suit them!

It's about time they heartened up and allow us our beliefs. Yes teach our kids how others celebrate but allow them the freedom to show their religion and customs too!it's bad enough we as Americans have to learn Spanish to accommodate Don't take away our traditions that have been around for years.

Separation of church and state was put into place for very good reasons people. Someones bound to get their nose out of joint about this-and I don't wish to put my child in harms way for the sake of a holiday!

The reason for this bill is to allow Christian to celebrate as the Jewish religion celebrates theirs and the islamic celebrate theirs. hristians were denied that right because those of the above religions were offended by Merry Christmas. So now all are able to celebrate at school .

Thank you Gov. Perry . for standing up for our religious beliefs. I pray that more Governors will follow you.

I do not agree.. Keep all religious celebrations out of school. Want to celebrate it than do it at home or place of worship or go to a private school.. Public school is public and does not have the right to single out specific religious celebrations.

So you don't believe in teaching diversity. By understanding other cultures and beliefs our children may just be better people than this generation has been. This country was founded on such freedoms and they are being taken away. No one is asking anyone to force practicing any religion on anyone. They learn about all of them, their roots and come to their own conclusion.

Why not teach our children about other religions and beliefs then we would be a more tolerant society instead of excluding we could replace that with acceptance. I studied other beliefs and history when I went to school (back in the old days) and my belief was not altered or feelings hurt. I think they would enjoy experiencing what other people do for their holidays.

Sorry my post was seen twice I'm new to this.

We all have different beliefs and why not celebrate or at least explain to our children how we and others feel this would make us a much more tolerant society rather than excluding all beliefs. I studied about different religions when I went to school (back in the old days) and it didn't alter my own beliefs.

Now if only the morons in Washington DC would do the same.

After all, JESUS is reason for the season. Has people forgot that about our rights that this country was founded on is freedom of religion.

Thank you so much Gov. Perry. I am glad there is still some one in the Government that believes in freedom of speech as well as God. God Bless you!!

Of course this is great news!!!! We are letting other parts of the world change our nation from what it was. Anyone who looks at it now can't possibly think it is in a good place. We need to go back to our country's roots!
ps. AMEN to sueerwin!!!

Thank you Gov. Perry! Some of my fondest memories of my childhood in school was Christmas. I want my grandchildren to experiance the freedom to talk about Jesus...the reason for the season. Thank you again and God Bless you.

Thank you, Gov. Perry, for making a stand for something that has been a part of this country since it was founded. The words "Merry Christmas" have always been a tradition and part of our culture. It is a shame that only a very select few want to take this away, and they usually get their way. It's time that the majority get their way! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!

Rick Perry, it would be Great if you could help get Prayer back in schools. The one's whom object to Prayer shouldn't be forced to participate, but the ones who do should be allowed this freedom which was taken away by what started out with the compliant of one person and-puff-Prayer was removed from schools and other places. How did this happen? Where is America's backbone? Christians, stand up for your beliefs! Help Restore America!

It is a very sad thing, indeed, that such a bill is needed. So thank you, Gov. Perry! The true meaning of "freedom of speech" is that we can speak our beliefs. Thank you for standing up for our freedoms, both of speech and religion. To those who disagree, I say simply,you are just as free to ignore religious holidays as we are to observe them. The freedom is "OF" religion, not "FROM" religion!

Sure thing. I'll explain to my 6 year old how there is no Santa and that is the real reason he doesn't come to our house - because the other parents lie to their children. I really hope that helps all the Christians feel more free. I never wanted to do this, but I will feel forced if Christmas is shoved down my kid's throat any more than it already was.

One thing wrong with our nation today is the fact that they are taking Christ out of everything. God bless you for taking this stand.....

It seems like every religion can celebrate & have freedom of speech, but for yrs Christians have been gagged. Why are Christians so offensive to other religions? Thank-you Governor Perry!!!!!!!!!

I am thrilled with religious freedom; however religious freedom means freedom for all--not just Christians (I am Christian). Our country is one of inclusion, not exclusion--a melting pot of various peoples, functioning as active, productive adults. The comments above scare me. They seem focused on freedom for themselves but neglect others. Is that the underlining premise of this bill, or are we truly promoting freedom??? Students need to be taught tolerance and acceptance of others.

Read the article again. It states that all religious expression is acceptable. It's just that Christians have been attacked so often, much more than any other religion, that it is refreshing to see someone acknowledge that Christians are a part of this nation, not just a tag on that can be cut off and eliminated. Too many people seem to bend over backward to accommodate other religions, Muslims for example, but go out of their way to discourage and belittle Christians.

Love love it we all should have the freedom to express ourselves and the season what ever way or saying we want.

Love love it.......if others can celebrate the season with their religious preference than all should be able to do also.

I firmly believe this is one step of many. At least someone in the Government is will to take a stand

ts all about selfish Christians not caring about children who are not Christian. Think for one moment that you are a non-Christian student age 6 or 7 and you are not allowed by your parents to celebrate Christmas. You would feel very alone and very outside and very not wanted. Oh, Christians are not perfect. Would you want your 6 or 7 year old child to feel this way?

gov. perry I am so proud of you for standing up for freedom of religion it is time we get god back in our scools I hope all states agree with you

First, I am Christian. Second, this bill is ridiculous. Everyone who has commented is Christian, however, this bill states that teachers are allowed to use "traditional" holiday greetings and display religious scenes and symbols on school property. What does "traditional" constitute? I am assuming that all of you that seem excited at the signing of this bill will also be tollerant when you drive by and see a buddha on the lawn of a school? Or how about a pop up mosque? What then?

That would be fantastic...Freedom to express Religious choices for all faiths and religions..FYI !!!! God did not create only Christians..He is Father to all of us, no matter how we express or practice His number one COMMANDMENT !!!!! LOVE ONE ANOTHER !!!! Remember God doe's not make mistakes..We commit them in "His name" !!!!! Believe me .. He is not happy with this unloving behavior..Peace and prayers to all..Even the confused ...Pastor M.

Of course I agree...it's Jesus Birthday..that is what we are celebrating!!!!!

Thank you Gov. Perry, but it just goes beyond the pale that a state has to pass a "law" so students and teachers can say "Merry Christmas" in our public schools. If it wasn't for Christians celebrating the birth of our Savior, there would be NO Christmas shopping/presents/millions of dollars spent in our market places every year to have this holiday. The "majority" of the people in this country celebrate Christmas. Get a clue those of you that don't or it "offends" you in some way. Get over your

For anyone who doesn't like it, there are plenty of flights out of the country.

Congratulations on applying a little common sense. I guess we need more of this to stop the PC movement.

Finally a governor with some guts and a backbone!

It's about time. EVERYONE has the right to celebrate whatever religious holiday they believe in, which means Christians have the right to celebrate Christmas without being made to feel that it's wrong. No one feels ashamed to say "Happy Hanukkah" to someone who is Jewish, so why is wrong to say "Merry Christmas" to a Christian? Equal rights for everyone. So "Merry Christmas" 6 months early.

Love it...I wish all other states would follow. This is a nation founded on God and His word. It would be nice to see the Bible welcomed back in schools and even taught. Our nation is in a sad situation without it.

I'd like to applaud Gov Perry and those involved in standing up for religious freedom. Allowing expressions on public property is NOT telling people that they have to agree. There is nothing in the Constitution that states 'freedom from religion', as is commonly stated. This just allows Christians to show their beliefs, as well as anyone else. I hope that other states will pick up on this as well.

It is way past time that some one enact this so that those of us who do celebrate Christmas. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. I get tired of having to comply with everyone elses beliefs only to have mine shoved under a rug. This should go nation wide!

Also, Christmas was originally a Pagan holiday. It's not a Christian holiday - you stole it. Get your facts straight.

What bull! That's unfair to other religions who get crap on that holiday! I'm all for religious freedom, if it's freedom for ALL. I'm homeschooling my kids. This is IT. I don't know what you 'Christians' are thinking; Jesus said to love thy neighbor, not 'love thy neighbor unless he or she happens to disagree with you and then bully them with your religious beliefs.' P.S. Jesus also said it's best to practice religion in person. Read a bible.

God bless you for this intelligent comment....Pastor M.

God bless you for this intelligent comment....Pastor M.

As I read comments, it appears that it is the feeling of many, that this is a bill in favor of Christianity. This is NOT so. It is in favor of ALL religions to espress their beliefs.

I don't live in Texas but I think that it's great to see someone finally stand up for our freedom. If they are allowing Muslims the right to prayer why can't we have that same right after all we are AMERICANS... GOD BLESS YOU. Keep up the good work maybe others will find the courage to step forward as well.

I'm an American, I'm a veteran. I'm also an Atheist. If Gov Perry actually wanted this to be an inclusive bill, he would have named it something like, Inclusive Religious Holiday Bill, not the 'Merry Christmas Bill', which is obviously favoring Christianity. Also, the country is still over 80% religious, so spare me your trite claims of persecution.

Thank God for men like him that will stand up for the Lord Jesus Christ, we need more men in government that has that type of backbone. Look where we have gotten without him in our public figure's lifestyle. We need to be proud enough of him to do the traditional pledge of allegiance and the prayer is so needed daily in school systems. Thanks Governor, Obama's ways are killing us, literally. We need the white house back...

Great news! Thank you, Governor Perry for standing up for justice!

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