Thursday, December 13, 2007

Congress and Religion

Earlier this week the House of Representatives passed resolution recognizing the importance of Islam. Here is the text:

Whereas Ramadan, a holiday of great significance to Americans and many other cultures and nationalities, is celebrated annually by Muslims throughout the United States and the world;

Whereas there are approximately 1.5 million Muslims in the United States, making Islam the third largest religion in the United States;

Whereas there are approximately 1,780,000,000 Muslims throughout the world, making Islam the second largest religion in the world and the religion of almost one-third of the world population;

Whereas Muslims and Islam have contributed greatly to the development of civilization;

Whereas the United States, being founded as a constitutional republic in the traditions of western civilization, finds much in its history that points observers back to its monotheistic roots;

Whereas each calendar year, American Muslims observe Ramadan, the holiday celebrating the revelation of the Koran to their prophet, Muhammad;

Whereas for Muslims, Ramadan is celebrated as a recognition of one's willingness to suffer for Allah; and

Whereas many Muslims and non-Muslims throughout the United States and the rest of the world, celebrate Christmas as a time to honor Allah: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives--

(1) recognizes the Islamic faith as one of the great religions of the world;

(2) expresses continued support for Muslims in the United States and worldwide;

(3) acknowledges the international religious and historical importance of Muslims and the Islamic faith;

(4) acknowledges and supports the role played by Muslims and Islam in the founding of civilization;

(5) rejects bigotry and persecution directed against Muslims, both in the United States and worldwide; and

(6) expresses its deepest respect to American Muslims and Muslims throughout the world.

Surprised? Well you should be. In fact, the House did nothing of the sort. Instead it passed a resolution much like this one, but recognizing Christians, Christianity, and Christmas as important. It makes me a tad uncomfortable to have the House of Representatives singling out a religion, any religion, for praise. You?

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