Every year without fail the “War on Christmas” is brought up, and just like the year before we see the same exhausted memes and hear the same debunked talking points from the same old sources about how we need to “put Christ back in Christmas.”
All of that changed this morning in Texas when state lawmakers sent letters to schools to inform the faculty and student body that there is no need to fear punishment for wishing somebody “Merry Christmas” this year. Yes, that’s right! A Texas based group that is apparently oblivious to the first amendment has pushed for what is now known as the “Merry Christmas Law,” a law that removes legal risks from exchanging holiday greetings in classrooms, because we all remember that one kid from our school that got sent to Guantanamo for not properly wishing somebody the merriest of Christmases.
This law also allows teachers and students to sing Christmas songs, erect Christmas trees, hang holiday decorations and set up nativity scenes as long as they do not include a “message that encourages adherence to a particular religion’s belief.” Well, gosh. Why didn’t you just say so in the first place? I mean who could possibly get any mixed messages or encourage any particular religious belief while singing ‘O Come All Ye Faithful” around a nativity scene?
The law also states that schools are constitutionally barred from favoring one religious celebration over another, even though it’s known as the “Merry Christmas Law.” That makes complete sense.
Let’s just make one jolly point here: there is no “War on Christmas” and nobody has ever tried to ban the holiday … well … except for those pesky God-loving Puritans who came to the new world in search of religious freedom and successfully outlawed Christmas in 1659 and fined people who celebrated it.
As explained by The Week:
Puritans in the English Parliament eliminated Christmas as a national holiday in 1645, amid widespread anti-Christmas sentiment. Settlers in New England went even further, outlawing Christmas celebrations entirely in 1659. Anyone caught shirking their work duties or feasting was forced to pay a significant penalty of five shillings. Christmas returned to England in 1660, but in New England it remained banned until the 1680s, when the Crown managed to exert greater control over its subjects in Massachusetts. In 1686, the royal governor of the colony, Sir Edmund Andros, sponsored a Christmas Day service at the Boston Town House. Fearing a violent backlash from Puritan settlers, Andros was flanked by redcoats as he prayed and sang Christmas hymns.
With massive problems affecting education over funding issues, deprived support for teachers, deteriorating performance, run-down structures, and politicization of curriculum, the “Merry Christmas Law” is what legislators have decided to push forward as a solution to a forged problem. This further proves that our legislators prefer to avoid focusing on real issues and challenges in the classroom and to instead provide insight on something that only benefits their ideology. You want the Christ back in Christmas? Well, Christ Almighty, people…here’s your “small government” at work.