It was inevitable that at some point, the radicalized United States House of Representatives would become involved in an official way, in the imaginary “War on Christmas” Fox News works so hard to sell in between their “Happy Holiday” breaks:
Which brings us to the either 1) the completely hypocritical, or 2) Fox New condemning H.Res.564 – “Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the symbols and traditions of Christmas should be protected for use by those who celebrate Christmas,” introduced the other day by Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) and co-sponsored by 35 of his fellow Republicans.
The resolution, which, it needs be stressed, is not a law, reads:
Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the symbols and traditions of Christmas should be protected for use by those who celebrate Christmas.
Whereas Christmas is a national holiday celebrated on December 25; and
Whereas the Framers intended that the First Amendment of the Constitution, in prohibiting the establishment of religion, would not prohibit any mention of religion or reference to God in civic dialog: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the House of Representatives—
(1) recognizes the importance of the symbols and traditions of Christmas;
(2) strongly disapproves of attempts to ban references to Christmas; and
(3) expresses support for the use of these symbols and traditions by those who celebrate Christmas.
The resolution does not specify what “symbols and traditions,” but it is a fact that most of them, including mistletoe, yule logs, “Christmas” trees and tree ornaments (originally sacrifices) are Pagan in origin, including December 25th itself.
At its heart then, is this resolution an endorsement of polytheism? It is certainly amusing to think of it that way.
Of course, we all know what the First Amendment says about laws respecting the establishment of religion: it’s forbidden. So it’s just as well this is not a law, not that Republicans would not draft such a law if they thought they could get away with it.
Religion has already been legislated, after all, in the Hobby Lobby decision, albeit indirectly. And opposition to abortion and contraception is also religion-based, as is opposition to marriage equality, and, for that matter, climate change.
This resolution is just further evidence of how out of touch our Republican legislators are, that they waste time combating a non-existent threat to something that is beyond the purview of Congress: religion.
At this point, I find myself waiting for a House resolution condemning the Jerusalem Post for writing that “Following ISIS terror attacks Israeli travelers cautioned before holiday season.” Don’t they mean Christmas?
There are plenty of things the House could be focusing on (excluding attempted repeals of Obamacare and meddling in foreign policy), but in entertaining such thoughts, we enter the realm of speculative fiction.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.