Monday, October 15, 2007


Congress gets that old-time religion

A few days ago, the House passed a resolution entitled “Recognizing the commencement of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting and spiritual renewal, and expressing respect to Muslims in the United States and throughout the world on this occasion, and for other purposes.” H.RES.635

Apparently, the big deal about all this is not that the House went out of its way to make nice with a Religion but rather that 41 Republicans (and 1 Democrat) voted “Present”. - Twenty percent of Republicans vote ‘present’ on Ramadan resolution

Tom Tancredo explains his “Present” vote:

“This resolution is an example of the degree to which political correctness has captured the political and media elite in this country. I am not opposed to commending any religion for their faith. The problem is that any attempt to do so for Jews or Christians is immediately condemned as ‘breaching’ the non-existent line between Church and State by the same elite.” Tancredo Issues Statement on Ramadan Commencement Vote

He may be referring to a 2005 vote whereby the House expressed the sense “…that those who celebrate Christmas believe that the symbols and traditions of Christmas should be protected.” While that resolution easily passed, 22 Democrats did vote against it (not just “Present”).

I think these kinds of Resolutions are silly and shouldn’t be such an integral part of Congress’ day. Still, I’d love to watch the squirm if a similar resolution also describing Judaism as one of the world’s great religions could be introduced.

I figured that you would eventually make a post on religion and politics in which I would share your view entirely; today is that day. It is a pile of pandering silliness by non-serious people. Whether you support or criticize the War in Iraq, surely the sacrifices of military service personnel and their families merit more seriousness in a time of violent conflict than for Congress to entertain saccharine foolishness.

Tancredo should have voted NO. While his line about "non-existent line between Church and State" is false (it is not explicitly present in the 1st Amendment, but it exists in statute, legal precedent, historical precedent and common prudence), Congress should not be in the business of picking the religion flavor of the month club. Not because it's unconstitutional (I think it constitutes an establishment to raise Islam abot other religions even for 5 minutes in official Congressional recognition) but because it is tacky pandering in the extreme.

To think that this was the most important business for the attention, i.e. dalliance, of hundreds of federal employees, let alone Members of Congress.....
I don't disagree about the No vice Present vote although I am sympathetic to the concept that you choose your PR battles
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