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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Dept. of Very Important Things

posted by on December 11 at 10:12 AM

Here’s the text of HR 847, which will be taken to the House floor today by Rep. Steve King [R-IA]:

Recognizing the importance of Christmas and the Christian faith.

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.

(Via Think Progress.)

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Any Slog statisticians who can look into that 2 billion number? It doesn't ring true, somehow. I never thought of Christianity as the world's dominant religion, or at least, not by virtue of the number of its adherents.

Posted by Colin | December 11, 2007 10:20 AM

Ah, Steve King. The racist, prejudiced US House representative of my childhood (and parent's current) district in Iowa strikes again.

Posted by mary-kate | December 11, 2007 10:22 AM

No way.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.

And if Christianity alone is singled out, this weakens our security, discriminates against Islam and other religions, and tells the world we are abandoning our American values of tolerance, eqality and fredom of conscience.

This, like much right wing propaganda, just makes us a Homeland like any other country instead of a people uniting by basic values of freedom, equality and opportunity for all.

Posted by Cleve | December 11, 2007 10:23 AM

This would be really neat, Steve King, if not for that whole Federally mandated separation of church and state thing.

If this passes, they may as well run the Constitution through a document shredder, because it's one thing when the president pisses on the Constitution, but quite another when the chambers of Congress vote en masse to piss on it.

Posted by Gomez | December 11, 2007 10:23 AM

Excuse me while I vomit profusely forever.

Posted by Levislade | December 11, 2007 10:25 AM

Holy fucking God. I don't even know what to say.

Posted by Mr. Poe | December 11, 2007 10:26 AM

Visit this site and tell me how this waste of time and money is more important than the other MASSIVE amount of legislation the Forgien affairs people need to consider.

Posted by muggims | December 11, 2007 10:30 AM

He's right on both numbers, more or less. 2.1 billion world adherents, most of any major religious group (Islam has 1.5b, secular/nonreligious/agnostic/atheist 1.1b).

Interestingly, while Christianity is growing slightly in the US, nonreligious/secular MORE THAN DOUBLED from 1990-2000, and is now at almost 39 million, plus another 1.5m agnostic/atheist. Go team!

Posted by Fnarf | December 11, 2007 10:32 AM

Let's say these statements are true and unbiased. If Christianity is so fucking great, then they don't need to pass a bill saying it is, do they?

Posted by Emily | December 11, 2007 10:32 AM

Christians are persecuted in the United States? Like, recently? I'm confused. I've known persecuted (American) Jews, Muslims, and atheists - but not one Christian who's been persecuted as such in the United States.

Posted by James | December 11, 2007 10:33 AM

Look at it this way: the amount of time and energy this boob and his cohorts put into this, the less they have to do some real damage.

Posted by Fnarf | December 11, 2007 10:34 AM

So isn't this bill really saying that all of the 4,000,000,000+ non-Christians are going to hay-yell?

And that the vast majority of the world believes something other than what they believe?

Of course the Dems are going to pass it, then fall all over themselves explaining how they didn't have enough votes to defeat it.

Posted by Original Andrew | December 11, 2007 10:37 AM

@ 1 Buddhist website that says it's true...Christianity is the biggest:

Posted by thaumaturgistguy | December 11, 2007 10:37 AM

This makes me fucking SICK!

How the hell does shit like this make it all the way to the floor?!

Posted by no fucking way. | December 11, 2007 10:40 AM


True, but (5) is a real firecracker in the face to...well, everybody that Christians persecute on a day-to-day basis.

It's hard to read this without my veins beginning to explode.

Posted by Mr. Poe | December 11, 2007 10:41 AM

Where is the recipe section? I'm tired of having the same old plain roasted Christian year after year for our winter feast.

Posted by secular | December 11, 2007 10:46 AM

What a waste of time! But really that's all it is. I don't see any language here that violates the establishment clause, just a bunch of masturbatory, self-aggrandizing bullshit.

Posted by Hernandez | December 11, 2007 10:46 AM

@11: But it is real damage, Fnarf. This isn't just a particularly odious show of pandering to the 'Christian' right. It's also a trap for Representatives who actually care about the Constitution. They vote against this stupid, stupid bill, as every legislator on America's payroll should do, and then the fundies turn to their followers and shout about how these lawmakers are Persecuting! Christians. They're so horrible, they don't even have respect for Christmas! Or Jesus! And then they beat the drums and march the fundie faithful into the polls to vote for Mike Huckabee, Defender of Jesus.

Posted by Greg | December 11, 2007 10:46 AM

Our deist founding fathers are weeping in the (nonexistent) afterlife.

Posted by keshmeshi | December 11, 2007 10:47 AM

Does anyone know how to contact the Borg or the Klingons? We need our planet snuffed out for good.

I hate America, and Earth.

Posted by Just Me | December 11, 2007 10:52 AM

This is undoubtedly the first shot across the bow in what will inevitably be this year's war against Christmas. Bill'O will be frothing at the mouth in 5, 4, 3,...

Posted by SDA in SEA | December 11, 2007 10:55 AM

OK, I read the Think Progress post, and allegedly this is in response to (and "mirroring") previous bills acknowledging Ramadan and Duwali. So we have whoever submitted those to thank for getting the God-ball rolling . . .

Posted by Levislade | December 11, 2007 10:58 AM

Here we go:


1st Session

H. RES. 635

Recognizing the commencement of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting and spiritual renewal, and commending Muslims in the United States and throughout the world for their faith.


September 5, 2007

Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas (for herself, Mr. MEEKS of New York, and Mr. ELLISON) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs


Recognizing the commencement of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting and spiritual renewal, and commending Muslims in the United States and throughout the world for their faith.

Whereas since the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, threats and incidents of violence have been directed at law-abiding, patriotic Americans of African, Arab, and South Asian descent, particularly members of the Islamic faith;

Whereas, on September 14, 2001, the House of Representatives passed a concurrent resolution condemning bigotry and violence against Arab-Americans, American Muslims, and Americans from South Asia in the wake of the terrorist attacks;

Whereas it is estimated that there are approximately 1,500,000,000 Muslims worldwide;

Whereas Ramadan is the holy month of fasting and spiritual renewal for Muslims worldwide, and is the 9th month of the Muslim calendar year; and

Whereas the observance of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan commences at dusk on September 13, 2007, and continues for one lunar month: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That--

(1) during this time of conflict, in order to demonstrate solidarity with and support for members of the community of Islam in the United States and throughout the world, the House of Representatives recognizes the Islamic faith as one of the great religions of the world; and

(2) in observance of and out of respect for the commencement of Ramadan , the Islamic holy month of fasting and spiritual renewal, the House of Representatives acknowledges the onset of Ramadan and expresses its deepest respect to Muslims in the United States and throughout the world on this significant occasion.

Posted by Levislade | December 11, 2007 11:01 AM

It's not harmful, it's just dim. There is nothing harmful about recognizing "the Christian faith as one of the great religions of the world".

As for bigotry against Christians, there's some on display in this very thread. "I hate America, and earth"? Because of this cup of warm milk? Really?

Posted by Fnarf | December 11, 2007 11:09 AM

@24: Right on, Fnarf. Who, aside from us, really pays attention to any of this? Besides, aren't these types of warm fuzzy (and toothless) joint resolutions passed all the time about a variety of countries, groups, religions, and such?

The Stranger staff should really push for a joint resolution recognizing the Stranger's contribution to Slog readers' awareness of toothless Congressional resolutions. :-)

Posted by James | December 11, 2007 11:14 AM

The kind of Christians that accidentally get jizz on their necklace crosses when getting facials

THAT's what makes the number so high. Think of allll the hypocrites in America and that number makes sense

Posted by naw | December 11, 2007 11:21 AM

@24: It's not dim. It's a cynical attempt to manipulate people's faith for political gain. And it will probably work, because Christians are shown a great willingness to be led around by the nose this way in previous elections.

Posted by Orv | December 11, 2007 11:25 AM

That should be "have shown," of course, in #27.

Posted by Orv | December 11, 2007 11:26 AM

This is just ridiculous. Why is political system catering to issues like Christmas?

I guess I'm just a little confused, aren't there a few more issue a little more pressing?

No wonder this country is turning into a joke.

Posted by Richard | December 11, 2007 11:36 AM

This stuff goes on because the democrats don't stand up blast away at the idiots behind this for being subversive traitors who are undermining our Constitution.

Posted by Cleve | December 11, 2007 11:51 AM

It's so polarizing. It seems like a bill like this is going to accomplish nothing except get partisans all riled up. You know, the religious right is going to rush to support one side, and the left will get equally excited. Why would something like this make it to the house floor? In an election year. I mean, what good is it going to do? Sure, everybody will mention it in their fund raising letters and that will generate a big response, but...

Oh. Right.

Posted by elenchos | December 11, 2007 12:28 PM

To be fair ... those of us aetheists, nonchristians, agnostics... and just plain poor christians DO in fact celebrate christmas ... for the funtastic fuck of it I guess.

The House of Representatives just rubbed it in poor taste

Posted by OR Matt | December 11, 2007 12:37 PM

30 -- The Constitution doesn't say what you want it to say.

Posted by A. | December 11, 2007 12:37 PM

I have to quote Ol' Dirty Bastard on this one..."Nigga please!"

Posted by Mike in MO | December 11, 2007 12:51 PM

Christians aren't persecuted?

Then how come some store that doesn't actually exist said "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas"? Huh? Where's your answer for that, smart guy?

Posted by Ben | December 11, 2007 12:55 PM

@29: Because Christians are a majority in this country, yet they've somehow been convinced they're an oppressed group that's about to lose everything. And they vote. It's really that simple.

Posted by Orv | December 11, 2007 1:12 PM

Steve King is a douche. People in Western Iowa aren't that bright, but you'd think that even they would see this for the pandering to the Christian Victim Complex that it is.

I don't know why they continue to embarass themselves by electing him. And I really don't know why the Iowa Democratic Party never fields a viable candidate to him. Why write off 1/3 of an otherwise fairly progressive state?

Posted by catalina vel-duray | December 11, 2007 1:18 PM

I wish there was a war on Christmas. A real fucking war with real fucking casualties. Science v. Religion: Armageddon. Let's just get it over with already. This bullshit is unbearable.

Posted by kid icarus | December 11, 2007 1:21 PM

Didn't you already get what you wanted this weekend in Colorado Springs and Arvada, Kid Icarus?

Posted by North Dallas Thirty | December 11, 2007 1:42 PM

I see those shootings as more of an "eating their own" incident.

Posted by kid icarus | December 11, 2007 2:04 PM

Actually, given his complete hatred of and disdain for Christians, plus his desire to cause them damage, plus his posting on boards that were specifically for people who had left Christianity......he seems more like one of YOUR own, kid icarus.

What's the matter? You got your casualties. Dead Christians. That's what you said you wanted.

Posted by North Dallas Thirty | December 11, 2007 2:34 PM

Jesus fucking Christmas.

Posted by Cascadian | December 11, 2007 4:22 PM

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