State Senator Wants "Merry Christmas" to Be Florida's Official Holiday Greeting

For the second year in a row, Democratic Orlando state Sen. Gary Siplin has filed a bill that would make "Merry Christmas" the official greeting on December 25.

The proposal is a proclamation, not a law, so if it passed, there would be no penalty for not saying it. But to John Keiffer of the Atheists of Florida, the gesture is a pretty clear violation of the U.S. Constitution.

"It establishes a religion," he said.

Keiffer called the proclamation a "slap in the face" to everyone who doesn't think Jesus was

born on December 25 or that there ever was a Jesus.

"That's very amusing. How pathetic," he said. "There are a lot of very important issues that confront our state."

If Siplin's name sounds familiar, it's likely because he's the senator behind the infamous "Pull Your Pants Up" law. Or it could be from when he jumped a fence to avoid a camera crew looking to ask him about the ethics charges he faces.

Keiffer said to push legislation like this shows that lawmakers have their heads in the wrong place.

The resolution Siplin proposed on December 22 of last year, nearly identical to the one he filed today, died before it saw any debate.

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Kate Bradshaw