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 â€œstrongly [disapprove] of attempts to ban references to Christmas.â€ 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 â€œthe symbols and traditions of Christmas should be protected for use by those who celebrate Christmas.â€
â€œThe 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,â€ Rep. Lamborn told ABC News in an email. â€œThat is why I have introduced House Resolution 448, a bipartisan effort â€¦ calling on Congress to protect the traditional symbols of Christmas for use by the vast majority of Americans who do acknowledge the holiday.â€
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 Dickensâ€™ classic â€œA Christmas Carol.â€
â€œTo substituting time-honored greetings like â€˜Merry Christmasâ€™ with empty phrases such as â€˜Happy Holidaysâ€™ â€“ I say Bah Humbug,â€ Rahall said in a statement. â€œThereâ€™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.â€
â€œOur children need to know, especially at Christmas, that it is all right to express their faith publicly,â€ he added.
In the last Congress, Rahall urged his fellow colleagues to revisit House rules that prohibited members of Congress from including â€œMerry Christmasâ€ 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.
â€œIn the past, including any form of a holiday greeting was banned â€¦ this new commonsense policy allows members to share their holiday wishes with constituents in otherwise official communications,â€ Miller said in a statement. â€œI 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.â€