Opinion

On Dec. 11, 2007 the House of Representatives passed Resolution 847 recognizing the religious and historical significance of Christmas, acknowledging America's Judeo-Christian roots and rejecting bigotry and persecution against Christians worldwide. The resolution overwhelmingly passed, but it was not unanimous with 372 Ayes and nine nays. One of the nays was cast by our esteemed Congressman, Gary Ackerman. This nay vote came on the heels of his aye vote for House Resolutions 635 and 747 (each unanimously passing) recognizing the significance of the Muslim holiday of Ramadan and Hindu holiday of Diwali, respectively. It should be further noted that in December 2005, Resolution 579 was passed by a margin 401-22 recognizing the importance of Christmas. His commentary supporting his nay vote here was of the condescending nature, "Did somebody mug Santa Claus? Is somebody engaged in elf tossing?" Mind you the majority of his constituency is Christian! What hubris! All this being said, I phoned his office and requested a response on his rationale for the nay vote on Resolution 847. In his Jan. 25, 2008 letter to me, Ackerman justifies his reasons for the nay vote by involving the separation of church and state principles. I'm curious that over 370 House Representatives seemed to have no problem with the "separation" issue by overwhelmingly voting aye on Resolution 847 and over 400 representatives voting aye on Resolution 579.

Ackerman furthermore goes on to say that the Ramadan and Diwali Resolutions were of a political nature and not a religious nature. And that is why he voted aye on them. I find his thinking curious after reviewing each Resolution carefully.

Ackerman, in his response to me, indicates that he takes deep offense at the suggestion that he is anti-Christian or anti-Christmas - Sir, it is I who take offense at your actions!

As a Christian, to expect this congressman in my district to provide me with equitable representation or decent treatment from his office is mythical!

Like Ackerman, I am equally capable of voting nay and will do so, as will the rest of my family against Ackerman on Election Day! Be careful if you're pulling down the lever for him come November!

Donald Cullinane


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