Texas is already bracing for the annual battle about what constitutes appropriate behavior during the holiday season. In an attempt to defeat the “War on Christmas,” state lawmakers passed the “Merry Christmas Bill.” The new legislation allows public school teachers to say "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Hanukkah" and display Christmas trees, nativity scenes or menorahs. The only requirement for the displays is that they represent more than one religion.
"Teachers have enough on their plate to worry about [whether] the school district's going to be sued or if they can call a Christmas tree a Christmas tree," said the man who sponsored the bill, state Rep. Dwayne Bohac.
He came up with the idea after his son told him he had decorated the “holiday” tree with “holiday” ornaments. "I was a little bit flabbergasted and a little bit upset that we've become so politically correct that we can't call a federal holiday by its name," said Bohac.
Proponents of the bill even created a website so people could sign a petition backing the proposed legislation. The message on the site reads:
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“Kids love the holidays. Whether it’s Christmas or Hanukkah, our children, teachers, parents and school administrators should have the freedom to acknowledge these traditions in our public schools without fear of censorship, punishment, persecution or litigation. In today’s world of political correctness run amok, Christmas Trees have been replaced with “Holiday Trees” and simple on-campus greetings such as “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Hanukkah” can land a student or teacher in hot water.”
The bill is now headed for the desk of Gov. Rick Perry. It sounds as if he will sign it into law. Perry spokesman Josh Havens told The Huffington Post, "This bill is about the freedom of religion, not freedom from religion, and Gov. Perry supports it."