Congress Wants to Defend Christmas

Here it is the weekend before Christmas and Congress is getting in the spirit. Looking to pass a new House resolution — which is just another way of saying “we’re-doing-something-but-not-really” — a group of legislators is taking on all the elements of the War on Christmas.

On Thursday, Rep. Doug Lamborn, (R-Colo.) and 36 other Congress members proposed the two-page resolution in an effort to “strongly [disapprove] of attempts to ban references to Christmas.” The festive focus of the act comes on the heels of a number of run-ins with holiday Grinches who have reportedly stolen nativity sets and Santas across the country. The resolution addresses their antics by maintaining that “the symbols and traditions of Christmas should be protected for use by those who celebrate Christmas.”

“The Founding Fathers never intended for references to God and religion to be prohibited in civic dialogue. Despite this, our freedom to fully recognize Christmas is being attacked by a vocal and litigious minority,” Rep. Lamborn told ABC News in an email. “That is why I have introduced House Resolution 448, a bipartisan effort … calling on Congress to protect the traditional symbols of Christmas for use by the vast majority of Americans who do acknowledge the holiday.”

The bipartisan side of the effort is represented by two Democrats, Representatives Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) and Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.). Rahall kept with the holiday theme by explaining his support for the resolution with an allusion to Charles Dickens’ classic “A Christmas Carol.”

“To substituting time-honored greetings like ‘Merry Christmas’ with empty phrases such as ‘Happy Holidays’ – I say Bah Humbug,” Rahall said in a statement. “There’s nothing wrong with publicly recognizing the religious nature and true meaning of Christmas, especially for a Nation like ours founded on the principles of religious freedom and free speech.”

“Our children need to know, especially at Christmas, that it is all right to express their faith publicly,” he added.

In the last Congress, Rahall urged his fellow colleagues to revisit House rules that prohibited members of Congress from including “Merry Christmas” greetings in holiday correspondence with their constituents. His Christmas wish was granted earlier this month when Committee on House Administration Chairwoman Candice Miller (R-Mich.) permitted members of Congress to send seasonal greetings to constituents through the Capitol mail system and include holiday-specific signatures in their notes.

“In the past, including any form of a holiday greeting was banned … this new commonsense policy allows members to share their holiday wishes with constituents in otherwise official communications,” Miller said in a statement. “I feel it is entirely appropriate for members of Congress to include a simple holiday salutation, whether it is Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and so on.”

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