I once heard then-U.S. Rep. and now-Gov. Mike Pence, R-Ind., say something that I quite liked: "I'm a Christian, an American, a conservative and a Republican - in that order." It quite nicely sums up how I feel.
Even if you are liberal, you can substitute liberal and Democrat in and be fine.
Every year around this time, we hear stories about a "War on Christmas." I am not going to defend and personally guarantee every "War on Christmas" story that someone, somewhere has publicized. But we do know that public schools have banned celebrations or mentions of Christmas. Many companies and public institutions formally encourage individuals to say "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas." In 2005 Lowe's began labeling their Christmas trees as "holiday trees."
In many cases, efforts to prevent Americans from publicly celebrating Christmas are dealt with before legal action occurs.
In two specific Texas cases, legal action has occurred:
- In Plano in 2003, three elementary school children became victims of religious viewpoint discrimination in Morgan v. Swanson, what is now referred to as the "Candy Cane" case. These young students brought holiday goodie bags with candy canes that had religious messages on them and they were threatened by school officials. That case is ongoing although an initial victory has been won by the "pro Christmas" faction over the school district for infringing on the constitutional rights of the three students.
- A federal judge found the Katy school district had "unlawfully discriminated" against students in a variety of ways related to celebrating Christmas.
- A Frisco school district PTA email before Thanksgiving outlined a list of "Winter Party Rules" banning any references to Christmas or any other religious holiday. The email even banned the colors "red and green" and outlawed Christmas trees at school parties. Thankfully, State Rep. Pat Fallon, R-Frisco, fought these rules and the issue appears to have been satisfactorily resolved. For a time, it appeared that First Amendment Rights in America did not exist in the Frisco district.
The silent majority of America is Christian. I would guess 90 percent of Americans celebrate Christmas (or other traditional winter holidays) in some form or fashion. An individual or family can decide on their own if the Christmas season should be celebrated with a religious element to it - most people do, but in America you have that Constitutional right to choose for yourself.
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