During the signing event for the controversial “Merry Christmas Bill,” Texas Governor Rick Perry had a crystal clear message for Atheist activists who have their own crusade to take the church-state separatism to the extreme. He made it known that the U.S. Constitution does not guarantee “freedom from religion.”
There was no irony in his intentional statement, as the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), one of the prime organizations that launches lawsuits against faith in the public square, would patently disagree with his claim. They, of course, would rather religion have no place at all in American society.
However, Governor Rick Perry isn’t backing away from his defense of the First Amendment. He said during the event:
I’m proud we are standing up for religious freedom in our state. Freedom of religion doesn’t mean freedom from religion.
The governor continued by saying that “people of all faiths are free to use traditional holiday greetings, and display religious scenes and symbols, even on school property.” Freedom of expression, Perry said, will be sustained and fostered by its implementation.
State Senator Robert Nichols echoed the sentiments of Governor Rick Perry, stating that the Constitution very clearly protects “freedom of religion,” not “freedom from religion.” Furthermore, Nichols said that, rather than a protection of atheist rights, the removal of a Christmas tree from a classroom is actually an infringement of others’ rights, as Raw Story reports.
The Merry Christmas bill will enable public school teachers to say “Merry Christmas” and “Happy Hanukkah” without fear of threats from the secular left, and it begins during the 2013-2014 school year.
Additionally, the bill also allows officials in the public square to display Christmas trees, nativity scenes and Menorahs — all elements that have been targets for Atheist activists. Naturally, as intended by our Founders, educators are not supposed to favor one faith over another, and any holiday display should have more than one religious view represented along with a similar display of secular symbols if requested.