# Can someone explain the purpose of this resolution to me?

Mentor
This was just passed on December the 6th. Why?

Recognizing the importance of Christmas and the Christian faith. (Introduced in House)

HRES 847 IH1S

110th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. RES. 847
Recognizing the importance of Christmas and the Christian faith.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

December 6, 2007
Mr. KING of Iowa (for himself, Mr. AKIN, Mrs. BACHMANN, Mr. BAKER, Mr. BARRETT of South Carolina, Mr. BISHOP of Utah, Mr. BOOZMAN, Mr. BRADY of Texas, Mr. BROUN of Georgia, Mr. BROWN of South Carolina, Mr. BURTON of Indiana, Mr. CARTER, Mr. CONAWAY, Mr. DAVID DAVIS of Tennessee, Mr. DOOLITTLE, Mr. FEENEY, Mr. FORTENBERRY, Ms. FOXX, Mr. FRANKS of Arizona, Mr. GINGREY, Mr. GOHMERT, Mr. HAYES, Mr. HERGER, Mr. ISSA, Mr. SAM JOHNSON of Texas, Mr. JONES of North Carolina, Mr. JORDAN of Ohio, Mr. KINGSTON, Mr. KLINE of Minnesota, Mr. KUHL of New York, Mr. LAHOOD, Mr. LAMBORN, Mr. LAMPSON, Mr. DANIEL E. LUNGREN of California, Mr. MCCAUL of Texas, Mr. MCINTYRE, Mrs. MCMORRIS RODGERS, Mr. MILLER of Florida, Mrs. MUSGRAVE, Mrs. MYRICK, Mr. NEUGEBAUER, Mr. POE, Mr. SALI, Mr. SHADEGG, Mr. SMITH of Texas, Mr. STEARNS, Mr. TERRY, Mr. TIAHRT, Mr. WALBERG, Mr. WELDON of Florida, Mr. WILSON of South Carolina, Mr. DAVIS of Kentucky, and Mrs. DRAKE) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs

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RESOLUTION
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.

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?c110:1:./temp/~c110HeWjhL:: [Broken]

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Astronuc
Staff Emeritus
Ostensibly, it looks good to a majority of their constituents and to the religious majority in the US. I can't read their minds, nor would I want to try - but presumably it's free advertising for next year's (2008) Congressional elections.

i.e. it's politics as usual. :yuck:

To further elaborate, and to be more precise -

In a house of a legislature, the term non-binding resolution refers to measures that do not become laws. This is used to differentiate those measures from a bill, which is also a resolution in the technical sense. The resolution is often used to express the body's approval or disapproval of something which they cannot otherwise vote on, due to the matter being handled by another jurisdiction, or being protected by a constitution. An example would be a resolution of support for a nation's troops in battle, which carries no legal weight, but is adopted for moral support.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resolution_(law)#Non-binding - well it's wikipedia, but it's reasonable correct. I'm sure the definition of non-binding resolution and how it entitled or described is buried in the House Rules, somewhere over the last 200+ years.

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Mentor
Ok, that's not what I'm asking. I know what a resolution is.

What is the purpose behind the resolution? Sucking up to a specific religious group? Is this what we pay them to do? I find it appalling.

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drankin
Recognize Christmas for what it is, a Christian holiday that celebrates the birth of one of the most influential people to ever walk the earth. I think you are over-reacting. Don't be a scrouge!

FredGarvin
I think Christmas/Jesus has enough PR people already working for him. He doesn't need a congressional resolution. It's a waste of time and our money.

Mentor
Recognize Christmas for what it is, a Christian holiday that celebrates the birth of one of the most influential people to ever walk the earth. I think you are over-reacting. Don't be a scrouge!
Hey, I'm not a scourge, not yet.

They're singley recognizing Christians. Did you read it all?

It's so transparent in praising Christians, gee do you think it might have a political purpose? This is America, where supposedly all faiths are equal, but not according to this. I think it's rather insulting to people of other faiths, and those who choose no faith. I think the way it's worded is very wrong, and there is no justifiable reason for it.

Nothing against Christians, but other religions are celebrating holidays this time of year. Oh, but they don't constitute as large a base of voters.

I'm steamed. This is so wrong. There is supposed to be no favortism.

Mentor
I think Christmas/Jesus has enough PR people already working for him. He doesn't need a congressional resolution. It's a waste of time and our money.
I don't think Jesus would have approved (I've been watching all of the Jesus shows on National Geographic) you've got to admire the man, he was very smart.

Astronuc
Staff Emeritus
What is the purpose behind the resolution? Sucking up to a specific religious group? Is this what we pay them to do? I find it appalling.
Well it's sucking up to a certain fraction of those who describe themselves as Christian. Christianity is not monolithic, and I'm sure there are many who would be offended in being lumped into a single group for the purposes of political gain.

I also find it appalling and rather disingenuous, and very inappropriate. Why not wish all persons peace and goodwill regardless of their faith.

I don't think Jesus would have approved. . . . You've got to admire the man, he was very smart.
I was thinking the same thing.

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Moonbear
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Maybe it was easier for them to all just vote on the resolution than to sign individual Christmas cards for all their constituents? :uhh:

As a resolution, it does nothing, and it's not like there has been any concern about any of those matters that they needed to pass a resolution as a way of giving someone a slap on the wrist (often the purpose of a non-binding resolution), so I have to agree, they're just wasting our money to be spending time on this instead of other needed legislation (like the appropriations bill...cough...). So, yeah, I'm guessing it must be pandering to voters. Unless they wrote it up during the Christmas party over too much egg nog or something.

Hey, I'm not a scourge, not yet.

They're singley recognizing Christians. Did you read it all?

It's so transparent in praising Christians, gee do you think it might have a political purpose? This is America, where supposedly all faiths are equal, but not according to this. I think it's rather insulting to people of other faiths, and those who choose no faith. I think the way it's worded is very wrong, and there is no justifiable reason for it.
Actually, I read in the news that this bill is a reaction by a Christian congressman (I think from Iowa) to similar measures that were recently passed recognizing Hinduism and Islam. So Congress is indeed recognizing a plurality of faiths, and Christianity didn't even come first.

I don't think Jesus would have approved (I've been watching all of the Jesus shows on National Geographic) you've got to admire the man, he was very smart.
Hmm...I'm not entirely sure about this (the approval part, not the intelligence part). I tend not to watch religious shows on TV, but I have read the New Testament quite a few times, so I know most of what there is to know about Jesus. While Jesus would of course not approve of the politicians who think that regressive income tax and private gun ownership are necessarily the will of God, it seems to me that he would consider it all peoples' responsiblity to honor God both publically and privately.

Alas, that's a discussion for which this board is not suited. What I can say, however, is that we might not be so quick to label all of these resolutions a waste of taxpayer money. All the pork that gets passed in Congress constitutes a far larger expenditure. And at the end of the day, most Americans call themselves religious in some sense or another. If politicians were to ignore the issue of religion, it would still not diminish the potent effect of religion on American culture. It's better to address the issue than to pretend it doesn't exist.

chemisttree
Homework Helper
Gold Member
What is interesting is that 9 Democrats voted against it! Last October's resolution recognizing the comencement of Ramadan had no nay votes....
I don't think we have passed a similar resolution for Judaism.

Maybe now Al-Qaeda will leave us alone!

(Edit: Oh yes, a resolution recognizing Diwali (Indian holiday) passed with no nays as well October 29, 2007)

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chemisttree
Homework Helper
Gold Member
Hey, I'm not a scourge, not yet.

They're singley recognizing Christians. Did you read it all?

It's so transparent in praising Christians, gee do you think it might have a political purpose? This is America, where supposedly all faiths are equal, but not according to this. I think it's rather insulting to people of other faiths, and those who choose no faith. I think the way it's worded is very wrong, and there is no justifiable reason for it.

Nothing against Christians, but other religions are celebrating holidays this time of year. Oh, but they don't constitute as large a base of voters.

I'm steamed. This is so wrong. There is supposed to be no favortism.
:rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:

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I would vote this down in a heartbeat if given a chance. I'm not even sure the facts they claim are true. This document provides benefits to a specific religion, even if they are only observed and not practiced. It's almost like passing a law making Christianity the official religion of the United States.

People's rights to freedom of religion are already protected by law. No individual should receive undue favors based on their belief.

Next thing you'll see is court cases against people who decide to put Xmas signs outside their property.

chemisttree
Homework Helper
Gold Member
I would vote this down in a heartbeat if given a chance. I'm not even sure the facts they claim are true. This document provides benefits to a specific religion, even if they are only observed and not practiced. It's almost like passing a law making Christianity the official religion of the United States.

People's rights to freedom of religion are already protected by law. No individual should receive undue favors based on their belief.

Next thing you'll see is court cases against people who decide to put Xmas signs outside their property.
Christmas is an official holiday in the US. Would you still vote against it? As a politician? That's just:rofl:

Recognize Christmas for what it is, a Christian holiday that celebrates the birth of one of the most influential people to ever walk the earth. I think you are over-reacting. Don't be a scrouge!
Is that why it is on December 25th? I thought that was an effort by the church to overtake the Pagan celebration of winter solstice. Happy Festivus everyone!

Christmas is an official holiday in the US. Would you still vote against it? As a politician? That's just:rofl:
No, I don't care about Christmas. It's not Christmas that I would be voting against.

Recognizing the importance of Christmas and the Christian faith. (Introduced in House)
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.
What I would vote against would be #2, #5, #6, and possibly #4. I see no reason why the government should favor any religion, or support, based on faith, individuals who are not citizens of the United States.

#4 kind of baffles me. Does this mean the U.S. government supports the Puritan's actions at the Salem witchcraft trials?

Doc Al
Mentor
I find the entire thing offensive. Our government has no business making "resolutions" recognizing any religion. (As if American Christians are a persecuted minority! :rofl:)
(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;
This in particular seems yet another transparent attempt to rewrite early US history. Part of the "America is a Christian nation" propaganda campaign.

Build up that wall!

Astronuc
Staff Emeritus
Whereas on December 25 of each calendar year, American Christians observe Christmas, the holiday celebrating . . . .
I thought it was about the annual appearance of some jolly old guy in a red suit with white trim. Ho, ho, ho!

And what about the slaughter of millions of innocent trees, which are ritually sacrificed?! No word about that.

I would vote this down in a heartbeat if given a chance. I'm not even sure the facts they claim are true. This document provides benefits to a specific religion, even if they are only observed and not practiced. It's almost like passing a law making Christianity the official religion of the United States.

People's rights to freedom of religion are already protected by law. No individual should receive undue favors based on their belief.

Next thing you'll see is court cases against people who decide to put Xmas signs outside their property.
Yes, I agree that this statement is in accordance with the first amendment (whether or not I agree with that philosophy is another issue...). But I think that the favoritism charge is largely mitigated by the similar resolutions passed acknowledging Hinduism and Islam. What's your opinion on these resolutions?

Recognize Christmas for what it is, a Christian holiday that celebrates the birth of one of the most influential people to ever walk the earth. I think you are over-reacting. Don't be a scrouge!
If he existed, that is. This looks to me as almost violating the Establishment Clause (had it been binding).

Doc Al said:
Build up that wall!
Hitchens, me like.

Yes, I agree that this statement is in accordance with the first amendment (whether or not I agree with that philosophy is another issue...). But I think that the favoritism charge is largely mitigated by the similar resolutions passed acknowledging Hinduism and Islam. What's your opinion on these resolutions?
More wasted paper and taxpayers money most likely. Though I haven't read those, and don't care to, I think the government should concern itself with government issues, not pander itself to religious organizations.

Mentor
The recognition of Diwali is basicaly a description of the holiday with these findings

Resolved, That the Senate--

(1) recognizes the religious and historical significance of the festival of Diwali; and

(2) in observance of Diwali, the festival of lights, expresses its deepest respect for Indian Americans and the Indian diaspora throughout the world on this significant occasion.
Not even on par with the resolution in my OP.

The full resolution

110th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. RES. 299
Recognizing the religious and historical significance of the festival of Diwali.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

August 3, 2007

Mr. MENENDEZ (for himself, Mr. CORNYN, Mr. LAUTENBERG, Mr. BROWN, Mr. LEVIN, and Mr. CASEY) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

←→
November 14, 2007

Committee discharged; considered, amended, and agreed to

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RESOLUTION
Recognizing the religious and historical significance of the festival of Diwali.

Whereas Diwali, a festival of great significance to Indian Americans and South Asian Americans, is celebrated annually by Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains throughout the United States;

Whereas there are nearly 2,000,000 Hindus in the United States, approximately 1,250,000 of which are of Indian and South Asian origin;

Whereas the word Diwali' is a shortened version of the Sanskrit term Deepavali', which means `a row of lamps';

Whereas Diwali is a festival of lights, during which celebrants light small oil lamps, place them around the home, and pray for health, knowledge, and peace;

Whereas celebrants of Diwali believe that the rows of lamps symbolize the light within the individual that rids the soul of the darkness of ignorance;

Whereas Diwali falls on the last day of the last month in the lunar calendar and is celebrated as a day of thanksgiving and the beginning of the new year for many Hindus;

Whereas for Hindus, Diwali is a celebration of the victory of good over evil;

Whereas for Sikhs, Diwali is feted as the day that the sixth founding Sikh Guru, or revered teacher, Guru Hargobind, was released from captivity by the Mughal Emperor Jehangir; and

Whereas for Jains, Diwali marks the anniversary of the attainment of moksha, or liberation, by Mahavira, the last of the Tirthankaras (the great teachers of Jain dharma), at the end of his life in 527 B.C.: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate--

(1) recognizes the religious and historical significance of the festival of Diwali; and

(2) in observance of Diwali, the festival of lights, expresses its deepest respect for Indian Americans and the Indian diaspora throughout the world on this significant occasion.
http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=sr110-299

And ackowledging Ramadan, ouch, well, it approves of Muslims that speak out against terrorists.

Neither of these two resolutions compare to the resolution in the OP. I'd have to say the resolution in the OP is completely in a class of it's own.

H. Res. 635

In the House of Representatives, U. S.,

October 2, 2007.

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

Whereas since the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, some 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 on the United States;

Whereas some extremists have attempted to use selective interpretations of Islam to justify and encourage hatred, persecution, oppression, violence and terrorism against the United States, the West, Israel, other Muslims, and non-Muslims;

Whereas some Muslims in the United States and abroad have courageously spoken out in rejection of interpretations of Islam that justify and encourage hatred, violence, and terror, and in support of interpretations of and movements within Islam that justify and encourage democracy, tolerance and full civil and political rights for Muslims and those of all faiths;

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 commenced at dusk on September 13, 2007, and continues for one lunar month: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives--

(1) recognizes the Islamic faith as one of the great religions of the world;

(2) expresses friendship and support for Muslims in the United States and worldwide;

(3) acknowledges the onset of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting and spiritual renewal, and conveys its respect to Muslims in the United States and throughout the world on this occasion;

(4) rejects hatred, bigotry, and violence directed against Muslims, both in the United States and worldwide; and

(5) commends Muslims in the United States and across the globe who have privately and publicly rejected interpretations and movements of Islam that justify and encourage hatred, violence, and terror.
http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=hr110-635&show-changes=0

It's upsetting that Congress felt that the Christian resolution was necessary not to mention it really went too far in laying on the praise.

chemisttree
Homework Helper
Gold Member
Maybe you should read it again.

HRES 847 EH

H. Res. 847

In the House of Representatives, U. S.,

December 11, 2007.

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 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 Judeo-Christian roots;

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.

Attest:

Clerk.
Acknowledging Christmas, ouch, well it approves of Christians that celebrate Christmas as a time to serve others.

The resolution that actually passed is a little different than that in your OP.
http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=hr110-847&show-changes=0

How is this in a class of it's own?

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Mentor
How is this in a class of it's own?
Oh come now. It unduly praises Christians & achievements that aren't even substantiated.

Are you going to try to say that the other resolutions even come close to the praise lavished upon Christians? The other resolutions basically just describe the holiday.

Astronuc
Staff Emeritus