Wednesday, December 15, 2010
"It is impossible to do all of the things that the majority leader laid out," Kyl said today, "frankly, without disrespecting the institution and without disrespecting one of the two holiest of holidays for Christians and the families of all of the Senate, not just the senators themselves but all of the staff."
Reid isn't suggesting that the Senate meet on Christmas day, just that they return to work the following week. You know, like just about everyone else working for a living.
Perhaps some history is in order, especially for the "original intent" crowd.
The Roman Catholic Church broke from churches in the Eastern portion of the Roman Empire by celebrating Christ’s birth on Dec. 25, the same day as the birthday of the Invincible Sun, worshipped by a solar cult in the first few centuries.The first written mention of Dec. 25 was in a Roman city calendar in 354 AD. Christmas was celebrated in England, especially in the 1500s.Then came the overthrow of the English monarchy, and Parliament prohibited the celebration of Christmas. In America, the influence of the Puritans was even stronger and the banning of Christmas observances was uniform across New England.Before our Civil War, Congress regularly met on Christmas Day. The influence of Dicken’s Christmas Carol and Queen Victoria and Prince Albert brought Christmas back to popular favor. The South was the first part of America to officially recognize Christmas.
So, Christmas wasn't particularly sacred in the antebellum U.S., and the modern "tradition" is a Victorian construct. I really don't care if Congress meets on Christmas day or not, but to whine about having to go back to work the following Monday is churlish.
Labels: war on xmas