I didn't mention this last week when it passed, but anyone interested in maintaining a secular state would probably be frightened/annoyed by this resolution.
The same House that can't be counted on to do much of anything for actually repressed minorities passed this Christmas resolution, 372-9, on the 11th:
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 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.
Since nearly everyone in the House voted for it, I suppose this is the "bipartisan cooperation" the media tells us we're looking for right now.
I really don't see the point of having to pass a resolution like this other than the fact that a Republican presented it and everyone else in the House was too scared to say "no." Yes, there are a lot of Christians in America, but this is a big-time "We fucking own this country" move meant to let the rest of us know who's in charge, what with its specific Religious Right framing, claiming that Christianity itself is the cause of everything great that we see around us now, and direct use of Christians-as-victims rhetoric.
Eric Leven posted the Christmas Huckabee ad earlier this week, which trumpeted how Huck was tired of talking politics and he just wanted to say "Happy Birthday, Jesus." Does he really expect anyone to believe that?
Steven Benen points out that this is probably the first TV campaign ad ever to use the word "Christ" - even Pat Robertson didn't do that when running for president in '88.
Feel surreal, folks, you were watching history in the making.
This is part of his larger campaign strategy - notice I'm a preacher, don't notice that I'm completely unqualified for the job of president. He's been doing everything from quoting the Bible in debates to picking on Romney's Mormonism. He knows he can't win on merits. Then again, who needs merits anymore?
It's not just Huck, Ron Paul's been surging when it comes to fund-raising, and the boy can't shut up about "natural rights" bestowed upon us by the "Creator." Romney just gave a highly publicized speech about how he'll stomp all over the separation of Church and State. Giuliani's dropping the "sin" word like there's no tomorrow to atone for his spotty past.
And this is all in the past two weeks.
The Democrats aren't helping anything; only 9 reps voted against the above House resolution.
I don't need to post again here about Obama and McClurkin, but one thing that stuck with me from the justification of the event by Obama supporters was that the only way to talk to evangelicals was with religion. Not religion as it relates to politics, not religion justifying political positions. Just unadulterated, apolitical religion. Tell 'em the candidate is pretty much the second coming of Christ, wink, and they'll vote for whatever rube's in front of them.
Get used to it folks. And it won't be just the Republicans. The Democrats are preaching like crazy out on the stump too. It's the new reality.[...]
I'm afraid we are going to have to see that played out in ugly fashion before this explicit religious proselytizing masquerading as politics will fade back to the more generally soothing bromides like "may God bless the United States of America" with which nobody except the most vociferous absolutists have a problem.
I understand how Democrats are trying to show up to the party that put GWB in office, albeit late and rather awkwardly. You know, get religion right when they haven't been able to for so long.
But when the campaign pander turns into the policy pander, we have a problem. The issue is a lot deeper than a few words here and there from the candidates and Huck yammering away, it's about who's in charge and who our politicians are afraid to piss off.
And that doesn't bode well for gays, because, who are we going to go vote for if the Democratic candidate throws us under the bus once again? Sure, that logic can be used on the other side to justify both parties going secular (where would people who need to hear their president talk about Christ go?), but that just doesn't happen. We're the ones who get stiffed.
But there's no sense complaining. Being someone who's actually afraid by where this game could end up and speaking about it will just get you labeled as one of those people who doesn't get it, who just wants to be "hermetically sealed" from the "faith community". STFU, dude, you're embarrassing us as we try to pander to those evangelicals who can't be trusted to think about real issues.
All the while the pandering never comes the other way. America drifts right-ward with all the "serious" pundits telling us how strongly whatever Jesus reference is going to play with those evangelical rubes until people just get plain sick of hearing Jesus used as a tool to shore up votes and realize that there is something to the separation of church and state.
We'll have to wait a while for that to affect the government, though, since politicians always seem to be two steps behind the American people.
(I'm not knocking candidates who want to talk about their religion, or candidates who want to explain how their religion informs their policy positions, or anything like that. The problem is when God-talk becomes a substitute for policy discussion, as it has in a moderate degree in the Democratic Party, a large degree in the Republican party, and an epic degree in the Huckabee campaign.)