A few years ago, the Texas state legislature decided to protect the celebration of Christmas in the Lone Star State's public schools. "Sensing that schools feared litigation if they dared to call a Christmas tree a Christmas tree," writes Alek Mehta, "legislators crafted a measure to allow references to Christmas – and to Hanukkah and to 'the holidays.'"
Hollywood's Kirk Cameron shares their frustration. This holiday season he is poking just a bit of fun at all the Scrooges and Grinches out there. His film, Saving Christmas, is scheduled for release November 14. It's dedicated to those who are determined that you and I don't celebrate Christ's birth.
Texas law "permits public schools to have 'scenes or symbols associated with traditional winter celebrations, including a menorah or a Christmas image such as a nativity scene or Christmas tree….' But there is a diversity clause. Any display must include 'a scene or symbol of more than one religion or one religion and at least one secular scene or symbol.'
"So," here's the checklist," says Mehta tongue in cheek. "Nativity scene with a nearby dreidel? All clear. Three wise men visiting baby Jesus as Santa and Frosty the Snowman look on? Check. Crèche featuring Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and angels? Nope. Somebody run and get an elf and reindeer pronto…"
"Having to jump through so many hoops just to exercise a little free speech might provoke some justified eye rolling," admits Mehta, "but there is value in going the extra mile to achieve even-handedness."