“Merry Christmas” Bill To Be Introduced
By Mike Perleberg
State Senator Jim Smith will introduce his “Merry Christmas” bill during the 2014 legislative session.
Indiana Senate Republicans
(Undated) – A so-called “Merry Christmas” bill will be introduced in the Indiana legislature next month.
State Senator Jim Smith (R-Charlestown), whose district includes part of Switzerland County, said he plans to introduce the bill when the 2014 lawmaking session begins in January. The Republican senator’s proposal would allow Christmas displays in schools, with conditions.
Smith says Christmas is under attack in a way that no other cultural traditions are.
“Christmas needs help, and I think my bill provides this important holiday some needed defense,” he said.
Under the bill, teachers could honor Christmas traditions such as displaying a Christmas tree or other decorations. That is as long as decorations of at least one other holiday – such as Hanukkah or Kwanzaa – are also displayed with it.
“Christmas is a meaningful and treasured holiday that represents the beliefs, history and traditions of so many Hoosier families,” Smith said. “Fear of a lawsuit has produced a chilling effect in Indiana classrooms, where many teachers are afraid to acknowledge these important cultural customs that we all hold so dear. The celebration of Christmas and other holiday festivities instills values in our children, such as love, friendship and goodwill. It’s a shame that some Indiana students miss the opportunity to learn and share these Hoosier ideals.”