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Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013
Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Music: Chris Pérez never saw it coming. “All I ever wanted to do was play guitar,” he told the Current. “I never thought I’d be the subject of an interview... By Enrique Lopetegui 8/28/2013
Chris Perez, husband of slain Tejana icon Selena, tells of romance, suffering

Chris Perez, husband of slain Tejana icon Selena, tells of romance, suffering

Arts & Culture: In one of the final chapters of his book To Selena, With Love (out March 6), Selena's widower Chris Perez mentions that Abraham Quintanilla, his former father-in-law, once... By Enrique Lopetegui 3/7/2012
A Look Back at SA\'s Homebrew History

A Look Back at SA's Homebrew History

The Beer Issue: Homebrewing is a foundational American virtue. Not just Sam Adams smiling back from the bottle that bears his name—virtually all the... By Lance Higdon 10/15/2014

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Merry Christmas Law is Gift that Keeps on Giving, Comedy-wise

Photo: Screen Shot Via Media Matters for America, License: N/A

Screen Shot Via Media Matters for America

It’s that time of year again. Hanging stockings, decking the halls, caroling and, if you’re a Texas right-wing conservative, spending the hours needlessly fighting a religious war that doesn’t exist.

Thanks to legislation authored by state Rep. Dwayne Bohac (R-Houston) during the 2013 session, conservative groups are in a media blitz promoting the new “Merry Christmas Law,” which allows parents, teachers and students to celebrate Christmas and Hanukkah in public schools, “without fear of censorship, litigation or persecution.” (So, why wouldn’t you name it the “Religious-Inclusive Holiday Law” you ask? We could take a few guesses.)

“Our school officials and teachers have enough on their plate without having to worry about frivolous lawsuits for acknowledging Christmas in our public schools,” said Bohac in a release. “This bill simply offers protection for and guidance to school officials and teachers by codifying Supreme Court precedent and providing ‘bright lines.’ This bill ultimately is about bringing ‘fun, joy and magic’ back into our schools during the holiday season.”

In what feels like a now time-honored tradition, conservative groups—led by Texas Values, which runs a statewide campaign to protect the holiday in schools—have begun to launch their counterattack on the “War on Christmas,” and it appears the new law is their latest weapon.

Not surprisingly, some of SA’s most conservative elected officials are drinking the eggnog. State Sen. Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels)—a co-sponsor of the law—promises to “stand up for the true meaning of CHRISTmas [emphasis hers] and stay strong for our conservative values in the Texas Senate,” on her Facebook profile and even offers up a dedicated page on her re-election website for monetary donations to “Stop the War on Christmas!” North San Antonio’s Texas State Board of Education representative Ken Mercer joined Bohac and others at public appearances to draw attention to the new law. There is a “culture war being waged on Christmas and Hanukkah,” said Mercer during an an event at the Capitol in early December. “The bad news: We had to pass a law to tell the far left that in a place called Texas, we believe in a document called the United States Constitution that protects our First Amendment rights!”

Perhaps without realizing it, Mercer signaled one of the central redundancies of the law—guarantees in the First Amendment already protect students, teachers and whoever else from religous expression and free speech.

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