H.R. 847 was passed in the House of Representatives with 195 Democratic yea votes, 177 Republican yeas and nine Democratic nays.
None of the Republican Senators voted against it. Ten House members voted "present" and forty were not there, including the bill's sponsor, Rep. Steve King.
The bill states, among other things that:
"Whereas Christmas, a holiday of great significance to Americans is celebrated annually by Christians throughout the United States...." and that "Christianity [is] the religion of over three-fourths of the American population," that "American Christians observe Christmas, the holiday celebrating the birth of their savior, Jesus Christ," and that "Christmas is celebrated as a recognition of God's redemption, mercy, and Grace."
"Now, therefore be it Resolved, that the House of Representatives ... expresses continued support for Christians in the United States ... acknowledges and supports the role played by Christians and Christianity in the founding of the United States ... rejects bigotry and persecution directed against Christians, both in the United States and worldwide; and expresses its deepest respect to American Christians."
So much for the first amendment of our Constitution... again. (Think The Violent Homegrown Terrorist Act.)
Sally Quinn of The Washington Post states in her December 23rd article, "among those voting for the resolution was a Jewish member of Congress who asked ... to not print his name. He was outraged and appalled by the bill, but he was also afraid. He thought it would hurt him with his mostly Christian constituency if he voted against it. He told some of his colleagues about his anguish. They advised him not to be stupid. It would be better for him politically if he voted for it. It's possible that the 10 who voted 'present' also had problems with the bill but decided it was safer not to vote against it. One could also assume that some of those who were absent were not there so as not to have to deal with the problem.
"Earlier this year the House also passed resolutions honoring Islamic and Indian holidays but nothing that so equated a single faith with America and Americans.
"How could this happen, in what will soon be 2008, in a pluralistic, multicultural, multireligious society, a society based on the concepts of religious freedom and separation of church and state? What were they thinking?"
I agree with Quinn's assessment that a better resolution would have been: "Whereas all holidays have great significance to some Americans, be it resolved that the House of Representatives expresses its deepest respect to Americans of all faiths and non-faith alike."
And then acts like it by upholding the Constitution they swore to defend.