The Merry Christmas Bill: Rick Perry, Thomas Jefferson, Freedom and Religion

“I’m proud we are standing up for religious freedom in our state. Freedom of religion doesn’t mean freedom from religion.” ~ Rick Perry

13 June 2013

Rick Perry, who has been the governor of Texas for approximately 72 years and apparently has entirely too much time on his hands, signed the “Merry Christmas Bill” into law today.

The bill, HB 308, authored by Rep. Dwayne Bohac (R) and sponsored by state Senator Robert Nichols (R) guarantees that children and teachers will be allowed to celebrate the famous Pagan holiday by saying “Merry Christmas” and displaying religious symbols in Texas public schools.

During the press conference Perry also gave us all a brief lesson on the U.S. Constitution and the First Amendment to the Bill of Rights. “It’s a shame that a bill like this one I’m signing today is even required, but I’m glad that we’re standing up for religious freedom in this state. Religious freedom does not mean freedom from religion.”

Not to be outdone by the Governor’s grandstanding, Sen. Nichols jumped in with an almost-quote from everyone’s favorite founding father. “I think it was Thomas Jefferson who said the price of liberty is eternal vigilance. One of those freedoms is the freedom of speech, freedom of expression, and as the governor was saying the Constitution refers to the freedom of religion, not the freedom from religion.”

Nichols continued, “So, challenges to these freedoms that we enjoy can come in a lot of different ways. They can come in very large ways like the war on terror or our freedoms can be taken away in small ways like the removal of a Christmas tree from a classroom.”

So true. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’ve been emotionally damaged for years by the the freedoms I lost because we didn’t have a decorated pine tree in my 9th grade history classroom.

Oh, and Mr. Nichols, as long as we are quoting Thomas Jefferson, here are a few interesting things he jotted down when he wasn’t too busy cutting all of the supernatural parts out of the New Testament:

“Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.”

“History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes.”

“Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because if there be one he must approve of the homage of reason more than that of blindfolded fear.” ~ Thomas Jefferson

Of course, Mr. Jefferson was also a slave owner who most famously wrote the words, “All men are created equal.” So take all of this for what it’s worth.

The important thing to remember is that while our state is suffering from poverty, unemployment, natural and industrial disasters, climate change and a scientific ignorance epidemic, our governor is doing his best to protect us all from the nonexistent “war” on Christmas. So sleep well, my fellow Texans. Rick has everything under control: it’s now even more legal than it already was to say “Merry Christmas” in school. Even in June.


Author: Nick Allison is just a banged-up combat infantry veteran of the War in Iraq. He lives in Austin, TX with his wife, their children and two big, dumb, ugly mongrel dogs.

Please feel free to send your love letters and hate mail to

Twitter: or @NickAllison80

3 thoughts on “The Merry Christmas Bill: Rick Perry, Thomas Jefferson, Freedom and Religion

  1. Rick Perry is such a hypocrite. He is always talking about how Texas doesn’t need federal funding and then turning around and complaining about Texas not getting enough federal funding and assistance after every disaster that befalls his state.


  2. Pingback: Chaos 2013: Year in Review | Chaos Section

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