Thursday, December 13, 2007

I Really Don't Get It

On December 11, the House of Representatives passed a resolution acknowledging the significance of Christmas and Christianity. The vote was 372-9 with 10 members voting "present" and 40 members not voting.

I serve on the Constitution committee of our union, (NATCA) and recognize that these resolutions are really nothing more that feel good resolutions. They take no funding; they provide no service; they merely make a statement.

Here's what I don't get:

In October, two similar resolutions passed without opposition. The first recognized Islam and the month long fasting of Ramadan. The vote was 376-0 with 42 members that voted "present" and 14 that didn't vote. The second resolution was for the Indian Festival of Lights (Diwali) and is a feast celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains. The vote was 358-0 with 8 voting "present" and 66 not voting.

So why the 9 "no" votes on the Christmas resolution? Seven of the nine no votes voted yes on each of the other resolutions. Has it just become sporting to bash Christians? I am grateful to Congressman King of Iowa that wrote the Christmas resolution and I am happy that it passed. Perhaps this is the part where I turn the other cheek and get ready for the next slap in the face from a government that talks about religious freedom but only means it when their talking about other religions.

For anybody interested, the nine "no" votes came from Reps. Gary Ackerman and Yvette Clarke, both of New York; Diana DeGette of Colorado; Jim McDermott of Washington; Bobby Scott of Virginia; and Pete Stark and Lynn Woolsey, both of California. These seven voted yes on both of the October resolutions. Not voting on the Diwali measure was Rep. Alcee Hastings of Florida. Not voting on the Islam resolution but also voting "no" on the Christmas resolution was Rep. Barbara Lee of California.

Maybe it was just a case of nine Democrats that didn't want to support a resolution that was written by a Republican. If that's the case...Grow up!

In any case, I'd bet that all nine of them will enjoy their Christmas recess and await the arrival of Santa Claus. Maybe this year he'll leave them a lump of coal!



Bilbo said...

If he needs help, I'll be glad to deliver the coal. They've earned it.

Amanda said...

I don't get it either. I don't live in the US but I wouldn't mind helping Bilbo and Santa with that coal.

Kevin said...

Although it's sad when you see this sort of ugliness rise up it should be no surprise to those of us who believe. Find strength in the disdain you receive from others and know that in the end you will be justified.

Mike said...

Everyone should just be thankful that we live in a country where those 9 members could vote no. Imagine Iranian parlament members voting no on Islam.

Jean-Luc Picard said...

How ridiculous. I agree with Mike. No one would dare do it in an Islamic country.

John said...

Thanks for your comments. Someone asked me about the "present" vote.

Essentially it has the effect as a "no" vote. A representative may use it just to keep their voting record intact, showing their constituents that they voted on a high percentage of the votes taken in Congress.

For example:

Let's say that you're voting on a measure that requires a 2/3 majority to pass. You have 60 ayes and 30 nays. The measure passes.

Now, lets say that the same vote has 60 ayes, 30 nays and 10 votes "present." Now the measure fails because it no longer has 2/3 of the votes cast.

Choosing not to vote has no effect on the outcome.

Given the previous measures, a "no" vote speaks volumes about a representatives feelings towards Christians and Christmas. It is essentially a "hate vote" and should be recognized as such.