December 12th, 2007


Dispatches From The War On Christmas: Your Tax $$$ At Waste.


After Opposing Resolutions On Ramadan And Diwali, Rep. King Introduces Christmas Bill
Rep. Steve King (R-IA) plans to take the House floor today and introduce a bill (HR 847) recognizing the “importance of Christmas and the Christian faith.”

A spokesman for King told ThinkProgress that the bill was introduced in response to previous resolutions recognizing the Muslim celebration of Ramadan and the Hindu Diwali. King, in fact, mirrored his Christmas resolution on the Ramadan one, according to the spokesman:
The Christmas resolution Congressman King has offered is only being offered because there have been two previous resolutions earlier this year in October, one for the Muslim holiday of Ramadan and one for the Hindu holiday of Diwali.

It was actually entirely unprecedented to even consider them for a vote. Religions have not been singled out and honored previously in Congress. But now that this precedent has been set, Congressman King thought it was important to honor Christmas. This is just simply the exact same language used as the Ramadan resolution on Oct 2.
Yet King didn’t even vote for the Ramadan resolution. King instead joined a handful of right-wing lawmakers, including Reps. Virgil Goode (R-VA) and Tom Tancredo (R-CO), who voted “present.” (They didn’t want to explicitly vote “no” because they didn’t want to be seen “as not commending religion in general.”)

Additionally, it’s questionable whether these religion resolutions are truly “unprecedented,” as King’s office claims. In the 109th Congress, the late JoAnn Davis (R-VA) also introduced a resolution recognizing “the importance of the symbols and traditions of Christmas.” King voted for that bill.

Source »


Rep. King Decries ‘Assault On Christmas,’ Calls On Americans To ‘Stand Up’ And ‘Worship Christ’ - On Fox News
Rep. Steve King recently (R-IA) introduced legislation recognizing the “importance of Christmas and the Christian faith,” despite previously opposing resolutions recognizing the Muslim celebration of Ramadan and the Hindu Diwali.

A spokesman for King told ThinkProgress that the congressman simply “thought it was important to honor Christmas” by introducing the bill. Yet today on Fox News, King went further, decrying an “assault on Christmas” from “secularists” who want to “eradicate Christ from Christmas.” Ignoring the Constitution, King claimed America is really a “Christian nation”:
I recognized that we’re a Christian nation founded on Christian principles, and we’re coming up to Christmastime. … It’s time we stood up and said so, and said to the rest of America, Be who you are and be confident. And let’s worship Christ and let’s celebrate Christmas for the right reasons.
In his tirade, King attacked the nine “liberal Democrat” “naysayers” who voted against the bill. “I would like to know how they can vote yes on Ramadan, yes on the Indian religions, and no on Christianity, when the foundation of this nation and our American culture is Christian,” he said.

In response, Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL) ripped King’s religious zealotry as “another sad attempt by conservative Republicans to skew the line between church and state”:
“America is not a Christian nation,” Hastings said. “It is a nation of Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and everyone in between. Our diversity is our strength and those who seek to use religion as a litmus test are doing a disservice to all of us.”

As for the “assault on Christianity,” Hastings said, “all someone has to do is visit a shopping mall, turn on the radio or TV or look at the Christmas trees sitting on the front lawns of the White House and the United States Capitol to realize that no such assault is underway.”
King isn’t alone. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee both have declared that America is a Christian nation.

Source [with video of the Fox News segment] »

Okay. Hear those crickets? That's the deafening roar of the American public's outrage that this bullshit even happened in the House. Also, already this month alone, while Rep. King was out getting the fundies all afroth, 7 soldiers died in this sham of a war. But Christians and Christmas are important now, so everything is fine.

*stab stab stab*

If you know that the snake will probably bite if you pick it up...

...either don't pick it up or don't complain when it bites you.

This post comes fresh on the heels of me being defriended by someone because what I post oftentimes is offensive to his religious sensibilities. I'm not pissed off at him or anything like that, I just think that being offended is completely useless. In stating my opinions, I'm not going to waste my time sanitizing what I think/feel/say/do/believe in order to make others comfortable with the content (or me for my methods), although I will say that he never asked me to censor or filter myself - in fact he made a point of being anti-censorship, which I respect and appreciate. I'm simply making the point. I have no ill will or hard feelings. This isn't the first time someone has taken me off their friends list for similar reasons, it won't be the last, and that's perfectly fine - I expect it from time to time.

I mention this because I want to remind everyone that I accept that I'm hardly everyone's cup of tea and that I know I can be hard to take at times, but on matters of politics or religion, feel free to question me and why I post the things I post if you're provoked in some way or wish to get a better understanding of why I'm making the points I make - I have no problem being held up to scrutiny, and my beliefs and values are strong enough that they can take a good bashing as well. Perhaps you may learn something from me and I from you, therefore it would be a worthwhile endeavor. Or, just defriend me and be done with the entire matter. That is the easiest thing to do after all, and you don't have to bother with learning or teaching anyone anything from hearing them out or giving your own insight. It's easier to surround yourself with people who agree with you - just ask Fox News. Either way, I'm going to say whatever the motherfuck I want to say and no one has to like it - but I'm going to say it just the same. I welcome all opinions, whether I agree with them or not is inconsequential. I guess I just don't understand the point of having faith in anything if it cannot be challenged now and then to measure it's strength. Not everyone wishes to learn anything deeper than face value, a fact I have a hard time reconciling because I simply don't understand that and don't think I ever will.

Part of the explanation he gave said this:
"I really like you as a person, but a lot of what you put out there really offends me... and I would never dream of asking you to censor yourself, or filter anything. I think that is wrong.

I just don't want to keep coming across material that makes me feel like I am an idiot for having a religion. I would never question anyone's beliefs... and as a christian, I'm pretty fucking proud of that.

I feel that if I was at a party surrounded by all of the people you joke on my religion with... you would deny me.

So that's why I can't read you anymore... I don't want to think bad of someone I know to be a very intelligent, and loving person."
In response, I offered:
I appreciate and respect you taking the time to write this, I really do. I don't think any less of you, I want you to know that - but if you think I would deny you in the scenario you suggest simply because I have views that differ from yours, then I'm confident that you don't really know me at all. The fact that you don't ask me to explain certain specifics - as many of my friends do - so that you can understand where I am coming from indicates that you're not invested in trying to know me. I'm fine with that, everyone has their choice to make and I am quite aware that I'm not everyone's cup of tea.

I don't feel the least bit slighted and I would hope that you don't either, and as I'm willing to agree to disagree on most matters, know that this is something I've had to experience more than this one time.

In particular, I appreciate your stance on censorship and assuming the responsibility for yourself to unfriend me rather than suggest I be someone I'm not. That is something I wished more people were on board with. It's not my responsibility to make anyone comfortable with me or what I have to say/think/feel/believe/do any more than it is yours or anyone's for that matter.

If ever you wish to question me on anything that you find offensive, feel free to do so. I won't mind at all. If not, that is perfectly fine as well. We're adults, and it's not like we're BFFs or something - you don't owe me anything and I don't owe you anything either - I just wanted you to know that I appreciate and respect you taking this time to explain your decision.
I should have added two other points, but I'll do that here and now because I think that both are important. First, if someone holding something questionable up to you that scrutinizes your beliefs or values and you're left feeling like an idiot, then there are a few things going on here. Feeling that you are an idiot has nothing to do with anyone else - that's soemthing exclusive to the one with those feelings. It effectively reduces that belief system and set of values to mere fashion if that's what you're left with. I say fashion because at this point, you've really made something you profess to be so important really trivial and disposable. If your faith is really strong enough to merit being worth having, then certainly nothing I or anyone else says is going to shake it beyond repair - and even if it did, it would have nothing to do with anything but the person and their faith. Shouldn't something that frail and yet so serious merit closer evaluative inspection?

Second, I do question people's beliefs and welcome others questioning mine. There's no better way to learn a person or teach yourself to them. I WANT my friends to judge me, who better to measure me by my own standards so that if I'm falling short, I can get an honest reminder of it and tighten up my game. It doesn't offend me if someone tells me something I take strong issue against, it's just that I don't happen to like it is all.

So, yeah... I suppose I posted this mainly because I learned something valuable here and felt it important enough to pass along.