"War Against Christmas" taken to Congress
Lorie Johnson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Fri Dec 16, 2005 at 09:44:38 AM EST
It's clear that some people are taking this fake 'war against Christmas' seriously. What else would explain this resolution passed by the House of Representatives yesterday?

It was "H.RES.579
Title: Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the symbols and traditions of Christmas should be protected"

Which 'symbols and traditions' are they protecting? I think you can guess.

Of course, not all 'symbols' were thought worthy of protection:

Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-NY): "There are people around who need an enemy at all times to try to separate us one from the other as Americans in order to advance their own agenda. I do not think we should be playing into their hands. Nobody is attacking Christmas or its symbols.... I am really very saddened by the fact that when given the opportunity to expand this resolution that the sponsor demurred. I am not sure why. If you do not know and you are saying that you want this to be what this is because yours is the religion that has its symbols under attack, when was the last time you walked into Wal-Mart and saw it saying 'Happy Chanukah?' When did you walk into Toys 'R Us and see it saying 'Happy Kwanzaa?' Does that give me the right to say that my religion is under attack, the symbols of my faith or the holiday I wish to celebrate are under attack? It is not, and I am not going to be a crybaby and say that it is. To tell the truth, it is slightly offensive to see people trying to create a war and claiming they are attacked just so that they go on the offense instead of the defense. This is a prefabricated issue that has no merit. Nobody is attacking the symbols of Christmas. Are you objecting to our wanting to be included because the symbols of your religion are more important than the symbols of anybody else's religion in America? Or is it because you think that the symbols of your religion are more official? That is the danger in what we are doing."

Virginians, you should be proud of your Representative... Here's what he had to say:

Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA): "Madam Speaker, this resolution purports to protect the symbols of Christmas, but what really needs to be protected are not the symbols of Christmas, but rather the spirit of Christmas. The spirit of Christmas demands generosity and goodwill towards others. Instead of legislation that respects the spirit of Christmas, Congress in just these past few weeks has passed a budget that includes mean-spirited attacks on the least of us. For those who are hungry, we are cutting food stamps. For those who are sick, we are cutting Medicaid. For those who are in prison, we are imposing senseless mandatory minimums. For others we are ignoring increases in heating costs and cutting student loans. At the same time we are cutting those programs to help the least of us, we are cutting taxes for the wealthiest in society. Madam Speaker, we ought to express our passion for Christmas through deeds, not words; and we should not be distracted from our responsibility to uphold the spirit of Christmas as we consider the effects our actions on the Federal budget will have on the least of us during this holiday season. For these reasons I oppose this resolution."


Both of these House members, and several others, have, in their objections to this resolution, hit upon some of the very things we find objectionable to the Dominionist assault on our country: the hypocracy of a fake 'war' and mean-spiritedness in taking away from the poor and needy the very things that Christ told us to give.  Basic things like food, clothing, shelter, medical care...

If you are in one of the states who had a brave soul objecting to this patently hateful resolution, I encourage you to write to them and let them know that you support them. I'll let Congressman Dingell have the last word:

Washington, DC - Congressman John D. Dingell (MI-15) recited the following poem on the floor of the US House of Representatives concerning House Resolution 579, which expressed the sense of the House of Representatives that the symbols and traditions of Christmas should be protected. “Preserving Christmas” has been a frequent topic for conservative talk show hosts, including Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly: ‘Twas the week before Christmas and all through the House, No bills were passed ‘bout which Fox News could grouse; Tax cuts for the wealthy were passed with great cheer, So vacations in St. Barts soon would be near; Katrina kids were nestled all snug in motel beds, While visions of school and home danced in their heads; In Iraq our soldiers needed supplies and a plan, Plus nuclear weapons were being built in Iran; Gas prices shot up, consumer confidence fell; Americans feared we were on a fast track to…well… Wait--- we need a distraction--- something divisive and wily; A fabrication straight from the mouth of O’Reilly! We can pretend that Christmas is under attack Hold a vote to save it--- then pat ourselves on the back; Silent Night, First Noel, Away in the Manger Wake up Congress, they’re in no danger! This time of year we see Christmas every where we go, From churches, to homes, to schools, and yes…even Costco; What we have is an attempt to divide and destroy, When this is the season to unite us with joy. At Christmas time we’re taught to unite, We don’t need a made-up reason to fight. So on O’Reilly, on Hannity, on Coulter, and those right wing blogs; You should just sit back, relax…have a few egg nogs! ‘Tis the holiday season: enjoy it a pinch- With all our real problems, do we honestly need another Grinch? So to my friends and my colleagues I say with delight, A merry Christmas to all, and to Bill O’Reilly…Happy Holidays.

Ackerman, Scott & Dingell each deserve a kudo for their remarks on this issue.

by Mainstream Baptist on Fri Dec 16, 2005 at 09:57:43 AM EST

As I'd posted in the other thread on this issue, I'm familiar with two of the reps who were co-sponsors of this because they have a history of support of dominionist causes:

Ron Lewis (R) of Kentucky is pretty much the state's hardline dominionist representative--among other things, Frank Simon's groups largely lobbied for his election and he actually has done electioneering in the very church I walked away from.  He's pretty much bought and paid for by dominionist groups.

Among other things, Ron Lewis has been a cosponsor of a proposal to amend the Constitution that would not only ban same-sex marriages but any other status equivalent in benefits to marriage--in an almost identically-worded version to American Family Association and Focus on the Family-sponsored amendments that passed in 10 states over the past two years.

Lewis, in the War on the Judiciary, has also proposed (along with some of the other suspects already listed) a constitutional amendment requiring judges to be reconfirmed by both executive and legislative branches every ten years (this in a bid to remove non-dominionist-friendly judges).

Lewis is even the author of a specific proposal for a law aimed at destroying the Balance of Powers of the branches of the government--in that it would allow Congress, via a two-thirds vote, to overrule decisions by the Supreme Court that an act of Congress was unconstitutional.

At least one of the three Indiana reps also co-sponsoring, Hostettler, is also a hardline dominionist.  Hostettler was also detained once at Louisville International Airport at Standiford Field for having an undeclared Glock pistol in his luggage and had a bench warrant for his arrest declared in Kentucky; Hostettler has also actively tried to derail investigations into dominionist activities at the US Air Force Academy including forcible prosyletisation.  

Hostetter's ignoble record includes re cosponsorship:

a House resolution supporting sectarian prayers at school board meetings

a dominionist-backed bill to reverse a decision of the 9th District Court which ruled that the dominionist addition to the Pledge made it unconstitutional

A law permitting Ten Commandments displays "in the event the Supreme Court rules it unconstitutional"

Hostetter is actually among the more extreme branches of the dominionist movement (such as Christian Reconstructionists and much of the pentecostal-affiliated "dominion theology" movement) in that he also is very much opposed to divorce--he literally demonised it in dominionist terms by stating it was as "bad as gay marriage".  (Several dominionist groups are actively working to make it legally very difficult to divorce, even in cases of domestic abuse; generally they are promoting "Covenant marriage" as a legal alternative to no-fault marriage.  Generally "covenant marriage" prohibits divorce for any reason within the first two years.  Some of the AoG-affiliated dominionists and Christian Reconstructionists have stated they would like to legally outlaw divorce altogether save for the grounds of a partner acting in an "un-Christian" (aka non-dominionist) manner.)

Hostetter also is the author of at least one other "Constitution Restoration Act Clone" bill (there are at least three other bills besides the "Constitution Restoration Act" itself that have identical intent and nearly identical wording, but with narrower focus)--specifically  a bill that would strip almost all courts of legal jurisdiction over dominionist anti-gay-marriage laws like the "Defense of Marriage Act".

Other bills Hostetter has authored include:

a bill that would ban courts from charging losers attorney's fees in successful lawsuits in regards to civil rights cases involving religion (including "Ten Commandments" cases and the like)

a bill allowing people to "opt out" of having Social Security numbers based on religious convictions (this is based on an old chestnut in especially pentecostal communities that the Social Security number is secretly the Number of the Beast--there are even Jack Chick tracks about this, which include conspiracy theories about the Catholic Church being in league with the Freemasons to boot)

An amendment to a funding bill cutting off all federal funds to a court because it gave a ruling against dominionists in a "Ten Commandments" case in Indiana

A bill that would require parental notification and consent for birth control (yes, stores would not only have to legally contact parents but have a teen bring a permissions slip or get a judge's consent to buy a pack of Trojans under this law)

A rather bizarre bill that includes unborn fetuses--including specifically stillborn fetuses or fetuses dead in utero--as eligible for child credits under federal income tax laws

Both he and Lewis were also co-sponsors of another bill--the "Constitution Restoration Act" (which is in fact authored by Roy Moore, and is introduced in Congress on a yearly basis by Sen. Shelby from Alabama who is a close friend of Moore's)--which would strip practically all court jurisdiction from US courts in regards to practically any court case regarding dominionism and which would also set penalties--including impeachment from office and disbarrment--for any judge or lawyer that took a case involving "the acknowledgement of God as Creator" or any civil-rights cases involving dominionism.

Both Lewis and Hostettler have been co-sponsors of numerous other bills friendly towards dominionist causes, including:

a Constitutional amendment that in part repeats the First Amendment but also in part makes forced prosyletisation constitutional

a Constitutional amendment that would define legally the start of life as being the point of fertilisation (thus, via dominionist arguments, outlawing not only abortion but cloning, stem cell treatments, IUDs, all "morning after" pills, potentially the birth control pill itself, possibly outlawing in vitro fertilisation and embryo transfer technology, etc.; it would also, notably, allow people to sue their own parents under civil rights laws for not providing "proper" conditions in the womb; by extension, both thalidomide and Accutane (and all drugs related to Accutane, of which there are approximately ten on the market) could become illegal because their marketing restrictions require two highly effective forms of birth control even if the woman has had her tubes tied or the husband has had a vasectomy and even if they are using abstinence (this is because Accutane and other retinoid drugs, as well as thalidomide, are known to cause severe and often fatal birth defects; legally, a doctor cannot prescribe Accutane or thalidomide without the woman being on two separate forms of birth control or with medical proof she's had a hysterectomy))

a similar bill to the "Constitution Restoration Act" stripping all courts of jurisdiction over any case involving the constitutionality of the Pledge of Allegiance

a proposed Constitutional amendment that would essentially nullify any living will or power of attorney agreement that provided for "pulling the plug" and even establishes specific legal procedures under which dominionist groups could file to prevent one's living will or end-of-life directives from being enacted

A bill (that came very close to becoming law) that would make transporting an underage person across state lines to obtain abortion or  family planning services a felony--both for the persons taking the teen to another state (which may have had a less strict judicial bypass, for instance) and for the doctors concerned

a bill that would force all pregnancy counseling centers to provide info on adoption services

a bill that would revoke the legal approval for mifeprestone (aka RU-486) in the US even though the FDA already restricts its use to within a doctor's office and its use is one of the most highly restricted of any pharmaceutical in the US (Accutane and thalidomide--both legally approved drugs and both known to cause severe, often fatal, birth defects--literally have less legal restrictions than Mifeprex does)

Rep. Jo Anne Davis also has a history of being the actual introducer of multiple pieces of dominionist-friendly legislation, including:

A House resolution to keep the US motto as "In God We Trust" (which was changed originally in 1954 in a round of dominionist-backed legislation (backed primarily by the Full Gospel Businessmen's Fellowship International, at that) which also added "One Nation, Under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance, added (by virtue of change of the national motto) "In God We Trust" to the coinage, and included an unsuccessful attempt to amend the Constitution to declare the US "a nation under the authority and law of Jesus Christ")

a version of the FotF "marriage is one man and one woman" amendment

She's also a co-sponsor of nearly all of the other legislation noted above.

by dogemperor on Fri Dec 16, 2005 at 10:36:10 AM EST

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