House resolution defends Christmas

Dec. 21, 2013 at 5:43 PM
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 21 (UPI) -- A group of U.S. lawmakers have introduced a resolution defending Christmas from grinches who might otherwise prefer to do away with holiday displays.

A non-binding House resolution introduced by Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., states the chamber would "strongly [disapprove] of attempts to ban references to Christmas."

The measure is supported by 36 cosponsors, including two Democrats, Reps. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., and Mike McIntyre, D-N.C.

"The Founding Fathers never intended for references to God and religion to be prohibited in civic dialogue. Despite this, our freedom to fully recognize Christmas is being attacked by a vocal and litigious minority," Lamborn told ABC News in an email. "That is why I have introduced House Resolution 448, a bipartisan effort ... calling on Congress to protect the traditional symbols of Christmas for use by the vast majority of Americans who do acknowledge the holiday."

Rahall, one of the two Democrats, said he supported the measure because it's important for Americans to know they can publicly talk about their faith.

"To substituting time-honored greetings like 'Merry Christmas' with empty phrases such as 'Happy Holidays' -- I say bah humbug," Rahall said in a statement. "There's nothing wrong with publicly recognizing the religious nature and true meaning of Christmas, especially for a nation like ours founded on the principles of religious freedom and free speech."

Christmas -- and other religion's holidays -- recently got a boost when House Administration Committee Chairwoman Rep. Candice Miller, R-Mich., overturned a rule prohibiting members from making overt references to religious holidays in official taxpayer-funded correspondences with constituents.

"In the past, including any form of a holiday greeting was banned ... this new commonsense policy allows members to share their holiday wishes with constituents in otherwise official communications," Miller said. "I feel it is entirely appropriate for members of Congress to include a simple holiday salutation, whether it is Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and so on."

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