Though it may be considered politically incorrect to say "Merry Christmas" in many parts of the country, the phrase might soon be declared a legal greeting for the 2014 holiday season in Indiana public schools. If passed, the "Merry Christmas" bill would legally protect the right to give traditional winter holiday greetings and to display faith-oriented symbols in public schools.
Senator Jim Smith who co-authored the "Merry Christmas" bill believes that the Christian holiday is under attack - "That's just crazy that we even have to move a bill like that, but I think it's very well needed in the state and in every state," he says. The bill not only protects religious freedom for Christians, but also for Jews as well. If it were to become law, children in public schools would be allowed to say "Happy Hanukkah" and "Merry Christmas" for the first time in years without fear of repercussion.
The bill was unanimously passed in the Indiana Senate, and it is now awaiting approval from the House and from Indiana Governor Mike Pence to sign it into law. The bill was reportedly created after Texas passed their version of the legislation in June, and seven additional states followed suit as well.
Fox News reports that the bill allows public schools in the state to display Menorahs or nativity scenes, so long as they are paired with other religious or secular symbols. Schools would also be allowed to teach children about the history behind the Christmas and Hanukkah holidays.
This might give good opportunity for Christian teachers in the state to share their faith in such a way that children can more clearly understand the Good News of Jesus Christ.