Campaign aims to educate about Texas' 'Merry Christmas' law

Dec. 9, 2013 at 1:04 PM
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AUSTIN, Texas, Dec. 9 (UPI) -- A Texas group said its Merry Christmas Texas campaign is aimed at ensuring students know they have the right to exchange holiday greetings.

The Texas Values group said it is opposing what its president, Jonathan Saenz, and other conservative commentators refer to as "the war on Christmas" with a campaign including radio ads aimed at making sure the state's residents are aware of the a law passed this year in the state, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported Monday.

"It's time to end the war on Christmas and stop forcing our schools to bow at the altar of political correctness," Saenz said.

The new law states students and teachers can exchange holiday greetings including "Merry Christmas" and "Happy Hanukkah" at school as well as display items including Christmas trees, nativity scenes and menorahs provided multiple religions and a secular symbol are included.

"We hope our Merry Christmas Texas effort will educate millions of Texas public school students and parents and our over 1,200 school districts of their protections under the 'Merry Christmas' law," Saenz said.

Terri Burke, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, called the law and the Texas Values campaign unnecessary.

"I'm sure that right-wing advocacy groups raise of a lot of money this time of year by hyping a fake war on Christmas," Burke said. "But the truth is that the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution already protects schoolchildren's religious freedom -- whether they are Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu or none of the above -- and nothing that the Texas Legislature passes is going to improve on what the Founders gave us."

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