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Perry signs the "Merry Christmas" bill; a Christian and Pagan react

By Ashlie Rodriguez, Reporter
Published On: Jun 13 2013 11:39:40 PM CDT

Gov. Rick Perry signs the "Merry Christmas" bill into law.

EL PASO, Texas -

Christ is expected to make a comeback in Texas public schools and He could be joined by the symbols of other faiths too.

"Freedom of religion doesn't mean freedom from religion," Governor Rick Perry said.

House Bill 308 allows school staff and students to use traditional holiday greetings and display religious symbols. Perry said that by allowing them to, teachers can educate students about the history and roots of different religions.

Which is exactly what Franklin High School science teacher and Christian Tom Davis will do.

"It helps me in the classroom, for example, I'm charged with teaching evolution," Tom Davis said. "In the new environment I feel like I can offer evidence that opposes evolution."

The author of a book about the challenges of teaching, Davis writes about values in the classroom, something, he says, the El Paso Independent School District could use.

"I'll give some thought to hanging the Ten Commandments because boy, could this district use some morality," Davis said. "We've had adultery. We've had bearing false witness, we've had lying, stealing."

If Davis were to hang the Ten Commandments in one of the classrooms Shay Toretta's children attend, Toretta, a pagan witch and owner of occult store Ever Sage, wouldn't be offended.

"Maybe something needs to be done to educate people to the fact that there's more than just their own faith and it's okay to accept it," Toretta said.

Teachers called Toretta in after her kids told the class Greek gods were real. But under the new law, that won't ever happen again.

"It just shows that people are becoming more open minded and that they are more accepting of the differences of other people," Torreta said.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas issued this statement about the law:
"We hope that administrators and teachers remain mindful that it's an important role of parents to teach their children about matters of faith, not our public schools." 

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