Don't worry, Christians! The brave and smart members of the Oklahoma Legislature are working on saving the Sacred Baby Festival from all those pagans and liberals and secular humanists who are trying to ban Christmas forever, just like they made sure that no one can everforget that the 10 Commandments exist. They've introduced two "Oklahoma Merry Christmas bills" that would protect Christmas, apparently in the belief that the scary bearded atheists in Chick tracts are real people, haw-haw.

The bills, HB2316 and HB 2317, would “permit school districts to display on school property scenes or symbols associated with traditional winter celebrations,” which seems like awfully non-Jesusy language for laws aiming to protect The Only Holiday That Matters (plus Hanukkah, according to the sponsors). Before you know it, some weirdo will sneak in Saturnalia or the Winter Solstice, and also too Oklahoma will be overrun with Druids

Rep. Ken Walker, one of the bills' co-authors, explained why the bills are so desperately needed:

“The purpose of the Oklahoma Merry Christmas bill is to put a beacon of light, a safe harbor, if you will, in the pages of statutes so that our children … and our parents can run to a lighthouse whose light shines boldly on the pages of Oklahoma’s law books and declares that they have a right to express their core beliefs and celebrate winter traditions without fear of lawsuit, retribution or reprisal.”

And the number of lawsuits and reprisals in Oklahoma over Christmas decorations is...? Never mind, it could happen; just ask Todd Starnes.

In the press conference announcing the proposals, Walker added this totally accurate description of reality:

"Every year around this time, we hear from a small but vocal minority that preaches tolerance yet fails to tolerate the several hundred year Judeo-Christian tradition of most Americans who celebrate Hanukah and Christmas," Walker said. "Our rights are God given and the government should protect and defend these rights."

Of course, throwing Hannukah in there would seem to short circuit the complaint that "happy holidays" is an attack on Christmas, not to mention the ridiculous image of good old Judeo-Christians in early America gathering around the Liberty Bell to "celebrate Hanukah and Christmas." We thought that including any holiday other than Christmas was part of the supposed war on Baby Jebus, but sure, maybe there's a War On Hannukah, too. Other than the one being waged by people who shout "Merry Christmas...NOT 'Happy Holidays!'" at cashiers.*

One of the geniuses who said he supports the bills, Rep. Bobbie Cleveland,

said the bill was in keeping with the founding fathers' trip from England to what is now the United States to regain rights they were losing. "Simply because we're in the school house, we do not lose that right (to freedom of speech)," he said. "I want to keep Christmas in for my grandkids and great grandkids, so they understand what the season is all about."

He can't possibly be talking about the Puritans, who considered Christmas the worst of pagan idolatry. Maybe he means the Judeo-Christians, who also celebrated Hannukah with a plastic Jewish family on their lawn.

Our favorite part of all this? In an effort to pretend that they give two shits about the Constitution, the sponsors are very careful to specify that it's OK for schools to display religious holiday symbols "when the display includes a scene or symbol of more than one religion or one religion and at least one secular scene or symbol." Because, you know, they really aren't trying to endorse one religion, no, not at all.

[eCapitol News via ThinkProgress]

* Kid Zoom and his mom actually saw this happen at a checkstand a few years back. As a bonus, they were buying Hannukah candles at the time, but didn't call attention to the fact.

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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