A new radio ad claims there is a War on Christmas. It was made to promote a new state law that was drafted to help keep the holiday in Texas schools.
The only holiday celebration on the December calendar at Pease Elementary is an upcoming winter dance. If students want to add a touch of Christmas cheer Jonathan Saenz, with Texas Values, believes a new state law will take care of any Grinch that tries to show up.
"And all of this mistreatment of Christmas should go away and we hope that will result in less school districts being naughty and more being nice," said Saenz.
Earlier this year Governor Rick Perry signed House Bill 308 known as the Merry Christmas Law. In November, Texas Values launched a website to promote that law at www.MerryChristmasTexas.com and this week released a radio ad as a holiday reminder of the new rule. The spot is running in the four largest media markets in the state, and closes with the voice of a child.
Conservative authors have written about a War on Christmas and Saenz says reports of recent battles are no holiday myth.
"I mean you've had students who simply wanted to write the words Merry Christmas when sending cards to the troops in Iraq, they were told no that was banned and censored. Students that wanted to call something a Christmas tree they were told no you got to call it a holiday tree, and just recently in North Texas, in the Frisco school district a PTA email went out saying there would be no reference to Christmas or even a reference to the colors Red or Green," said Saenz.
When State lawmakers wrote the legislation they included language that allows school districts to educate students about the history and cultural impact of Christmas and other religious holidays like Chanukah, even Kwanzaa. Schools officials can put up displays but lawmakers say they cannot go too far. Encouraging any religious belief is prohibited.
"The courts have been very clear you can have a celebration as long as it's diverse," said Civil Rights attorney Jim Harrington.
As for the claim of a holiday battle, Harrington offered a Bah-humbug retort.
"To talk about this as a war against Christmas, which is nonsense, but we're trying to push Christmas back into school, that's a different kind of agenda."
Harrington says children could be harmed if the law is misused to push one religious point of view. But for Saenz the only intent is to give those who support Christmas some much needed ammunition in an ongoing battle with political correctness. On December 9th Texas Values plans to hold a Holiday party at the state Capitol to promote the new law.