Friday, December 09, 2005

Georgia legislators introduce O'Reilly bills

Georgia State Sen. Ronnie Chance (R-Tyrone) and State Rep. Clay Cox (R-Lilburn) filed companion bills to prohibit government agencies (including schools) from barring employees (and students) from saying "Merry Christmas", "Happy Chanukah" (you really hear a lot of that on your average American public school playground) or "any other expression relating to the celebration of a holiday." According to the lawmakers, they introduced the measures because they'd heard reports that an unidentified public school principal in the northeastern part of the state enacted a policy banning teachers from referring to their staff party as a "Christmas" party.
"Our First Amendment right to free speech cannot be destroyed by political correctness run amok," Chance said. He added: "I don't believe government was created to be the speech police." State Rep. Clay Cox [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
These bills and the debate, if any (this is Georgia afterall) they face in next year's legislative session are a complete waste of time and taxpayer money. There is no evidence that any government agency in this country has even considered issuing regulations banning use of the phrase "Merry Christmas" (never mind the fact it would be blatantly unconstitutional to do so). Even if the unknown principal had told staffers the party was to be considered and referred to as a holiday party, (s)he was not prohibiting staffers or students from wishing others a Merry Christmas. This red herring is dressed in green. The bulk of the fundagelical fit-pitching is that retailers are using the phrases "Happy Holidays" and/or "Seasons Greetings" in their ads and store displays and that many businesses
voluntary send generic holiday cards (instead of Christmas cards) to their clients. It looks like the person who is doing the most to "diminish and denigrate" the religious holiday of Christmas is really the Christofascist's bile-belching mouthpiece
"There is no reason on this earth that all of us cannot celebrate a public holiday devoted to generosity, peace, and love together."
[ Bill O'Reilly, 2Dec05]

[hat tip to Lindsay]

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