Rep. Diane Black R-Tenn. sent a letter to her 6th Congressional District constituents that ranted about not being able to wish them a “Merry Christmas” and spouting some false ideas about the role of government and religion. The problem is she knew she was breaking Congressional rules in sending out the letter. Like other theists, Black is upset if she can’t tell you how religious she is and she really wants you to pay for the privilege.
Rep. Black wrote:
Wishing You a Merry Christmas… Even if I’m not supposed to
It seems like every year during the holidays, we get reminded of how political correctness has run amok in this country. Recently we had our own example of this in the House of Representatives, when the House Franking Commission sent out a memo to offices regarding holiday greetings.
According to the people at the Franking Commission, Members of Congress cannot wish constituents “Merry Christmas” in any official mailing. In fact, no mention of a specific holiday is allowed. When I heard this, I was outraged. The Franking Commission exists to ensure that resources used in each Representative’s office—from letters to emails and official communications—are used for informing constituents of important matters and that Members are not using taxpayer dollars for political purposes. It is not their job to police the greetings that Members use in their correspondence or to enforce political correctness. How is wishing constituents a “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Hanukkah” a political message that is banned, while “have a happy new year” is permitted?
Americans are not simply celebrating “winter” this December. Rather, we are celebrating significant moments in two religions that have fundamentally shaped our nation. Recently, I joined Congressman Joe Walsh (R-IL) in sending a bipartisan letter to Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) along with House Administration Chairman Dan Lungren (R-CA) and Ranking Member Robert Brady (D-PA) asking them to revise these unnecessary rules.
And going beyond the Franking Commission fight, I am cosponsoring H.Res. 489, legislation that reaffirms the significance of Christmas symbols and traditions—protecting your ability to display your beliefs and holiday spirit this season through publicly displays like Christmas trees and nativity scenes while strongly disapproving of any attempt to ban references to Christmas in the public sphere.
Faith and religion has shaped our great country and I believe should be celebrated and freely expressed. President John Adams said it best, “Statesmen may plan and speculate for Liberty, but it is Religion and Morality alone, which can establish the Principles upon which Freedom can securely stand.” The House of Representatives must set an example for the rest of the nation that everyone should be allowed to express their feelings when it comes to the holiday season without fear of having to be politically correct.
And with that, allow me to wish you all from the bottom of my heart a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and a blessed New Year!
Member of Congress
There is so much wrong with this letter. Saying “Merry Christmas” isn’t banned – she just can’t use tax dollars to say it in a letter sent to her district. That seems fair to me.
She also seems to think there are only two religions. Really?
The law she is co-sponsoring that “reaffirms the significance of Christmas symbols and traditions—protecting your ability to display your beliefs and holiday spirit this season through publicly displays like Christmas trees and nativity scenes while strongly disapproving of any attempt to ban references to Christmas in the public sphere” is a waste of time. Again people aren’t banned from celebrating Christmas. The law would in fact force people to celebrate Christmas and force them to pay for Christmas displays. That sounds terrific… NOT!
Finally the John Adams quote she uses to support her tax payer funded proselytizing is a false quote. Adams didn’t help write the US Constitution and his quote says nothing about the powers of the federal government to influence religion.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation also notes:
“Franking” is a tax-supported “free postage” privilege for members of Congress. As Rep. Black cited in her letter, Franking resources may only be used to inform constituents of an important matter. Taxpayers should not have to subsidize congressional communications that pander religion or show preference for Christianity over other religions or religion over non-religion.
Franking law “prohibits the use of the Frank for any card or message expressing holiday greetings for any traditional holiday for example, Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving.”