Rick Perry Says Americans Don’t Have Freedom From Religion

govrickperryAfter my recent article outlining the slush fund Governor Rick Perry has created in Texas, I hadn’t planned on doing anything else on the governor for a while.

That was until I discovered a new bill he signed into law, House Bill 308—otherwise known as the “Religious Freedoms Bill.”

What this bill does is allow public schools to use traditional holiday greetings, display religious scenes and symbols on school property.  With proponents of the bill claiming that this measure in no way promotes a singular religion, but will include all religions so that students might be “educated on the history and roots of other religions.”

Right.

I can already see it now.  The moment stories emerge of religions other than Christianity being brought into Texas public schools, you’ll quickly see a backlash from many of these same conservative politicians and parents who have children in the schools where non-Christian religions have been introduced.

But the real problem here isn’t just the bill itself (which clearly violates the First Amendment), but the comments made by Perry as it relates to our Constitutional right to freedom of religion:

“Freedom of religion doesn’t mean freedom from religion, and people of faith often feel like they can’t express that faith publicly.”

According to Mr. Perry, Americans don’t have the freedom to be free from religion—they just have the freedom to publicly express whichever religion they choose.

And just who are these people who aren’t able to express their religious beliefs?  Hell, it seems these mega churches are popping up on every corner these days—and they’re getting bigger than ever.

But how exactly are people of faith being denied their right to practice their religion?  Simply because it’s largely been kept out of public schools?

If parents want their children to have more religion in their life, then they need to take their children to church more often.  It’s not the job of already overworked teachers to teach religion to their kids.

Many American children can barely read, struggle at performing basic math and seem to think science is a foreign language.  The last thing we need is time taken away from trying to actually educate these kids so that we can install religion into our already strained curriculum.

Now I’m not opposed to people saying Merry Christmas, or even having Christmas trees in classrooms—but you’re fooling yourself if you believe this bill is about Christmas, and it’s not an attempt to bypass our First Amendment and inject religious teaching into public schools.

Rick Perry clearly tipped his hand about his true intentions with this bill when he said the words, “Freedom of religion doesn’t mean freedom from religion.” And the kicker—in 2011, Perry made a video claiming that kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school that was quickly fact checked by Politifact and rated FALSE.  In their ruling, Politifact stated:

“The Supreme Court has not held that students can’t pray; Perry’s home state even has laws protecting that right. The highest court also hasn’t held that kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas at school.”

This is just another example of a “Constitutional Republican” trying to violate our Constitution and force religion into our public schools and curriculum.  Are we really surprised?

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • Amy

    Yeah, I can just see what’ll happen the first time a school “educates” their students about Ramadan…..

    • OBKB

      Educating students about all religions is better than indoctrinating them with one. All Ramadan is, is one month of daylight fasting, giving to charity, and the re-evaluation of life, faith, and self-accountability. I think if more people were educated in others’ religions, people wouldn’t be so cruel to others.

      • Aaron

        True.. But it’s literally impossible to educate students about ALL religions, so the only viable option is to leave it out and let the parents teach their kids. If they’re too lazy to do that, then they shouldn’t complain when their kids don’t believe what they hope they will.

      • OBKB

        As an Atheist, I fully agree with you. However, if you want to teach one, you have to teach them all.

      • Regina Carol Moore

        I responded elsewhere that if all religions were taught to every student, it would only take one generation for everyone to be secular humanists.

      • Regina Carol Moore

        I took a philosophy class in my rural, public high school and learned about many many religions. It was one of the best classes I ever took. That was in the early 80s. It would probably not be taught today.

      • Danielle P

        They offer “world religions” in college. You know that place were you pay for the education you want. My mom took it.

      • raggedcompany

        It’s really not that difficult to throw a few units into the curriculum covering the basic tenets of major world religions. Not every single religion, ever — just the ones most widely practiced. But I think government is more concerned with teaching according to standardized tests than with actually teaching students anything of value. (A rant for another time, however.)

      • Scaramongus

        I believe if they are to teach anything about religion, it needs to be done as part of a socio-historic context study.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        The right is not interested in students learning about any religion other than Christianity.

      • OBKB

        I’m well aware.

      • No freaking kidding!!! There are plenty of those who think they are Christians who act like their way is the law of the land when its not even close. They’re usually the ones who suck at predicting the end of the world too!

      • Jason

        not just Christianity…it has to be ultra-conservative evangical Christianity… imagine if they taught one of the more “liberal” forms of Christianity…

      • LateNightLarry

        The right is not interested in students learning about any religion other than THEIR PARTICULAR NARROW-MINDED VERSION OF Christianity.

        There, suburbancuurmudgeon… fixed that for ya…

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Thank you for that critical insertion. I stand corrected. 🙂

      • Scaramongus

        exactly

      • Sherri G

        I agree…look at what happened when YOGA was introduced as an alternative P.E. for kids with physical limitations, stress, disabilities, ADHD, etc…..a group of ultra-conservative Bible-thumping right-wing extremists filed a lawsuit based on false accusations that the Yoga classes (which were totally OPTIONAL) were indoctrinating their kids with Buddhism/Hinduism ideology.

  • AlienFactor

    G-d. Yahweh. Allah. Ok, that encompasses ~90%+ of religions. So the others need to succumb to the majority of religious beliefs, to accept that somehow their beliefs are not valid. So much for religious freedom. As long as any other religious group is marginalized I guess it doesn’t matter. My belief in a flying spaghetti monster as the creator of all life and everything else somehow doesn’t matter. No government entity should be dictating to me what is or is not a valid belief.

    • Ken Hansen

      Thankfully that ~90% isn’t correct. Per the Pew Research Center 2012 – Christian 31.5%, Muslim 23.2%, Hindu 15.0%, Bhuddist 7.1%, Folk 5.9%. The last three alone are outside your 3 gods and already account for more than 25% of worshippers worldwide.

      I am digging the pastafarian slant though!

  • disqus_6AeSbMRBY2

    Since when did this moron become a constitutional scholar? He can’t find his ass with both hands…..

    • NYPRPhD

      When he finishes doing #2 he wipes his elbow.

      • A1234567

        …on his mouth!

    • dcr999

      That’s being too nice! He can’t find his ass with both hands a flash light and an anal probe!!!!

      • dawnspirit

        yeah he can find them with a probe probably loves it too

    • Doy Bowers

      I have to respectfully disagree. I’m quite sure Gov. Perry can locate his posterior without any problem because that’s were he keeps his head.

      • shogun768

        and both fists apparently.

  • Cindi

    Another reason that snow isn’t so bad! We are Pagan; yes, it is a religion. Educate yourself prior to bashing us please. 🙂

    • Brittany

      Thank you!! I myself am a Pagan and I hate when people just assume things about our faith or beleive in the misconceptions that society has about Paganism even though many Christian beliefs stem from Pagan roots!

    • yayagoddess

      I’m sorry, but read a dictionary. The word PAGAN does not identify any religion. The word Pagan,(including all it’s permutations, like paganism, pagonistic, etc) and its cousin, heathen, are words given by the Roman Catholic church to describe ANY follower of polytheistic religions of antiquity. In other words, these words are SLURS, they were (and are) “the “N” Word” used by the religious to identify and marginalize (and then persecute) those with beliefs other than the mainstream. Paganism is NOT a religion in and of itself. And yes, I AM educated. My first college degree was in religious philosophy. I studied religion to try to find “god,” and emerged an atheist. Then I went on to earn three more college degrees in areas of study that would better serve the world. than stupid mythologies of antiquity.

      • Dana

        I’m sure there’s supposed to be a point in there somewhere but all I read was ‘blah, blah, I’m an offensive jerk’. Look, if you feel the need to jump down someone’s throat for the use of a term that has, for at least the past 50 years, been used to define an pluralistic *religious* movement…then you’re probably not that secure in your atheism.

      • yayagoddess

        Dear Dana, I am sorry if you are upset by my comments, but I simply defined a word and pointed out that those individuals using it to define themselves as a part of a distinct religion are…just…plain…well,,,in my opinion, trying to profess a belief in something that does not exist (sort of like the god concept). I did not attack you personally. I’m sorry you felt so threatened that you had to turn this into a personal attack. The problem with this world today comes down to an attitude of “My ignorance and lack of formal education makes me better than your well-educated self.”

      • Traywayne

        Yaya I guess you believe everything you read

      • Stereotreme

        You clearly don’t even bother to read it.

      • Danielle P

        Pagan is a broad term just as Christianity is. Both can be broken down into many different seculars. I am Wiccan which is part of the pagan secs.

      • Tori Helle

        Hate to break it to you….wait, no I don’t. Yaya is right, paganism is a generalized term depicting a particular lifestyle that deviates from the norm, the norm which by the way was imposed based on Christianity.

        Pagan = lifestyle

        Wicca, Cabala, Druidism, Shamanism, etc. = “religion”

      • Jessica

        There are those who self describe themselves as “Pagan” that do not subscribe to a sect or dogma at all. These people are not merely using the word to describe their “lifestyle” but their spiritual self. So you are correct AND you are wrong.

      • Richard Fox

        Absolutely no one responding actually took the time to read your comment. You are correct, YaYa. I didn’t read anything in your statement attacking anyone’s religious belief. You were only clarifying the definition and etymology of a word. My experience with people that often turn to “pagan” religions and ideologies is that they often bring their old baggage and dogma along with them. The same rules and rigidity just with prettier pictures.

      • Tori Helle

        That’s why I am a solitary practitioner. I don’t have to listen to anyone’s crap, or follow a bunch of rules they made up.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Since the 20th century, “Paganism” (or “Neopaganism”) has become the identifier for a collection of new religious movements attempting to continue, revive, or reconstruct historical pre-Abrahamic religion.[2]

      • Tori Helle

        Attempting? Many pagan “religions” have never disappeared, nor have they ever stopped, so continuing/reviving really cannot be applied. As for new religious movements, Christianity is one of the newest around, whereas Wicca, Cabala, Buddhism, Shamanism, and many others have been around millenniums longer. Also a big difference, only Christianity based religions are both monotheistic and patriarchal. It is not hard to see if you look closely, religion is not about saving your “soul”, it is about control and manipulation.

      • Jessica

        Negatory. Wicca is a relatively new creation. Its not an ancient philosophy but a new, conglomeration of many pagan themes. I consider myself a pagan so its really important to me that people get the facts straight here.

      • Tori Helle

        All I just read is “blah blah blah, someone hurt my feelings 🙁 I read yayagoddesses statement, all I see is fact, not someone being offensive, a little arrogant maybe, but not offensive.

      • Irusan

        Off the subject, which is the freedom to worship as you please and keeping government from forcing a religion on us. People can call their religion anything they please. Your sense of superiority only shows that you are one who knows nothing and knows not that he knows nothing. In my opinion, Atheists must have a very shallow experience of the world to think that their reasoning, surface mind is what rules their behavior and makes reality. But everyone must find what brings them peace and joy on their own.

      • Richard Fox

        Again, Paganism isn’t a religion people. No attack, just facts. Druidism is a religion, Zoroastrianism is a religion, Jainism is a religion, Paganism is not. “In a wider sense, it has been used as a label for any non-Abrahamic folk/ethnic religion”.

      • victor

        you and I should chat,,,,,,,,,,,,,,you call them mythologies of antiquity: I call them superstions…..Im gonna steals yours and pay U a dollar 🙂

      • Tori Helle

        Perhaps save the dollar for a spelling tutor? 🙂 Hooked on Phonics maybe?

      • Jessica

        Fairly certain it was intentional on their part. No need to be a bitch for no reason.

      • Tori Helle

        First of all, I am Wiccan, that is a “religion”, or so some people say. I live a pagan lifestyle. See the difference?

      • Jessica

        You are Wiccan but yet in another post you revealed that you in no way understand or are educated in the historical relevance and formation of the religious sect you participate in? Then you are a total failure as a Wiccan IMO.

  • greeneyesinspring

    Rick you do have freedom to believe any religion you want, YES you do…..It is IN YOUR CHURCH…..now go there be happy!! Bye Bye…..have a great time. Just because the Capital looks big, white and beautiful remember it is NOT A CHURCH BUDDY…..bye bye….go to your church you are free there!!

  • lore

    So are they going to teach kids about the flying spaghetti monster as well?

    • Scooby154

      Very funny

    • Adam

      May we all be blessed by his noodly appendages, Ramen.

      • ModMom

        Marinara be his name.

    • Daryl Opinion

      Personally, I want to see how Chtulhu goes over.

      • YeahRight

        Has my vote, can’t be much worse.

      • Gordon63

        I’m on Team Q – Quetzlcoatl!

    • Regina Carol Moore

      I think every student in America should be taught all religions. No discrimination. In one generation, they will all be secular humanists.

      • Come on Regina you know that is TOO logical! Some “christians” (in name only of course) want to shut down all other religions except Christianity. Oh well, every group has their extremists. Unfortunately the extremists yell the loudest.

      • AnExtremist

        If everyone was yelling, the “extremists” wouldn’t have to yell so loud.

      • mmmmikkimac

        I have found that those who protest the loudest usually are hiding something and don’t have the faith or the information to really back up what they are complaining about.

      • angel slap miller

        yes, the republicans are all closeted — i noticed that as well!

      • MoralBuckshot

        Are you kidding me?! From my personal experience with “religion”, all I learned was to hate myself and look down on “sinners”. Above even that, did you miss the “Many American children can barely read, struggle at performing basic
        math and seem to think science is a foreign language. The last thing we
        need is time taken away from trying to actually educate these kids so
        that we can install religion into our already strained curriculum.” part? We wonder why our country is collapsing? Because we do not properly educate our future generations! We bribe athlete’s to our colleges, then they don’t have to go to class even, I personally saw this when I was in college, as several athletes who had never even made an appearance outside of a game were in my classes the following year, even though I had passed. Everything is about money and being entertained.We have allowed ourselves to be domesticated.

      • Regina Carol Moore

        Learning about religion as an academic study is very different than being indoctrinated. When I studied religion, we were taught that Catholics believe X, Muslims believe Y, Buddhists believe Z. We were not taught that any one religion was the truth. That’s how religion should be taught.

      • George Nestico

        It should never be taught in public school K-12 never if a student wants to study religion let him do it at higher learning university, which they get to choose themselves, many collages carry simple as that separation of church and state, what part of that doesn’t get through to you Fanatic’s

      • Regina Carol Moore

        I’m an atheist. And I know that studying religion as an academic form of social study is one of the most important ways to understand what is going on politically around the world. It’s too bad that low-information voters are so afraid of knowledge that they want to ban it from our children. Learning about religion is not indoctrination. Indoctrination is what happens at church.

      • Scaramongus

        As its been discussed earlier, it depends on how it is being taught, and if you trust the like of Rick Perry and his ilk to be academic about the topics – you are drinking the cool aide.

      • MMikeJBenN

        Doesn’t seem bad, BUT, when would they have the time? And what would happen when somebody demands that their religion be included? I am all for opening the day with a prayer like it was when I was in grade school, but teaching about religion? I think that is best left to private schools, such as Catholic School and Jewish School.

      • raggedcompany

        There’s plenty of time for it. It was touched on in bits and pieces all through elementary and junior high, and in ninth grade my social studies class was world history, including units on world religions – simply an overview about the major faiths practiced in the world, no preaching, just education. World history was continued in tenth grade, and we absolutely covered religions. The origins of these religions are a part of history, whether we like it or not. I consider myself Athiest for the most part, but I still think it is important to understand religions, because no matter how much legistlation passes, they do and will influence society, and by extension, history. No one is saying the schools have to PREACH these religions, and I firmly believe they shouldn’t be preaching, just teach ABOUT them. What could possibly be wrong with having a little more understanding and perhaps even empathy for our fellow humans, regardless of faith? This can only be achieved through education.

      • MMikeJBenN

        With such a surprising number of people saying what you are saying, you might very well have a valid point.

      • jimv1983

        Prayer has no place in public school at least not a prayer that is led by the school.

      • Scaramongus

        Perhaps, but I am almost certain this is not what they have in mind.

      • MMikeJBenN

        How has religion taught you to hate yourself? Are you sure you were in a true religion and some republikkkan hate group?

      • mmmmikkimac

        Its not going to happen. Those who are atheists and others who don’t want religion in public schools funded with taxpayers money won’t allow it, neither will the ACLU or the AU.

      • Regina Carol Moore

        I’m an atheist and I think it’s a great idea whether or not it produces a new generation of secular humanists. We should all learn everything we can about all religions so we have a better understanding of humans globally.

      • Gordon63

        I am also an atheist and I agree with Regina that the study of religion can help you understand the universal human struggle for identity and that study is very worthwhile, but I can’t see how that class could be taught in a pubic school because of the influence of parents who would want it “their” way. That’s what college is for. I took an awesome world religions class in college, and a handful of Christian students walked out when they realized their religion wasn’t going to be presented as the one true faith. That was very telling.

      • Scaramongus

        I think everyone knows that they will not approach this from an objective academic standpoint but rather from a stand point of indoctrination.

      • Jason

        I would not be troubled if it were a religious studies course, like you describe, if it was taught as an elective class at the college level…

      • Regina Carol Moore

        When I got to college and started getting a “real” education, I felt ripped off that I wasn’t taught many of these things earlier. I also felt sorry for people who never go to college. I feel we are failing our children and all our citizens by the crappy education we offer them k-12.

      • angel slap miller

        i guess your parents didn’t teach you then. religious studies is NOT a core curriculum subject and does NOT belong in any public school setting at the high school level or lower.

      • Regina Carol Moore

        I feel sorry for you having such a small mind. Other religions exist all around the world. It’s good to know about how people do things all around the world, so we have a better understanding of humans globally. It’s highly relevant.

      • George Nestico

        TFB you felt ripped off, let me tell you how I felt when I had religion shoved down my throat, when I had to go to a catholic school every Thursday, and I didn’t know anyone in my class that was happy with it I can remember kids getting sick and not showing up for school on thursday I was pissed, and until I got into High and no longer had to give up my Thursday I felt freedom, free thinkers is what school is suppose to breed, from the first day of Sunday School I can remember it as if it was only yesterday, that was 55 years ago from the very first day I had a hundred questions at seven years old I seem to baffle the nuns it got to the point they wouldn’t call on me, and as i got older around 10 I knew then Religions all religions were and still are BS, no true God in the way the religions interpret GOD and Jesus will ever convince me that God would ever ever let billions of children die the horrific death of starvation and war and I know you have an answer for that from a book of rules written by men to keep the masses in line, you can NOT!!!! and I repeat YOU CAN NOT SAY THAT GOD IS ALL GOOD AND THEN DEFEND HIM WHEN BILLIONS OF INNOCENT CHILDREN AROUND THE WORLD ARE DYING, you want to believe in God that’s fine more power to you may you find piece in your false comfort, it is because of the brainwashing at such a young age you feel that way, I know this I am good to all people they are all my friends Black white Asian, Indian, it doesn’t matter, I have given my last penny to people who I felt needed it more than me, I don’t ever go to church I would never step in the house of Satin, after all it’s religion that separates the world, it the religious fanatic’s that bring all the hate around the world, the KKK believe in god, Hitler believed in god what god would allow him to do the things he did, my parents had the sense to let me think for myself to make a mistake, as long as I didn’t disrespect or intentionally inflect pain on some one out of hate, What God would let White men destroy a whole Indian nation and place them on land with boundaries, what God would let the Black man suffer at the hands of White men, what man goes to church praises a god and comes home to slaves, what man goes to church and wants to take away Social security, what man goes to church and allows a student to forever be a the mercy of a bank, ooo I can go on and on there are far to many people who good to church worship God with hate in their hearts and that’s played out every day in the streets and in small towns and it has never been more out front than when Obama became president , oooyou can have your religion and I’ll tell you this if there really is a god and a heaven it will be full of Atheists that you can be sure of that

      • enkelin

        It was my ten or so year of studying comparative religion that confirmed my belief that there was no one true religion. That they were all a bunch of Hooey and I do believe that if you present all religious teachings to young people, they will also see just how much the religions resemble the witch doctor ramblings from the jungle cave. Infact they all do evolve from bronze age fantasy or even earlier.

      • George Nestico

        Separation of Church and State if you want religion in K-12 let the church pay for it, aaahhh but they have their own schools here’s an Idea go to your churches school

      • Scaramongus

        good – religion does not belong in public schools

      • TommyNIK

        No. First of all, religion does NOT belong in school. It belongs in one’s home or in a place of worship.

        There are over 30,000 flavors of Christianity alone which include 249 Roman Catholic. The kids would never have time to study any thing else.

      • Jason

        Tommy…one small adjustment…it does not belong in publicly funded schools…if it is a religious school, then it belongs there… If I were sending kids to a catholic school and they didn’t teach Catholicism I would be upset…if I sent them to a public school and they DID teach it…I would be likewise upset…

      • Regina Carol Moore

        There is a difference between teaching religion as the truth of God, and teaching religion as a social studies subject. Biology classes skim over the fundamentals, you don’t come out of a biology class and start your medical career. I took a one-semester philosophy class in high school that covered a lot of major religions. It opened my eyes to the many religions there were on this planet.

      • angel slap miller

        teaching religion does NOT belong in a public school. period. there isn’t enough time to teach religion as a social studies subject. If you want any religion in a school setting, then it belongs only in a private school. as for public schools, there is a separation of church and state and you can teach your kids what you want about religions, but i don’t want the state schools wasting time and infringing on civil rights to talk about religion. it is NOT their place.

      • Regina Carol Moore

        You don’t understand the difference between teaching religion as dogma and learning about the subject academically.

      • Pat

        I taught elem school for 43 yrs. and we did have a time around the time of Christmas when we celebrated a different celebration that families of different faiths celebrate …the kids had a good time learning the different customs. But we never got into teaching about the beliefs of different religions..first of all we weren’t qualified and secondly of all that is the job of their parents and their places of worship. Did not want to wade into that water. Lawsuit city.

      • MMikeJBenN

        I see nothing wrong with opening the day with a prayer the way it was done when I was in grade school. However, teaching religion is something else. What if what they are teaching runs counter to what you are teaching your child? That is one of the problems I have with teaching evolution as a fact rather than as a theory.

      • Landran

        Scientific theory is considered factual due to overwhelming evidence, such as gravity being a scientific theory. The word you were looking for was hypothesis. Teaching kids evolution as science in a science class is perfectly acceptable because it is science in a science class. Teaching kids religion as a being factual in schools should never be done unless every religion is taught, otherwise there will be a singular religion shoved down their throats. Science teaches kids to open their minds. Religion teaches them to believe without a doubt and to never question it.

      • Scaramongus

        Evolution is scientific theory supported by the scientific process and verifiable facts, creationism is a (populist?) theory supported by unverifiable (religious) beliefs, not facts, see the difference?

      • jimv1983

        Creationism doesn’t even deserve the word theory. It is a hypothesis. A theory has been tested and verified.

      • surfjac

        ..or not verified. The proof, or dis-proof, of a theory does not factor into it’s definition. That is a mistake usually made by the Intelligent Design crowd, “oh the theory of evolution is “ONLY” a theory too.” Yes, that’s true but the theory of evolution IS THE MOST substantiated theory on the planet with proof that spans many disciplines. ID is not at all proveable.
        Theory, noun ˈthē-ə-rē
        : an idea or set of ideas that is intended to explain facts or events
        : an idea that is suggested or presented as possibly true but that is not known or proven to be true
        : the general principles or ideas that relate to a particular subject

        The theory is substantiated with testing and is able to stand peer review, it is still called a theory.

      • surfjac

        It would be nice if children learned how to take a moment of silence to reflect on..breathing, trees, nature, religion, whatever, but quietly, introspectively, meditatively.

  • Wesley Foreman

    has always said “As long as we have final exames, there WILL be prayer in school”.

  • Jim Pfaus

    Texass… where EVERY high school boy can wear a hijab if he wants without fear to express “freedom” of religion.

    • suburbancuurmudgeon

      Yeah, I’d love to see how well THAT goes over with the rubes.

  • CplCupcake

    If you want your kids to learn about religion in school then send them to a private religious school. If you can’t afford it then that’s nobody’s fault but your own. Have some personal accountability and get another job if it’s that important to you. Or you can pray and hope God will provide the funding for them to go there. Then again, you really have no say because it’s all part of His plan whether or not the kids go.

    • Tori Helle

      OMG, this is wrong on so many levels. Just go out and get another job huh? You make it sound so easy, but it’s not. The economic state of this country is largely corrupt governments fault. Gas is insanely high, when you only have one job, if you are lucky, driving around looking for a second job costs a lot of money that could be used to feed said children.

      • enkelin

        Then have your kids attend public school and quit demanding that the public school teach your Religion for you.

  • James Worcester

    As to prayer in public schools, by enticing it, Mr. Perry is violating the very Holy Scripture he claims to follow:

    Matthew 6:5-6

    King James Version (KJV)

    5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

    6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

    • swtsarahsmom

      You should read a little further, to Matthew 18:20….For where two or three are gathered in My Name, there I am in the midst of them..The v erse you quote is discussing people who pray and do good works in public so other people may see them and think they are godly people. Their reward is the adulation of the public and not of God. Those who do good works and pray in private are rewarded by God. But he also urges people to come together as a group to pray in His Name and He will be there with them. There is strength in numbers with prayer.

      • Carol Lynn

        No. What you have is a group of people standing around reinforcing their delusions. When Jesus shows up, take a picture, please.

        edit – oh, and prayer does nothing but make the person praying feel ze is doing something even though nothing is happening.

      • Tori Helle

        Psychologists have already proven that they can induce a “religious experience” by stimulating certain parts of the brain. Guess it really is all in their heads.

      • Ken Hansen

        LOL – “strength in numbers with prayer.”

        I prefer: “2 hands working are worth far more than 1000 clasped in prayer.” For example, if you were choking in a restaurant, would you like me to perform the heimlich on you, or pray for you?

        Science = Truth

        🙂

      • Tori Helle

        OOOO, that had to hurt a bit.

      • James Worcester

        Those gathered in His name are not to do so in a loud and boastful manner. They are to do so privately, That is the point of Matthew 6:5-6

      • James Worcester

        First, I said nothing scripturally against gathering in Gods name, the subject is public prayer, not worship in Church or home. Jesus was very clear that public PRAYER, while certainly winning the adulation of MAN, would lose one the rewards of the Father. PUBLIC prayer, outside of the Church or home environment is the issue, not worship or fellowship.

      • enkelin

        God helps those who help themselves. If prayer meant anything why would all of those killed and murdered still be just as dead even though they may have prayed with all their heart. All else is just conicidence. You mean to tell me that those 250,000 that died in the Christmas Tsunami didnt pray? More Fantasy land and superstition.

  • Firstname Lastname

    No we don’t have freedom from religion. We need it though. Can you imagine what the world would be like if Religion didn’t exist? People would spend their entire lives discovering and nurturing without hate invented by religion. Not one human born on this planet HAS a religion. We don’t even have a name when we are born. So many things are imposed on us without any choice. No one will make my choices for me.

  • Doy Bowers

    Hopefully when the next “Winter Solstice” rolls around some dedicated educator will choose to educate their students on the origins of the Pagan Solstice Holiday and how the so called Christians hijacked it for their Comic Book Hero’s “Birthday Party”. Display a few “Pentagrams” a couple of hand made “Wicker Figures”(a.k.a. Voodoo Dolls.) and a Ceremonial Bonfire or two. After all the whole point of the law is to allow children to be educated about other religions whom may feel they are being persecuted and not allowed to display their religion in public. Who could possibly be more “Persecuted” than the Pagans, Christians??? ROFLMAO

    • RussinSactown

      That educator would be tarred, feathered, flogged and otherwise destroyed because she would be trying to force a religion down some kid’s throat. Wait…

      • Tori Helle

        That tactic sounds very familiar…..oh wait!! Who said you could talk about my childhood?! LMAO!!

    • Tori Helle

      Why yes! Haven’t you seen the news lately? Now they even have to let people who love each other get married!!! Oh the horror!!!! *rolling my eyes*

    • Jessica

      I actually did this years ago. My school displayed a nativity scene in front during the month of December. I told them I did not think it was fair to all of their students to display school bought religious materials like that. They laughed at me and sent me away. So that night I made a big Pentacle all pretty with glitter and holly, and stuck it in the school lawn next to the nativity scene the next morning. By noon BOTH were gone and never returned.

      • Doy Bowers

        OUTSTANDING!!!

  • samsmacdaddy

    Rick Perry is one of the most dangerous people in our country. Stupidity at the top job of such a large state, is truly dangerous.

    • tijeffe

      Too bad the legislature is just as bigoted and stupid as he is. That smirk on his face in this picture reminds me of a high school kid who just got out of his car stinking drunk with his drunken girlfriend still in there.
      Louis Gohmert, less of a clown, is the ultra religious sociopath who wants full control of everyone’s bedrooms.

      • enkelin

        Oh Gohmert is a clown too, but I agree he is very dangerous.

    • Tori Helle

      Add Romney and Ryan to that list, I saw the viral video and I am one of the 47% he wants to cut off.Then again, they seem to be more dangerous to themselves than others, and they also seem to have a common foot fetish. At least I think they do…I can’t think of another reason why they would have their feet in their mouths so much lately.

  • Dave Pavlatos

    Just put the scenes up at one of the deregulated fertilizer plants….and pray all day long….but you may want to pray that you don’t get blown up also.

  • JamieHaman

    So who ae we of Texas going to elect next? Will we focus on 1 person to get elected, or cut up the vote 5 ways with Perry coming out the winner again?

    • enkelin

      No kidding, Perry won with less than 40% of the vote in that 4 way race. Just think how different things would be if anyone else would have been Governor.

  • mmmmikkimac

    Rick Perry is a jerk and I’d bet he won’t be reelected. The Texan’s I have talked to are embarrassed by him and what he’s done. He’s just another GOP moron in my book.
    And I’d gladly tell him that, AND, that my ancestors have been here since 1620, and only one family came after the Rev. War, in 1820. I don’t know who taught Perry history of the US but I was taught that the Constitution not only protects me from having any religion forced on me, I also am free to practice any religion IF I choose to do so. That is what the GOP moron’s just don’t get.

    • Tori Helle

      You mean the same constitution that was made by the people who came over here on those big ships, and decided to take my ancestors land and whose descendants hunted our number one food source into near extinction? The same government who sent out soldiers to kill women and children while the men were out trying to find food for their families? I say the constitution is a hypocrisy.

      • mmmmikkimac

        Tell Perry he is an idiot and that this country was not founded on the Christian religion. And those “BIG SHIPS” were not the founders of the USA.

        It was founded on the results of the American Revolution and that was brought about because the King of Britain and his parliament kept taxing the colonists for all the imports and exports and they could only buy British imports.

        Plus, they would not allow the colonists to have a member of parliament to represent them. That is where the phrase “No taxation without representation” comes from.

        The British Parliament kept taxing the colonists in order to raise money to pay their soliders and the Hessian mercenaries for the French and Indian wars the British were fighting.

        Tell this idiot that our Constitution AND laws are based on the English Magna Charta, and the English Barons forced it to be signed by King John in 1215 to stop his abuses on those who were not nobility or part of the aristocracy, but the working class, business owners, peasants, etc.

        And after you tell him this, ask him where he went to school and if he failed US history he should sue his school district.

        And if this isn’t enough, add this:

        The Treaty of Tripoli 1797 states we are NOT a “Christian” country. The Pilgrims, Seperatists AND Quakers who arrived here from 1620 to 1630 did not ‘found’ this country based on their religious beliefs. They were looking for freedom from the Church of England.

      • enkelin

        The puritans and Pilgrims were just as exclusionary as the Chruch of England. In some of the colonies it was a crime punishable by death to practice Catholic mass. Puritans were just as horrible as the british.

  • Heather O’Keefe

    So does that mean he has no problem with him and his children being indoctrinated into non-Christian beliefs? Like having them doing prayer time for Muslim or Jewish traditions? Or letting them attend and participate in a few grove rituals during the seasonal equinoxs? Bet that’s a big fat ‘no’, and he’d be screaming ‘I have freedom from religion’ pretty darn quickly if the shoe was on the other foot.

  • snargledorf

    in Seattle a few years ago ( i believe it was Seattle) a man who did not believe in the concepts behind Christmas moaned and complained because the airport tree offended him and he shouldn’t have to be pushed by other religions, and the tree was taken down.

    I can see his point in that people are getting pushed out of certain things. It’s not politically correct to say merry christmas but rather Happy Holidays, Easter is now known as Spring Break and so on.

    Does that mean i support this? No, not exactly. In fact, I’m not even a supporter of Perry in any way. I know that if this passes it will only serve the ‘christian’ faith and others will be pushed out. I for one LOVED my world religions courses. I learned so much and wish others had that same opportunity.

  • 49copperhead

    I hope SCOUS strikes this down. Anyone can pray, do mantras, or any ritual they choose—-silently. And what’s wrong with just using the term “holiday” and showing respect to ALL spiritual paths? Politically I think he shot himself in the foot.

  • labman57

    People who belong to any of the myriad of religions that exist in this country should observe their tenets and practice their rituals in the comfort of their homes, their sanctuaries, and their private schools and not try to impose their particular religious values and morals onto the rest of society via political lobbying or by proselytizing religious dogma in public schools.

  • Will Richardson

    No freedom from religion? Does that mean Texans have to answer the door and invite the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons in when they come by?

  • Mark Strange

    The separation of church and state was intended to keep the government out of the churches to insure that freedom of religion was enforced. The religious right use to understand that. They fought to keep America secular because that meant they could practice their faith without the government stepping in and micromanaging their worship. The separation is what keeps religion out of our court room decisions and the court room out of your churches. We are not a religious nation, christian or other wise, we are secular. Freedom for everyone including those who have no religion at all. Education has nothing to do with your church. Its up to you to teach your children what principles you believe. Why would you want your children learning generic religion from a teacher anyway? Especially if you have a particular doctrine you want to pass on.

    • enkelin

      The particular doctrine that wants to establish THEIR religious teaching and codify it into civil law are called Christian Dominionists. Their belief is that they must take over all of the world and forcibly convert all the people of the world to their idea of Christianity and then the Messiah will return. This is their mission. And many of them are in Government now including Rick Perry.

  • Alanna Clifton-borders

    I must commend Rick on this. Bringing religion back in schools is a wonderful thing. I believe the world took on a downward spiral since it was removed. This is a very important step in the right direction. It pains my heart so that it D***head Rick whom recognized it & did something about it. Grrrrrrrrr!!!!

    • leemd46

      So its ok with you if I bring the quran into the classroom and have prayers facing Mecca at noon in the cafeteria?

  • Edward Baker

    Is this the same Rick that said God told him to run for president and he would win? I guess his god likes screwing with people .This god told Michelle Bauchman ,Rick Santorum ,Herman cain and Newt Gingrich the same thing

  • TommyNIK

    I saw two alarming statistics this week; first, there are
    more people who identify themselves as conservative in the US by a wide margin.
    Second, our misogynistic Gov. Kasich’s approval rating is at 54% while only
    about 30% disapprove. He was once the most unpopular governor in the country
    back when he tried to bust the unions. What happened?

    And we already know that over 80% of the population considers themselves some
    kind of

    Christian (take your pick….there are about 30,000 flavors including about 249
    Roman Catholic.)

    Please forgive me if I’m a little cynical about this country’s chances as a
    decent place to live. The “great experiment” started in the 18th
    Century by our founders is in the early stages of failure. The Theo-fascists
    and the plutocrats are hard at work attempting to take this country down a very
    dark road.

    I’m old and I most likely won’t be around to see the mess that is coming. My
    kids might, and my grand kids will.

    • leemd46

      I disagree. I think nay-sayers like yourself are dragging down our country…and I call myself a middle of the roader.

      • enkelin

        You are just not very aware of what others have planned.

      • leemd46

        the plans of Christian whatevers or Islamic fundamentalist do not concern me. This country is far stronger than either or any of them and we will not allow any religion to tear down this secular democracy.

    • enkelin

      They actually call themselves “Christian Dominionists” Google that and you will be shocked at their plans for YOU and for America.

  • Carlos

    Disagree with this article. The First Amendment was meant to protect people when practicing religion in the common areas.

    • leemd46

      no it wasn’t. it was written to allow you, or your catholic neighbor or your co-worker who is a follower of islam to be free to do so without persecution by another religion.

  • pgoeditorial

    We do most certainly have freedom “from” religion, if we want. We need to be able to live our lives in the public square without other people’s religions impinging on us. The state has no right to impose religions on us. If we want religions, there’s NOTHING stopping us from practicing them. The law stops us from imposing them on other people. How is that hard to understand? Saying the government will not establish any sort of religion is absolutely saying we are guaranteed freedom “from” religion, if that’s our choice. Perry and his ilk are not very smart.

    • enkelin

      He is smart like a fox. Who do you think gives him most of his campaign money. It is not the Wiccans LOL

  • claygooding

    I want to go the day they do the White Apache tribe religion,,they used peyote for their religious/spiritual experience,,been a long time since I did some buttons.

  • claygooding

    If Texas elects this clown again I am selling it to Oklahoma!

  • theantiantihero

    Rick Perry and his ilk always prattle on about the constitution and “freedom”, but they don’t really want freedom, they want control over the rest of us.

  • natsera

    I DON’T want Christmas trees in the classroom or in the school. Nor candy canes, either. Do you know how excluding that can feel to children who aren’t Christian and who don’t celebrate the holiday? I remember having to sing Christmas carols as part of our “holiday concert” and singing “Cheesy Kites” instead of Jesus Christ, and Kites, your lord, instead of Christ our Lord. Because they lipread the same, and I felt so guilty singing to a god I didn’t believe in. I might have been more aware than many children, but can’t believe I would have been the only one who was markedly uncomfortable. When I was teaching, I couldn’t bring myself to make Christmas-themed door decorations, either, so one year we made an Egyptian pharaoh with hieroglyphics invented by the kids based on the sound of the first letter of the word. MUCH more educational than all the time wasted on Christmas, and the kids were free to make their messages say anything they wanted to, and no one was left out. Needless to say, we did NOT win the door-decorating contest. We need to get religion completely OUT of the schools, and not namby pamby around with “secular” Christmas and Easter celebrations, which no matter how you cut it, are religious celebrations.

  • leemd46

    hey! Perry, thanks! Does this mean my child will now hear the Quran read over the loud speaker in the morning and at noon, in the cafeteria, will all the children be required to face Mecca and pray? I kiss your feet for doing this.

  • Jack E Raynbeau

    You can’t have freedom of religion without freedom from religion.

  • its all good

    The Nature of man is the problem. Everyone wants to blame religion as the problem. I know a lot of Christians as well as atheists. Both can be all messed up and controlling because of the nature of man. Its not the religion or the non religion. People have a wicked side to them as human beings.

  • its all good

    If you don’t think the nature of man is wicked, just read down how people from all sides and beliefs attack each other in this discussion. Calling names, blaming the other and so on.

  • shogun768

    Whenever I see a pic of Perry and that braindamaged grin of his, I imagine he’s just overly self-satisfied about the turd loaf he just fellated.

  • Susan Frost

    Typical politician, lies!

  • Jo McCambridge

    I was taught by nuns years ago. I don’t want ANYONE teaching my boy religion!

  • Lance W.

    Will someone please explain to me why FSM is not taught in schools? And the Church of the Flying Pink Unicorn? Both make as much sense as the more traditional ‘religions.’

  • MMikeJBenN

    Public schools should not be teaching religion. For one thing, there is too many religions to have time. For another, public schools are supposed to be secular, so that anybody’s kids are welcome. Having said that, I see nothing wrong with the school day opening with a prayer, like was done when I was in 1st and 2nd grade, as long as there is no law imposing it.

  • Robert

    The exact is the truth. My kids are now on Christmas break. Then they will be off for Easter etc. The only days they have off are the Christian holidays. There is but a war on us Unitarians!

  • Adam of Portland

    If a bill like that passes in my state, I will bring Muslim items to my school. I am not Muslim, but the law can’t pass unless it protects freedom of ALL religions.

  • Kovah88

    I personally am agnostic, and while I don’t feel that religion should be taught in public schools, I have no problem with a school displaying a Christmas tree, a menorah, or any other symbols of any particular faith. I don’t think that really has a lot of influence on anyone, and I also feel it is a free speech issue as well as a freedom of religion issue. To me, freedom of religion means you cannot stop anyone from practicing their religion, and freedom of speech means, as long as it is not harmful (and I do not believe religious symbolism is harmful), it is allowed. I may walk by a manger and say “Oh look, a tribute to the magic sky man”, but I would not want the manger taken down. They have the right to express themselves, just as I do. A LOT of people seem to think that freedom of speech only applies to speech that they agree with. For me, I try to go by the quote “I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

  • lindylou

    Since the discussion of freedom of speech has been the hot topic lately, let’s remember that Rick Perry can say whatever he wants to. Legislating his brand is another matter, and though I don’t know exactly when his term is up, it will be soon enough, and then he can rent a church and expound to his heart’s content as a non-politician.

  • James Threadgill

    It doesn’t sound like I’ll be free to express my religion: NONE! PRick Perry is a Pagan Punk and idolater who worships the Pagan God of Consumerism in the church of the idol known as $$$.

  • CherMoe

    Religion needs to be PROHIBITED from school books or science books of ANY kind, UNLESS children are attending RELIGIOUS schools. I don’t send my kids or grandkids to public school to have someone else’s “flavor” of religious beliefs crammed down their throats. If I want them schooled in religion, then I will pay to send them to private or Catholic schools. And that DOES NOT MEAN I DEMAND VOUCHERS to pay for it. NO TAXPAYER should have to pay for people to send their kids to private schools.

  • Ross

    Ask any “conservative” if they want the state to teach their children “Christianity”. Then ask them which brand. You will see an immediate reversal of this bill.

  • Bill Rubin

    It is so difficult for the religious right to accept the very simple concepts that the US Constitution’s First Amendment protects everyone’s right to practice their OWN religion while simultaneously and otherwise protecting everyone’s right to be free of OTHERS’ religious practices in the public sphere. Rick Perry is simply playing to the religious right in order to win their votes, much as the Republican Party has done for the last 40 years.

    The religious right only cares about religious freedom when it applies to their ability to practice their religion wherever they want. The religious right becomes a dictatorial menace the moment anyone suggests that their religion isn’t appropriate to the public domain.

    Education is compulsory for Americans in every state. If the government can require every American child to attend school and guarantee that by providing the public schools, the government cannot then force every American child to be subjugated by the religious teachings that whatever teacher or principal or school board wants. THAT is not the purpose of our compulsory education, and THAT is a clear violation of the First Amendment.

  • Michael Siever

    If you want your kids to not be indoctrinated by the “leftist public education system” where they will be forced to interact with gays, learn about civil rights, evolutionary biology, and human sexuality, then enroll them in a private Christian school if you want them to inherit your myopic view of the world. Oh, wait, you’re probably to cheap to pay for that.

  • Stephen Barlow

    perry is and has always been, a disingenuous twit. Just ask him about his Racism. WHY he kept his famous “Ni**erhead” fishing camp but only changed the name AFTER being PILLORIED during an election. He sold it because it became a political liability when he laughably invaded a Presidential campaign.

    This law, allowing ONLY Christian displays in PUBLIC SCHOOLS where ISD’s choose to display ONLY GOVERNMENT APPROVED religious displays, should become a SCOTUS decision within 5 years.

    I can foresee a mass of ‘Tea Party Revocation Acts’ which wholesale revoke the barbarism against women, the institution of Hispanicly expanded Jim Crow voting restrictions and the underwhelming of the 1st Amendment Right to Freedom of Assembly Americans called unionization for a century.

    Within this decade. In many RED states. Sadly, it will only begin to happen when abortion deaths of women rise, child deaths from lack of healthcare insurance for the poor and economic inequality rise another 20%.

  • Bill Grant

    Let’s get this right, he really means “Freedom from Christianity”, because to him, all other religions are about as real as the Care Bears and the Tooth Fairy.

  • James

    Prick Rerry can’t read even with glasses ? Reading comprehension is for the Lobbyist who tell him what to do ?