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“Men are expendable; women and children are not. A tribe or a nation can lose a high percentage of its men and still pick up the pieces and go on, as long as the women and children are saved. But if you fail to save the women and children, you've had it, you're done, you're through! You join Tyrannosaurus Rex, one more breed that bilged its final test.”     Robert A. Heinlein,    Address at the U.S. Naval Academy April 5, 1973

December 11, 2007

Congress Set To Declare That Christmas Is Important

by Doug Mataconis

In light of tarran’s excellent post about government recognition of religious holidays, I found this article from The Politico to be both amusing and disturbing:

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) has introduced a resolution (H.Res. 847) saying, and I am not making this up, that Christmas and Christians are important. The House is scheduled to vote on this groundbreaking resolution on Tuesday.

Not surprisingly, King’s inane resolution has 58 co-sponsors.

And, just in case you didn’t know that a lot of people really like Christmas, here’s the text of the resolution:

Whereas Christmas, a holiday of great significance to Americans and many other cultures and nationalities, is celebrated annually by Christians throughout the United States and the world;

Whereas there are approximately 225,000,000 Christians in the United States, making Christianity the religion of over three-fourths of the American population;

Whereas there are approximately 2,000,000,000 Christians throughout the world, making Christianity the largest religion in the world and the religion of about one-third of the world population;

Whereas Christians identify themselves as those who believe in the salvation from sin offered to them through the sacrifice of their savior, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and who, out of gratitude for the gift of salvation, commit themselves to living their lives in accordance with the teachings of the Holy Bible;

Whereas Christians and Christianity have contributed greatly to the development of western civilization;

Whereas the United States, being founded as a constitutional republic in the traditions of western civilization, finds much in its history that points observers back to its roots in Christianity;

Whereas on December 25 of each calendar year, American Christians observe Christmas, the holiday celebrating the birth of their savior, Jesus Christ;

Whereas for Christians, Christmas is celebrated as a recognition of God’s redemption, mercy, and Grace; and

Whereas many Christians and non-Christians throughout the United States and the rest of the world, celebrate Christmas as a time to serve others: Now, therefore be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives–

(1) recognizes the Christian faith as one of the great religions of the world;

(2) expresses continued support for Christians in the United States and worldwide;

(3) acknowledges the international religious and historical importance of Christmas and the Christian faith;

(4) acknowledges and supports the role played by Christians and Christianity in the founding of the United States and in the formation of the western civilization;

(5) rejects bigotry and persecution directed against Christians, both in the United States and worldwide; and

(6) expresses its deepest respect to American Christians and Christians throughout the world.

Left unstated is where in the Constitution Congress is even authorized to pass a resolution like this.

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11 Comments

  1. Actually, they’re explicitly barred from doing it, since Congress is not allowed to pass legislation “respecting an establishment of religion”.

    Of course I shouldn’t have been surprised that my Congressman, Todd Tiahrt, was one of the co-sponsors. He’s one of those annoying little pseudo-socialist chirpers that Bush and the religious goose-steppers love so much. I have no idea who the Dems are putting up against him in this election or what they stand for, but whoever they run will be getting my vote just to get rid of the sonofabitch.

    Comment by UCrawford — December 11, 2007 @ 10:25 am
  2. This is perhaps the most blatant violation of the establishment clause and the Jeffersonian wall of state and church separation I have ever seen.

    Comment by Stephen Littau — December 11, 2007 @ 11:19 am
  3. Ah, I was under the illusion that were major problems facing the country like education, social security, Iraq, Afghanistan, taxes, spending, mass shootings, gas prices, immigration and other problems the media is telling me we’re having in this country.

    But, apparently Steve King has set me straight. The problem is the evil secular-progressive War on Christmas.

    Doug, UCrawford, and Stephen, you ought to be thankful you’ve got good Christian patriots like Steve King and Todd Tiahrt looking out for you. Now watch Bill O’Reilly tonight and be reeducated comrades :).

    Comment by Kevin — December 11, 2007 @ 11:39 am
  4. Yup…this is the state attempting to define religion, period. I personally believe that people who believe in God are deluded suckers, but I would never propose that the government should attempt to convince them that they’re wrong for believing what they believe. I would never propose that the government endorse atheism as a state religion. All I’ve ever asked as a devout atheist is that the state refrain from involving themselves in religious affairs at all…not only because it protects my beliefs, but because it protects the beliefs of everyone from all faiths (or non-faiths), which they’ll see if they continue down this path and the different sects of Christianity start turning on each other for not being “real” Christians (which they inevitably will).

    Frankly, this kind of ignorant short-sightedness and blatant hypocrisy is exactly what started me down the road to atheism…and the “religious” right’s attempts to force my compliance with their beliefs is exactly the kind of thing that’s over the years pushed me away from what was a live and let live philosophy towards religion.

    Comment by UCrawford — December 11, 2007 @ 11:47 am
  5. Kevin,

    Ha ha :)

    I already opposed Tiahrt because he voted for the Medicare drug benefit, the PATRIOT Act and every other piece of big-government b.s. that Bush told him to vote for. Now I absolutely despise the guy. Barry Goldwater had the religious right pegged years ago…I just wish that the people in the GOP who follow his ideas on the subject were more numerous than Ron Paul:

    “I don’t have any respect for the Religious Right. There is no place in this country for practicing religion in politics. That goes for Falwell, Robertson and all the rest of these political preachers. They are a detriment to the country.”

    “However, on religious issues there can be little or no compromise. There is no position on which people are so immovable as their religious beliefs. There is no more powerful ally one can claim in a debate than Jesus Christ, or God, or Allah, or whatever one calls this supreme being. But like any powerful weapon, the use of God’s name on one’s behalf should be used sparingly. The religious factions that are growing throughout our land are not using their religious clout with wisdom. They are trying to force government leaders into following their position 100 percent. If you disagree with these religious groups on a particular moral issue, they complain, they threaten you with a loss of money or votes or both. I’m frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in “A,” “B,” “C,” and “D.” Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me? And I am even more angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some God-granted right to control my vote on every roll call in the Senate. I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of “conservatism.”

    “By maintaining the separation of church and state, the United States has avoided the intolerance which has so divided the rest of the world with religious wars…Can any of us refute the wisdom of Madison and the other framers? Can anyone look at the carnage in Iran, the bloodshed in Northem Ireland, or the bombs bursting in Lebanon and yet question the dangers of injecting religious issues into the affairs of state?”

    “A lot of so-called conservatives don’t know what the word means. They think I’ve turned liberal because I believe a woman has a right to an abortion. That’s a decision that’s up to the pregnant woman, not up to the pope or some do-gooders or the Religious Right.”

    Comment by UCrawford — December 11, 2007 @ 11:56 am
  6. Well, its better this than congressmen trying to pass something that will soon become an economic anathema.

    Interestingly, Paul Broun, (Dr. No in training) co-endorsed this resolution. Methinks he’s desperately trying to burnish his record with his constituents before next year’s election.

    Comment by Lost_In_Translation — December 11, 2007 @ 3:50 pm
  7. Check out H J Res 15.

    Recognizing the contributions of the Christmas Tree Industry to the United States economy.

    Comment by Lost_In_Translation — December 11, 2007 @ 3:52 pm
  8. http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?c110:9:./temp/~c1101ld2tO::

    Comment by Lost_In_Translation — December 11, 2007 @ 3:54 pm
  9. Lost,

    I think this is pretty horrific on its own. Whenever Congressmen start sponsoring referenda that are blatantly in violation of the Constitution they’re expressing their absolute contempt for individual freedom and the law of our land and it’s only a matter of time before they start chipping away at the economic side of that too. Religion mixed with politics is poison to individual freedom at every level eventually.

    Comment by UCrawford — December 11, 2007 @ 4:15 pm
  10. UCrawford,

    I think we’re well past “chipping away”. Let’s focus on stopping the arterial hemorrhaging than worry about the new nicks inflicted on our rights.

    Choose your windmills with care, ;)

    Comment by Lost_In_Translation — December 11, 2007 @ 5:52 pm
  11. Dammit UCrawford, you had go ruin my opinion of Tiahrt. He’s not my rep, so I hadn’t really done any research on him, but the NRA talked him for the Tiahrt Amendment which kept gun trace data out of Mikey Bloomberg’s hands. Oh well, good thing I’m not an SIV like most gun owners.

    Comment by Nick M. — December 11, 2007 @ 6:26 pm

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