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New Missouri Law Protects Christmas Celebrations in Parks, Schools

Categories: Holidays, Politics

xmas.jpg
tamburix on Flickr
If you love Christmas and want to go all out this holiday -- lights, stockings, nativity scenes, carols, the works -- this is your year. A new Missouri law says no one, not even the government, can restrict your celebration in any public space.

Folks can practice, mention, celebrate or discuss any federal holiday in any public park, school or place, according to Statute 9.015, passed last month when the state house voted to override Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of the bill. (More on that after the jump.) There are 10 federal holidays, including Columbus Day, Independence Day and Labor Day. Christmas Day is the only holiday associated with a religion.

Rep. Jill Schupp, D-Creve Coeur, says that while the 32-word law covers all ten federal holidays, "It's really just about one holiday: Christmas."

See also: Christmas Under Attack in Missouri? Holiday Bill Vetoed, Could Limit Fireworks Regulations

"I think that we all knew that the real, underlying reason for this bill is that there is a small group of people who want to ensure Christmas displays are allowed in any public place, regardless of the people of that community or school," Schupp says.

schupp.PNG
jillschupp.com

Schupp, who is Jewish, said the law was exclusionary under the pretense of being an inclusive new protection. "Jewish holidays are not protected in the same way. Muslim holidays are not protected in the same way. People who do not celebrate a religion have no protections for their freedom from religion.

"This is a law based on ideology, and I don't think ideology is a good way to legislate," Schupp says.

The law will likely be challenged in a state court against the first ten words of the First Amendment, known as the Establishment Clause, which prohibit the government from establishing or favoring one particular religion.

The law's reach goes beyond Christmas. Governor Jay Nixon, who vetoed the bill in July, said he feared a Missouri resident could cite the new law when shooting off Fourth of July fireworks during dry summers when fireworks are prohibited.

"As a result, local governments would be hampered in their efforts to enforce existing fireworks ordinances around July 4th. More troubling, House Bill No. 278 would greatly frustrate a ban on fireworks imposed during a period of severe fire risk," Nixon said.

The law says: "No state or local governmental entity, public building, public park, public school, or public setting or place shall ban or otherwise restrict the practice, mention, celebration, or discussion of any federal holiday."

HB278

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at Lindsay.Toler@RiverfrontTimes.com.



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20 comments
djw77
djw77

A great law and much needed.  Christmas is under attack despite the secularist protestations that it is not.  In the civil rights movement some of the most racist people argued vociferously that there was no racism. Seeing the same thing here.

Christmas is both a religious holiday and a secular holiday.  The government recognizes the secular aspect of what the Judeo-Christian heritage contributed to this nation (Jesus was a Jew).  The ideas of self government and checks and balances between the government branches.  The list could go on.  In countries where pagans or Muslims or whatever contributed the foundation of their government, I imagine they have holidays based on those principles, either secular, religious or both.

For those that will go hysterical over this, Chill.

Kay Cross
Kay Cross

And that one Holiday in fact wasn't even Christmas...it ah was believe it or not Thanksgiving..

Ellen Bond
Ellen Bond

What is this world coming to? I love Christmas! Remember, it's about the birth of Christ, if you don't want to observe the holiday, then feel free to opt out!

Scott Bringhurst
Scott Bringhurst

Jesus Christ, people, I'm not even a Christian and I f*cking LOVE Christmas. If we were in Israel, I'd love Hanukkah just as much. It's a party. Get over it.

Neil Aimaro
Neil Aimaro

This has nothing to do with the existence of god Richard. It has to do with our government favoring one religion over another.

Richard Kyles
Richard Kyles

How do you keep something that doesn't even exist out of a government?

Richard Kyles
Richard Kyles

lets just outlaw all religions and be done with stupidity.

Neil Aimaro
Neil Aimaro

More like because a bunch of bible thumping hypocrites won't let them. Keep your god out of our government.

Sarah Penrod
Sarah Penrod

Stupid legislation is stupid. And pointless. And discriminatory. Adjectives!

Steve Mincer
Steve Mincer

because mom won't give them gas money to get there.

Neil Aimaro
Neil Aimaro

The Headline should read; New Missouri Law favors Christianity over all other religions.

Neil Aimaro
Neil Aimaro

Why do I have a feeling that we are not going to be seeing any Satanic displays in public parks?

Neil Aimaro
Neil Aimaro

There is no war on Christmas. This is people manipulating the government to favor one religion above all others.

Bob McCollum
Bob McCollum

I will destroy XMAS if it is the last thing I do. #EVIL

smdrpepper
smdrpepper

And so the myth of the war on christmas continues.  There is no need for this law since the holiday is all over the damned place.  Cant even find much for Halloween because of it.  Seriously people, stop dreaming that your a persecuted people just because your christian.  Maybe your being persecuted for shoving your beliefs down everyones throats.

TyronetheDog
TyronetheDog

Besides this "legislative Jewess" ( aka Ms. Schupp) the Puritans also hated Christmas and banned it in America.

 Boo, hiss....
As a practicing Pagan, I rejoice in this new law protecting my rights to celebrate Festivus and Saturnalia festivals around December 25. The culmination of the Winter Solstice, holly & mistletoe, Santa Claus, and endless capitalist shopping sprees ; culminating in raucous partying and "gift giving" are the true meaning of this time of year.
Hail the Sun is born!
Ms. Schupp, West county Jewish American Princess, leave my Holiday alone!

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