Readers: Many of our Facebook friends have discussed Christmas, its meaning and the government’s role in the holiday in recent weeks on the Banner-News Facebook page. Today, we received the following letter from U.S. Congressman Mike Ross (D), who has helped to introduce House Resolution 489, “that would express the sense of the House of Representatives that the symbols and traditions of Christmas should be protected for use by those who celebrate Christmas.” Continue reading to see Ross’ letter in its entirety:
Christmas is a very special time of the year. For many of us, it is a time to pause and remember the true reason behind the holiday. It’s also a time to surround ourselves with friends and family and to show our love and appreciation by exchanging gifts. Even though we continue to deal with a struggling economy, Christmas will be celebrated around the world just as it always has.
Here in the United States, Christmas has been an official national holiday since 1870, when Congress passed and President Grant signed legislation making the designation officially the law of the land. But, the celebration of Christmas had existed long before that and centuries before the founding of our great country and it’s a celebration that will continue for centuries more.
In recent years, there has been an effort by some to ban any reference to Christmas by the federal government or our elected officials. While I certainly respect the United States Constitution and the First Amendment, which I swore to uphold, I believe when it declares that the government shall not establish a national religion, it does not expressly ban any mention of religion or reference to God, Christianity or Christmas by practicing Christians.
My parents raised me in a Christian home, and my wife and I have done the same with our children. Strong, Christian principles built this country and have allowed our nation to thrive, and these principles must remain the basis for our American way of life.
To reassert our government’s support for the Christmas national holiday, I have helped introduce a resolution, H.Res. 489, that would express the sense of the House of Representatives that the symbols and traditions of Christmas should be protected for use by those who celebrate Christmas.
Specifically, the resolution would call on the House to recognize the importance of the symbols and traditions of Christmas; strongly disapprove of attempts to ban references to Christmas; and, express support for the use of these symbols and traditions by those who celebrate Christmas.
Please know that as a fifth generation Arkansas and as your Congressman, I will continue to represent our Arkansas values that I was raised on and still strongly believe in today. I will also continue to fight against any attempts to diminish this nation’s long-standing support for the Christmas national holiday.