Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Christ's Christmas Gift from the House

You may have seen the following in the Atheosphere already. If you have, it's worth reading a second time, particularly if you like horror stories. If you haven't seen it yet, you'd better read it twice, carefully. Then go look at yourself in the mirror to check if your hair is standing on end.

It's H. Res. 847, which passed in the United States House of Representatives yesterday by a vote of 372 to 9 (you did not read that incorrectly). Friendly Atheist, where I first learned about this piece of crypto-theocratic garbage, lists the names of the brave nonet who voted against it.

This is a resolution, which does not have the force of law. Technically, it's just self-serving babble by the 195 Democrats (stop doubting yourself; you read that right, too) and 177 Republicans who voted to pass it.

However, the House has now formalized, in whatever small way, four very scary ideas. They're not stated explicitly, but implied, although the meanings are clear nonetheless. In the following list, the numbers correspond to the highlighted portions of the document that support each idea. (The highlighting and numbering are mine.)

Idea 1:
America is a Christian nation: 1, 2, 3, 5
Idea 2:
America was founded as a Christian nation: 3, 5
Idea 3:
Christians in America are being assailed by secularists and need support: 4, 6
Idea 4:
The United States has a mission to defend worldwide Christianity against its enemies: 2, 6, 7


Recognizing the importance of Christmas and the Christian faith.

Whereas Christmas, a holiday of great significance to Americans [1] 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; [2]

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 identify themselves as those who believe in the salvation from sin offered to them through the sacrifice of their savior, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and who, out of gratitude for the gift of salvation, commit themselves to living their lives in accordance with the teachings of the Holy Bible;

Whereas 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 roots in Christianity [3];

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; [4]

      (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 [5] and in the formation of the western civilization;

      (5) rejects bigotry and persecution directed against Christians, both in the United States and worldwide; [6] and

      (6) expresses its deepest respect to American Christians and Christians throughout the world. [7]

Now that you've read the resolution, I urge you to go back to the third paragraph and look at the number of yea votes given by members of each party. Please remember those numbers the next time you're tempted to spout off that Democrats are somehow safer for atheists and other secularists than Republicans. While Democrats may not be pushing forward such blatant theocrats as Romney, Huckabee, and Paul as presidential choices, many a Democratic heart still beats with the same theocratic zeal that made William Jennings Bryan the party nominee three times.

Be warned: Take nothing for granted.


tina FCD said...

That's a really depressing post. But informative, I never would of read that anywhere but here. :) I just want to get out of America when I read crap like that. :(

PhillyChief said...

Completely absurd. What's next on the docket?
HR#848 - recognizing the importance of peace
HR#849 - recognizing the importance of gravity and the law of gravity
HR#850 - recognizing the importance of a daily bowel movement
HR#851 - recognizing the importance of an apple a day and the faith that it'll keep the doctor away

Of course I'm waiting for
HR#852 - recognizing the importance of leading this country and not wasting fucking taxpayer money and time on stupid ass resolutions recognizing the importance of shit most everybody already recognizes as important

EnoNomi said...

HORRORS! How am I supposed to sleep at night?

Anonymous said...

DRAT! Our heathen plot to destroy Christmas has been foiled once again. Cheer up, gang, and remember this: there's always next year!

EnoNomi said...

I'm stealing your bullited points to write an email to each of the nine who voted No:

Thank you for voting against House Resolution 847 to “Recognize the importance of Christmas and the Christian faith.” I am not a Christian. I do not believe in the supernatural. And while I enjoy any holiday that gives me a paid day off from work accompanied by rich food and festive lighting, I don’t enjoy the constant threat against reason from superstition. The separation between Church and State is growing ever thinner and I’m saddened that there are only nine of you willing to stand up to enforce that line. America is not a Christian nation, it was not founded as a Christian nation, Christians are not being assailed by secularists -- if anything it’s the non-Christians that are being assailed -- and the United States should not be on a mission to defend worldwide Christianity against its enemies.

I sincerely thank you for being one of the nine willing to stand up and say “No” to theocracy.

PhillyChief said...

Any talented web people want to put together a petition that everyone can sign with Enonomi's words above?

Btw, I say there needs to be an effort to build Jesus mobiles like Babs talked about and pull an Animal House on christmas parades. RAMMING SPEED!!!

I volunteer to buy the marbles. :)

The Exterminator said...

It's comforting to see that others are as outraged by this resolution as I am. But how come only four of you?

This resolution snuck by because, technically, it doesn't violate the First Amendment; it's not a law. But it clearly spits on the Establishment Clause.

I just want to get out of America when I read crap like that.
That was my first response, too. I don't want to live anywhere ruled by the Taliban.

Next on the docket, I fear, is:
HR xxx - recognizing the importance of keeping non-Christians out of office.

I read your letter to your congressman, and urge everyone to do so.

Maybe you can sleep at night when you follow tina and me to Canada.

I think the 2008 election will be a crucial one -- and not just because of the presidential race. We have to examine closely the candidates for the Senate and the House. Too many people in this country elect unfit representatives because they get pre-occupied about the seemingly more important offices. As we've just been reminded, the House is capable of doing plenty of damage to the Constitution, particularly if there's an agreeable Senate and President, too. I've yet to hear of any senator or presidential candidate publicly repudiating yesterday's vote.

By the way, I also urge everyone to read your email to your congressman.

I forget on whose blog the interchange between you and me occurred, but wasn't it you who made a faith statement about the Democrats' commitment to separation of church and state, which I challenged? I trust you've extended your atheism to politics now.

Unknown said...

Oh, I was outraged about it too when I heard about it. I planned on posting about it in my weekend wrap-up, but probably should have had a special post for it.

Not only is it a waste of taxpayer's money but it violates the separation of church and state. They are definitely favoring one religion over another. It's despicable!

Unknown said...

But the thing is, I only heard about this resolution yesterday. Am I not on the ball or did this thing get slipped in pretty quickly.

PhillyChief said...

Actually, it may be that is is just yet another christian overreaction. Check this
"King said he decided to offer the resolution after two similar resolutions earlier this year recognized the importance of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month, and Diwali, a festival of importance to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains."
Nope, you can't let those fuckers get a nod without firmly saluting christianity. It's like this shit where people in Long Beach got bent because the menorah was 20ft tall and the x-mas tree was only 7ft. Oh they fixed that up right quick.

The Exterminator said...

You asked, But the thing is, I only heard about this resolution yesterday. Am I not on the ball or did this thing get slipped in pretty quickly?

I'm afraid that many of us, probably most, are "not on the ball." This was the 847th House Resolution in the current session of Congress. Do we know about any of the others?

I think it would be very difficult for anyone who wasn't a complete political junkie -- and I'm not -- to keep abreast of all the nonsense that flows through the national Congress. Not to mention everything addressed by the many national agencies and by state and local governments. I've decided I'd better check my links (over there on the left) to Godless Americans, FFRF, and Americans United more often.

Had I known about the previous resolutions, I still wouldn't have been as horrified by them as I am by H. Res. 847. While yesterday's vote was allegedly a "response" to those other silly resolutions, it actually managed to push a Christian agenda, sneaking in those ideas that I mentioned in my post.

I predict that we'll see HR 847 being referred to, either directly or obliquely, by at least a few congressional candidates as the 2008 election nears.

HappyNat said...

This pisses me off to no end. How I long for the days when congress spent time on important matters like changing the name of french fries to freedom fries. Now that was a congress who got things done!

Unknown said...

I'm also wondering if those other resolutions made any hint that they were the official religion of the US like this one. I doubt the wording was anywhere near as bad. But I'd like to see them.

PhillyChief said...

No, I bet they didn't. Just as, I'm sure, the christians in Long Beach are probably still upset their tree is level with the menorah. I'm sure they'd much prefer a 40ft tree or a wee little menorah like the stonehenge in Spinal Tap, only there are too many jews in Long Beach I think.

and oh how they danced...

Spanish Inquisitor said...


Oh wait, there's an election coming up.

The Resolution posted above is in the current 110th. Congresses last 2 years. Here's the text of the Resolution in the 109th Congress.

Nothing in the 108th or 107th.

I didn't go back any further.

Seems that the resolution is mutating and evolving. I suspect we'll see a newer and bigger one with more muscle next year.

This really is irritating. We, in PA, recently got rid of Senator Sanctimonious, but we replaced him with a pro-life, Catholic. He's clearly a step above his predecessor on religion, and I haven't heard him say anything like Santorum, so we just have to wait.

Oh, and Philly, here's HR 852.

PhillyChief said...

What a bunch of shit. No wonder problems never get solved. Are they ever even discussed? How many of these resolutions get trotted out daily? Fucking ridiculous. Our taxmoney at work.

Perhaps we should hope those godless communist Chinese come soon to collect on all the money we owe them right now. Maybe then all this waste will stop. Maybe. Lets start accounting for every penny and every second spent.

Anonymous said...

Stuff like this makes me want to alternately scream and cry. The stupidity is so vast it's depressing.

Anonymous said...

Exterminator - I agree that most of the presidential candidates in both major parties (with the exceptions, I think, of Kucinich and maybe Gravel) use far more god-talk than I like. I still think, however, that it's primarily a pro forma thing for most of them. I'll take their word for it that they are believers, but I think the primary reason several of them talk about their religion as much as they do because they believe that's what it takes to win an election in this country (pathetic as that is).

When the rubber hits the road, however, I think there are real differences between the faiths of Hillary or Biden and those of Mitt or Huckabee. From all appearances, it seems that the former two are not as extreme in their religions as the latter two. I wouldn't be surprised if the faiths of most of the Democrats are mostly nominal (though I have no evidence one way or the other on that). I just believe that, in general, the Democrats will be more committed to upholding the separation of church and state than just about any of the Republicans.

Of course, all that raises the issue of integrity. If candidates are willing to fudge the facts about their core beliefs because they believe they'll derive some benefits from doing so, on what other matters will they fudge facts, and how will they justify doing so? Those questions continue to trouble me. And, in the wake of the disaster of George W., they're questions I take very seriously.

Anonymous said...

BTW - the nine who voted NO are all Democrats. For the record, I'm registered as an independent voter.

The Exterminator said...

How I long for the days when congress spent time on important matters like changing the name of french fries to freedom fries.

No, you don't. The next thing we know, the House will be officially changing the name of one of America's favorite sandwiches: Ham and Jeez. And a much-loved cereal: Christ Chrispies. And a popular candy: Jees's Pieces. Of course, the Catholics will look for a special nod with Pope-si Cola. Then the Jews will want to respond with Moshe Potatoes, and the Muslims will threaten to kill all infidels unless we start eating Chicken Allah King and Koran on the Kob. Even the Hindus will try to get recognition with Baba Ganesh, but it's likely that so bad a pun won't get enough votes.

See what you started, Happy? I hope you're proud of yourself.

I, too, doubt whether any of the other resolutions were anywhere near as bad as this one. So far, I haven't seen a single politician complaining about the "War on Diwali."

Great clip, but I couldn't really enjoy it. My computer's speakers don't go up to 11.

National Stalking Awareness Month, huh? Well that ought to show those godless unaware stalkers a thing or two.

Stuff like this makes me want to alternately scream and cry. The stupidity is so vast it's depressing.
I hope you're referring to the House Resolution and not my responses to the comments.

OK, now you've brought me back to seriousness with an esmack in the face.

Congressman Kucinich, whom you single out for praise, is one of those who voted for the resolution. So fuck him, and please don't hold him up as any kind of First Amendment exemplar any more.

As far as the rest of your analysis about the differences between the Democrats and the Republicans, it sounds pretty damn faith-based to me. Yeah, Mitt and Huck have revealed clearly where they stand on religious issues, but the Dems -- despite their fudging -- aren't far behind. Here's a link to a post I published in August. Maybe you can read it carefully and show me where exactly there's any hint that I should take what the Democrats have said as merely pro forma instead of at full face value.

Anonymous said...

You note correctly that all of the presidential candidates in Congress, including Kucinich, did vote in favor of this stupid piece of legislation. That seems to indicate that they're either believers of some sort or spineless, calculating reptiles (sorry to insult the reptiles out there - so sue me).

I read your August post and, frankly, your response is the most sensible one. It's similar to what I shouted at the TV when I heard the question (yes, I watched it too).

Obviously, none of us knows the hearts of any of the candidates. Maybe most of them are pandering, maybe most of them are sincere - who knows? I resent the fact that electoral politics in this country are in such a state that anyone could consider a question about prayer to be a legitimate, let alone urgent, concern in the political forum. I wish that someone would have had the backbone to say something like, "It's none of your damn business what I believe about prayer. Now, let's talk substance instead of bullshit." Alas, I don't think that will happen during this election cycle. Maybe by 2012.

John Evo said...

Philly said Any talented web people want to put together a petition that everyone can sign with Enonomi's words above?

Dawkins has said that if you combined all of the atheists, agnostics, humanists, secularists, etc all in to one group, you'd have political interest group much larger than the Jewish lobby, which is quite powerful. The problem is that we are "united" only on a single issue (which I don't entirely agree with - but, ok, for argument...). Well, THIS IS our single issue!

Of course this will piss off 99% of Exterminator's readers. And we can all agree that it's outrageous and stomp around No More Hornets, or we can do something.

Philly offers a starting point. We need TWO letters. One designed to praise those with courage. The other to let the cowards know that we are watching them and that even if they are, as Democrats, our only reasonable alternative, that doesn't guarantee our support. As far as the Right Wing - we send them nothing. They don't deserve our time and we'll never change them anyway.

Let's do it. It's not much, but you can't just accept this and "learn" from it about Democrats. Hell, we already know that 80% of our fellow citizens are superstitious about one thing or another.

EnoNomi said...

Based on your suggestions I did send my letter to the editor of the Arizona Republic, and then got sidetracked for an hour into a comments section pissing contest over the "Christmas" versus "Holiday" tree controversy in Queen Creek (I don't even live there, but I couldn't help poking a sharpend stick at the Christians).

The Exterminator said...

We've already discussed to death, here at NMH, the Dawkins crack about the mythical "Jewish lobby." So I'll let your phrase pass.

Now, as far as the rest of what you've said: I agree ... to an extent.

Yes, those people who have Democratic representatives that voted "yea" on HR 847 should write letters saying that they're angry/disappointed about the vote and stating their reasons.

But, frankly, I don't think letters like that do much good. Those of us who have reps clearly motivated by religious zeal, should work hard to vote them out of office.

I also think we need to have the determination and the courage not to vote for anyone -- I mean ANYONE -- who campaigns at all on the basis of his or her faith. As I've written in innumerable comments, if we elect those kinds of Democrats, we'll just be encouraging the party to continue on the pious path. I'd rather see theocratic Republicans in office than theocratic Democrats, because if the Democrats' pandering strategy fails, they may chuck it out the window in the next election cycle. If it succeeds, though, they'll be running with god just as many Republicans do. Then where will we be? Who will we turn to?

PhillyChief said...

Well hell Ex, we'd might as well trash our voter cards since there won't be anyone to vote for any time soon.

Like it or not, we're looking at voting for the lesser of evils for a long time to come probably.

The Exterminator said...

Well, as I've said before, the lesser of the two evils is still too evil for me.

I suppose if a faith-flaunting candidate announced a really strong commitment about returning to the complete separation of church and state, making it absolutely clear that his or her administration would immediately get out of the religion-funding business, I'd be able to hold my nose and vote for that person. But I haven't heard anything like that so far.

the blogger formerly known as yinyang said...

I didn't even have to look at the list to tell you that my scary Republican representative voted yes. I just hope she gets voted out next year, and I don't particularly care by who or what. In fact, I kind of wish the US would remove the species barrier, or the state of life requirement - I'd much prefer a corpse over her.

Spanish Inquisitor said...

Off track, Ex.

I don't think you're getting my emails. I've sent 5 to you recently, including 2 today, but you write as if you didn't get them.

tina FCD said...

I have a confession to make...I have never voted, ok kick me! I deserve it. But better late than never right? Just who does an atheist vote for anyway? I'm serious, I'm new to this and I really don't know. I can thank my son Larro for pushing me on this.

It's going to be hard to click that "publish your comment" button....

The Exterminator said...

Not one of them. And they're not coming in as junk or spam, because I always check those, too.

Hmmmm. You could send your email to someone else and ask him or her to forward it.

The Exterminator said...


You asked, Just who does an atheist vote for anyway?

Normally, I'd say that one's atheism shouldn't even be an issue. This year, I don't know. I think mine is, only because there are major Constitutional, domestic, and foreign policy issues involved.

The best advice I can give you is to keep listening to what the candidates say. Then, if you're sickened by all of them, as I've been so far, go write in a name (I'll probably write in my own) or pick a third-party candidate. I think that's better to do than merely sitting on your hands, because at least you can tell yourself that you were involved in the process. And I believe -- many would disagree -- that expressing your dissatisfaction with all listed candidates is an acceptable way of being involved.

John Evo said...

Sure, if Democrats pander to theists to get elected, you could make the argument that they will be just as bad as the Republicans. You COULD, but it would be disingenuous. We have seen the difference between a "god fearing" Republican and a "tip of the hat to god” Democrat for - well, forever. There is a difference and it’s a difference I can tolerate (while continuing to work on lessening the god-grip even more).

In order to embrace a wide array of propositions that appeal primarily to Democratic voters, there is no way to be as fundamentalist as a Republican can be (and IS). Hillary Clinton might, during an election, say that “god gives me strength”. But I’m sure as hell a lot less worried about her attacking a country, against all advice, simply because “god told me I was right”.

Listen, we can argue this endlessly. I see and understand Ex's point on this. I'm not likely to change his mind and he's not likely to change mine. But we do have areas (many areas) of solidarity. We need to use our combined strengths in those sectors.

Letting these bastards know what HELL really is, should be one of our focuses!

Stefan Monsaureus said...

In an era where cultural polarization is becoming the norm, support of such an insulting and divisive measure by so many prominent and oftentimes rational Democrats is hugely disappointing, and betrays either a general lack of courage or an utter disregard for millions of nontheistic Americans.

Intolerance: it’s not just for Republicans any more.

John Evo said...

I accidently cut out part of my last comment. I was also going to say that I am not one of those "don't waste your vote" people. I agree with Ex that it's a legitmate way to express dissent.

If you want to vote 3rd Party, for your self or for Bozo the Clown, I'm cool with that. But there is something called "reality" too. Reality, in this case, is that somebody is going to get elected.

If I wasn't extremely worried about the fate of the Constitution - in a very immediate sense, I might agree with a plan that more or less assures defeat of Democrats, just in the name of getting less theistically inclined ones down the road.

I just happen to have a very sick feeling that our basic freedoms are at stake right now. ANY move away from what Bush/Cheney has wrought upon the American people is good news.

The Exterminator said...

Intolerance: it’s not just for Republicans any more.
There, in a short snappy slogan, is exactly how I feel about the Democrats.

Hillary Clinton might, during an election, say that “god gives me strength”. But I’m sure as hell a lot less worried about her attacking a country, against all advice, simply because “god told me I was right”.
Well, you can feel less worried about her, but I'd advise you not to take anything for granted. If a Democrat gets in, you'd better not relax your guard. Don't forget: We have a Democratic Congress now.

Babs Gladhand said...

This is depressing and scary. Okay, Philly, you got the marbles, I got the baby Jesi. What the hell kind of country am I living in? And don't you just know all the evangelicals are claiming this as a victory.

What a load of crap.

Anonymous said...

They're just grasping at straws. Despite their "statistics", more and more people are leaving the church. As for our elected officials, many are afraid to come out as an Atheist, Pagan, Buddhist, etc. The religious revolution is just beginning. There is much more to follow...

John Evo said...

Anonymous said: The religious revolution is just beginning.

I suppose you mean the atheist revolution! I don't see it nearly as much of a "revolution" as an attrition.

@ Ex - Point taken. Guard up.

The Exterminator said...

Babs & Philly:
OK, you've got your assignment. The militant atheist cabal is depending on you.

As for our elected officials, many are afraid to come out as an Atheist, Pagan, Buddhist, etc.
Yeah, I hate it when people won't identify who they really are.

PhillyChief said...

We all need trench coats and shades. Who's got chains? Smoke grenades?

Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? No! When the going gets tough... the tough get going!

John Evo said...

Ex, while 9 is a pathetically low number, can you draw any conclusions at all from the fact that ALL 9 were Democrats?

Urban Viking said...

*Looks at his American passport....sighs and puts it back in the draw*

The Exterminator said...

Evo, you asked:
Can you draw any conclusions at all from the fact that ALL 9 were Democrats?

Conclusion 1: There are only 9 Democrats in the House who aren't weasels.

Conclusion 2: There are 9 Democrats who will have difficulty getting party funding in the next election.

Conclusion 3: John Evo is still struggling to find something -- ANYTHING -- positive to say about the Democratic party.

DaVinci said...

You guys are making too much out of all this. It's just throwing the xtians a bone at the holiday season and the eve of an election year. Atheists just arent political enough to understand how this shit works. It's all about party right now so they can say we are the party of god.

The Exterminator said...

You guys are making too much out of all this. ... It's all about party right now so they can say we are the party of god.

Yeah, and then when they continue using taxpayer money to support faith-based charities, and start urging public schools to teach creationism as science, and decide that stem-cell research should not be funded because it offends the religious sensibilities of Catholics and fundamentalists, and that maybe we should step up our "crusade" against non-Christian nations, and, hey, why don't we ban atheist books in schools? ... then they can say "We are the Party of God" EVEN LOUDER. Just like Hezbollah does.

That comment you made was just ignorant, DaVinci, and way beneath you.

PhillyChief said...

Although you may be correct DaVinci that many of the Reps had that in mind when they voted, that doesn't discount the potential that lies within and the very real ramifications that may manifest.

Furthermore, I don't think we can react enough, say too much, too often or too loudly.

Spanish Inquisitor said...

Well, truth be told, Davinci and Ex., what they want to say is "See! Even though we are divided on lots of things, we can join together in consensus. We are the parties of god."

Remember, there's only one atheist in the house who will admit to it. My guess is the vote has smoked out a few others.

Anonymous said...

How do they square this up, I wonder? Being both Hez'b'shekel and hez'b'allah at the same time?

JP said...

Geez, a bit late to this, what else is there to add. Horrible indeed.

What about the establishment clause?

Anonymous said...

Arriving fashionably late to the party, I can only add a few points gleaned from the thread of this conversation and filtered through my own views.
1. The nine who voted their beliefs took less of a risk than might be thought. In the grand scheme of things, this resolution was put forward to give the bible thumpers something to put in their church bulletins. With the current administration, it's not like those churches have to worry about losing their 501(c)(3) status. As to its importance, has anyone seen any mention of this issue in the "drive by media", as Rush likes to call it? I haven't and I doubt I will. The nine obviously represent districts where the electorate has a decidedly progressive bent anyway. Otherwise these folks couldn't get elected in the first place. So even if some whacked out god group tries to hold them accountable back home, no one will pay much attention.
2.I believe Mr. Evo is right, we are making too much out of this. This is one of those attempts at feel good politics that also has a sharp barb buried in its entrails. No doubt it was put forward to claim its author as a true patriot and believer. That's guaranteed to generate campaign dollars later and, in his mind, the possibility of a large stick with which to beat anyone brave enough to vote against it. His problem is that no one but us and the bible thumpers are ever going to know about it because it's not getting any mainstream media coverage. Much as we might like to dream that these pages are being anxiously awaited in homes all across middle America, it ain't happening.
3.I would agree with phillychief when he said way back at the beginning of this thread that the next move could be a resolution recognizing the importance of a daily bowel movement. It's about that important. There is a danger that the Al Quaida types across the pond may use this as more evidence of the crusade mentality here, but we've given them so much already in that vein that this one won't make much difference.
4.By this time next year, few if any will remember this exercise in intolerance. Hunter Thompson once wrote about seeing a massive wave of rationalism crest and wash back to the west. I believe we've seen the massive wave of christian fundamentalism expend itself and its potential for even more radical change in our country. We are still in great danger. Bush has been able to pack the courts with weasels whose "judicial activism" will make the Warren court look like they had their hands tied and were blind folded. Worse yet, many of them are relatively young and will be able to serve long terms. Somehow, we'll have to deal with that.

Now, how about some wine? Anyone got a nice '01 Heitz "Bella Oaks" Cab laying around?

The Exterminator said...

I think the 372 theocrats realized they could get around the Establishment Clause because a resolution is not a law. And the First Amendment says Congress shall make no law ....

Clearly, though, HR 847 violates the spirit of the Constitution -- and if anyone running for president had a backbone, he or she would mention this.

You speak about the nine who voted their beliefs as if all the rest did not vote their beliefs. Is this an attempt on your part to exonerate Democrats again?

It was DaVinci, not Evo, who said we're making too much out of this. Evo's just as pissed off as the rest of us reasonable people.

I'm not concerned that this resolution will be read and admired by the idiot public. What concerns me is that future legislators will point to this wording as some kind of precedent. No, they won't claim it's a legal one, per se, but they'll tout it as a statement reflecting the feelings of nearly the entire House. Some of the wording of HR 847, I predict, will sneak its way into legislation that's anti abortion, or anti stem cell research, or anti gay marriage. Sentences and phrases from the resolution may be used in a bill banning challenges to laws that violate the Establishment Clause. I'm afraid that there's specific language in this resolution that might show up in a declaration of "holy" war against a non-Christian nation. And of course, large chunks of the document lend "official" support to the concepts that the United States was founded as a Christian nation and, in fact, is a Christian nation.

Now that I've shown you why you're just so completely wrong about this, what were you saying about that '01 Heitz "Bella Oaks" cab?

Anonymous said...

Having a different opinion doesn't mean it's wrong or based on ignorance of the issues. It's a reflection of a difference in interpretation of those issues and the "possible" consequences of decisions "possibly" made regarding those issues. Branding all of those who voted for this thing as theocrats is wildly myopic in my opinion. The vast majority of our Congressmen are rank political opportunists. From their self aggrandizing point of view, there were simply too many negatives to voting against this resolution. A great many congressional races are decided by very narrow margins. Why give their potential opponents a weapon with which to harm their re-election chances? I don't seek to exonerate this self serving behavior, by either party. I do know that it exists and has since the beginning of the country, at every level of government.

I fully expect those in Congress who attend the prayer breakfasts daily and wear their faith on their sleeve like a badge of honor to continue to try to turn this country into a theocracy. I just think that their chances of success are lower than they were 10 years ago. I applaud the nine who voted with the courage of their convictions. That they're Democrats doesn't surprise me. That they weren't joined by at least a couple of Republicans who see themselves as strict constructionists isn't much of a surprise. I've never voted for a Republican in my life but the reasons have as much to do with their positions on social justice and environmental issues as their possible pledge of fealty to the likes of Pat Robertson.

Now, if we can't find a Heitz Cellars cab, a Duckhorn "Parradux" would do, or the Kim Crawford.

The Exterminator said...


I must say, I was surprised that more Democrats didn't balk at the resolution. I think those who voted against their own conscience -- and the spirit of the Constitution -- may not deserve to be re-elected, narrow margin or not. On the other hand, giving their opponents the "weapon" of their having voted "nay" on this bill would have created endless opportunites for them to speak in favor of diversity, against "monkey business as usual," and as champions of the Constitution. Instead, they put their fingers into the air to see which way the wind blows. That's exactly the same mentality that ropes them into voting for unjust wars and against environmental initiatives.

Now, as far as wine goes, "Parradux" (that's a cab-zin concoction, right?) sounds great, and even better as a second-course following a Kim Crawford sauvignon blanc. But I'd hope you can slosh through a third bottle, because I also gotta recommend a fantastic California Bordeaux-style blend my wife and I tried at a tasting the other night. Unfortunately, it's got one of those sexy-for-teenagers names: "Seduction." Still, you could always hide the label.

To the rest of my readers: You never can predict what you'll learn here at No More Merlot.