U.S. Rep Diana DeGette, D-Colo.
Only weeks after voting for a resolution that “recognizes the Islamic faith as one of the great religions of the world,” nine Democrats in the U.S. House refused to vote for a Christmas resolution that condemns the worldwide persecution of Christians.
U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., was on the list of those who endorsed the statement recognizing Islam but refused to support the Christmas resolution that noted the holiday “is celebrated annually by Christians throughout the United States and around the world.”
The Christmas resolution, like the Ramadan resolution, decried the violence that targets religion around the world.
A spokesman for DeGette told WND her vote was because the Ramadan resolution, which she endorsed, was about “rejecting religious extremism and promoting of religious tolerance.”
The spokesman, Chris Aaron, however, said DeGette is a “strong supporter of separation of church and state and her view was that Congress should not favor one religion over another.
“She felt this resolution (recognizing Christmas and condemning persecution of Christians) promoted Christianity over other religions,” he told WND.
Other Democrats who supported the acknowledgment of Islam’s Ramadan but refused a similar recognition for Christianity’s Christmas included Gary Ackerman and Yvette Clarke of N.Y., Alcee Hastings, Fla., Barbara Lee, Fortney Stark and Lynn Woolsey, Calif., Jim McDermott, Wash., and Robert Scott, Va.
Both resolutions, carrying similar wording, ultimately were approved. But the American Family Association of Pennsylvania also raised the issue of representatives supporting Ramadan, but refusing to offer the same support for Christmas.
“We are very pleased that 17 of our 19 congressmen voted to recognize the importance of Christmas and the Christian faith. Congressman John Murtha was one of 40 who did not vote and unfortunately Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz decided to simply vote ‘present’ rather than take a stand on such a controversial issue as Christmas,” said Diane Gramley, president.
She noted on Oct. 2, Schwartz “did not hesitate” to vote for a resolution to support the religion “of the 19 hijackers of 9/11 who brought down the World Trade Center, flew their airliner/missile into the Pentagon, and caused the death of the crew and passengers of Flight 93 as it crashed into a field outside Shanksville, Pa.”
“I believe there are more Christians in her district than Muslims and they deserve an explanation for her vote last night,” Gramley said.
According to Liberty Counsel, the Christmas resolution was approved with nine “no” votes. Ten others voted “present” and 40 refused to vote at all.
“Amazingly, all but two of the representatives who answered “present” or voted against the Christmas resolution voted in favor of a resolution recognizing Ramadan, even though much of the language was similar,” the group said.
The Ramadan resolution began:
Whereas Ramadan is the holy month of fasting and spiritual renewal for Muslims worldwide, and is the 9th month of the Muslim calendar year; and Whereas the observance of the Islamic holy month of Ramandan commenced at dusk on September 13, 2007, and continues for one lunar month: …”
The Christmas resolution started:
Whereas Christmas, a holiday of great significance to Americans and many other cultures and nationalities, is celebrated annually by Christians throughout the United States and the world… Whereas on December 25 of each calendar year, American Christians observe Christmas, the holiday celebrating the birth of their savior, Jesus Christ…Whereas many Christians and non-Christians throughout the United States and the rest of the world, celebrate Christmas as a time to serve others:”
The Ramadan resolution then acknowledged “the Islamic faith as one of the great religions of the world,” expressed “friendship and support for Muslims,” noted “the onset of Ramadan,” and rejected “hatred, bigotry, and violence directed against Muslims.” It also “commends Muslims … who have privately and publicly rejected interpretations and movements of Islam that justify and encourage hatred.”
The Christmas resolution continued to acknowledge “the Christian faith as one of the great religions of the world,” expressed “continued support for Christians,” noted the historical importance of Christmas, the role “played by Christians and Christianity in the founding of the United States,” and rejected “bigotry and persecution directed against Christians, both in the United States and worldwide.”
“Notice that the Christmas resolution uses similar language. It is astonishing that those who supported the Ramadan Resolution would vote against the Christmas Resolution,” Liberty Counsel said.
The group suggested voters check the lists for votes by their representatives. “If they voted against Christmas and in favor of Ramadan, respectfully point out their hypocrisy,” the group said.
Concerned Women for America said the true message of Christmas is under assault in the U.S. Shari Rendall, director of the group’s legislation and public policy divisions, noted Congress earlier approved not only the endorsement of Ramadan but also another resolution concern the Hindu religion.
“It astounds me that any member of Congress would oppose legislation that recognizes the important of Christmas in our country, particularly in light of the fact that earlier this year Congress passed two separate resolutions honoring the Hindu and Islamic religions…”
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