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Ridiculous "Merry Christmas Bill" Introduced in Texas Legislature

by: Ben Sherman

Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 09:00 AM CDT

You see, not everyone in the Texas Legislature is serious. Not everyone is working for the betterment of Texas. Not everyone tries.

Enter the "Texas Merry Christmas Bill". This is the discharge of Republican State Rep. Dwayne Bohac (HD-138) and State Sen. Robert Nichols (SD-3). The bill aims to make it legal for schools to "educate students about the history of traditional winter celebrations, and allow students and district staff to offer traditional greetings regarding the celebrations".

Read more below the jump.

Bohac says this of the bill's origins:

This bill originated when I picked up my first grade son from school last year and asked him how his day went. He told me that his class had decorated their holiday tree with holiday ornaments. When I asked what a holiday tree was, he told me it was the same as a Christmas tree. After inquiring with school officials as to why the term 'Holiday Tree' was being used, it became apparent that the school was fearful of litigation.

Bohac could have just watched Fox News for hours of "Happy Holidays" hysteria (and probably did - I don't believe that story for a second).

Here's some news for Reps. Bohac and Nichols: they're trying to solve a problem that doesn't exist. Schools are not barred from educating students about winter celebrations (though it's not part of the curriculum), and no one has gotten in trouble for wishing students a happy [specific holiday]. As long as none of the teachers are clearly favoring one religion's holiday over another, there is no problem.

The reason "Happy Holidays" has grown in popularity as a greeting in recent decades is that America is progressing culturally. Americans celebrate many different holidays, and "Happy Holidays" captures all of them under one banner. Despite what Fox News asserts, that's a good thing when you think about it.

Why would a bill to promote many different holidays in schools be named after one holiday? The bill's name itself gives away its true intentions: cater to the Republican party's Fox News-watching base that thinks there is actually a problem here. This is an important bill for the two legislators - it even has a flashy website and a Twitter account. Meanwhile, Texans deal with a low-wage work environment, a failing education system, and a government that, for purely political reasons, refuses to expand Medicaid. Nice work, Bohac and Nichols. Actually, terrible work.

Though the Legislature meets so rarely (and should meet much more often), it's hard to resist wanting it to end sooner rather than later.

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