Bravo for Congressman Steve King!
Last week, this Iowa legislator introduced House Resolution 847, officially recognizing Christmas. When I first heard this as a news report, I thought, “What’s the big deal?” The House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted in favor of the resolution recognizing the importance of Christmas to Christians, 372-9 with 10 voting “Present” and 40 Members of the House choosing not to vote at all.
Again, I thought, “So what?” Well, as I read more about this story, I discovered that the House Members who voted against the resolution recognizing Christmas as an important celebration for Christians, had no problem a few months ago voting to recognize the importance of the month of Ramadan for Muslims. Earlier this year there was another resolution simply to acknowledge Hinduism and Islam as great religions of the world. These resolutions were voted on at the time of their religion’s major celebrations. I have no problem with this, nor do I think Americans across the nation would have any objection. Ours is a nation that embraces all peoples and beliefs. It is one of our strengths. It also has the potential for being a weakness. In what way can it be a weakness? Here’s how I see it: If we do not recognize and respect the beliefs of others, we fall prey to rejecting some, while accepting others.
What occurred on the floor of the House of Representatives last week was clearly an effort on the part of some of our duly elected representatives to denigrate and marginalize the Christian faith. Make no mistake – this was intentional. Had these same representatives voted against the earlier resolutions recognizing Hinduism and Islam, I would not be making this argument.
There are, by law, 435 members in the House of Representatives. Of these, nine voted against H.R. 847, 10 were present but did not vote “yea” or “nay,” and forty chose not to vote. That’s 59 representatives from across America who have failed to recognize the history of the nation and its people whom they serve. Only those who refuse to accept the truth of history would suggest that America was formed on any other basis than the Christian faith. Noted American historian, Benjamin Franklin Morris (1810-1867), wrote in his work, The Christian Life and Character of the Civil Institutions of the United States. "This is a Christian nation, first in name, and secondly because of the many and mighty elements of a pure Christianity which have given it character and shaped its destiny from the beginning. It is preeminently the land of the Bible, of the Christian Church, and of the Christian Sabbath . . . . The chief security and glory of the United States of America has been, is now, and will be forever, the prevalence and dominion of the Christian Faith". Our legislators would do well to revisit their American history.
The following is the gist of H.R. 847. There were the obligatory “Whereas’” leading up to this final summation of the resolution.
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.
Perhaps without realizing it, Congress has helped establish the Christian faith in a manner that has never been done before by giving it official recognition. Perhaps Congressman King understood this. If so I would say, “Well done.”
Monday, December 17, 2007
Bravo for Congressman Steve King!