The law was initiated when Representative Dwayne Bohac learned that his son’s school had erected a “holiday” tree, as the word “Christmas” was banned in the school for fear of attracting litigation. Mr. Bohac remarked that the exclusion of any reference to Christmas at public schools was “political correctness run amok”.
The Christmas controversy, called the “War on Christmas” by Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, has taken a variety of forms.
In 2005 the City of Boston erected a “holiday tree” that incensed the Nova Scotia farmer who supplied the tree to Boston. He said he would rather put the tree in a wood chipper than put up with misguided political correctness.
Nativity scenes were barred in public schools in New York in 2002, a position that prevailed when the public school authorities were sued.
In 2007 a public school in Ottawa caused alarm when the word “Christmas” was excised from the school choir’s rendition of “Silver Bells” and replaced with the word “festive”. A few years later another public school in Ontario cancelled their Christmas concert and replaced it with a winter craft fair and concert in February.
Major American big-box chain stores have also been subject to criticism. Sears, Home Depot, Kmart, Target, Walmart, and others who left out the word “Christmas” in their marketing material acceded to pressure from customers and Christian lobby groups to reinstate the name of the religious statutory holiday.
Meanwhile Texas has led the way for “Merry Christmas” laws in Alabama, Tennessee, and Missouri with bills awaiting enactment in several other American states.
As for me, I say both “Merry Christmas” and “Happy Hannukkah”.
Lawdiva aka Georgialee Lang