Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Garrett vs. Ramadan

Representative Scott Garrett joined 41 other Republican Representatives in voting "Present" on a non-binding resolution acknowledging the start of Ramadan. While I don't have a quote from Garrett, Presidential hopeful Rep. Tom Tancredo and Rep. Mike Pence, who also voted present, said this to the Hill:
“This resolution is an example of the degree to which political correctness has captured the political and media elite in this country,” Tancredo said. “I am not opposed to commending any religion for their faith. The problem is that any attempt to do so for Jews or Christians is immediately condemned as ‘breaching’ the non-existent line between church and state by the same elite.”

Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) said, “I voted ‘present’ because I read somewhere that Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion.”

I'd be curious to know Garrett's rationale, whether he's of the "non-existent line" or "make no law" crowd. This little tidbit from the Record back in 2005 might answer that question:

Garrett’s faith is evident in his voting record. He supported a proposed constitutional amendment to outlaw gay marriage. He voted against striking “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance. He voted to allow federally funded programs to use religious affiliation as a criterion in the hiring process.

In September, Garrett spoke at a meeting of the Center for Christian Statesmanship, a ministry aimed at lawmakers and their staffs.

On his Web site, the center’s founder, televangelist D. James Kennedy, asks, “Should we really be tolerant of all beliefs?”

I doubt voters of the District will ever get an answer from Garrett on this vote, but if we do I'll post it here in it's entirety.


Well, it's not a statement to the Record or anything, but Garrett did speak to about the vote:
Representative Scott Garrett of New Jersey says he too was "troubled" by the Ramadan resolution. "There were a number of members who, as we call it down here, 'stayed off' that vote and did not support it because I think that they looked at it as something that Congress really should not be doing, should not be picking one faith out and commending that faith."

Garrett says during his five years in Congress he does not remember the House ever approving a resolution commending Christians for celebrating Christmas or Easter.


Anonymous said...

Enough already!!!!.......Please, show me the actual words that say "separation of church and state". Just some liberal wishing, like the ACLU and their ilk.

rmfretz said...

I'm not going to argue with James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, or the Supreme Court on this one. While it's not in the Constitution verbatim, Madison explained the Establishment Clause; Jefferson was the first to use the phrase; and the Court used it a bunch. We're going on 200 years of it as a guiding principle.

Jill said...

So I guess there's no chance of getting him to acknowledge Samhain, then....

rmfretz said...

Yeah, I'm going to have to guess no on that one.

Anonymous said...

Congress Crosses the Line. Where is the Outrage?

Muslims Against Sharia condemn politically correct cowardice of the United States Congress. We call on every American Muslims to contact their congressmen, and voice their disgust with Congress' blatant disregard for the United States Constitution.

Congressional Resolution HRES 635 EH:
"House of Representatives ... acknowledges the onset of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting and spiritual renewal"

First Amendment to the United States Constitution:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion"

rmfretz said...

First off, this is a non-binding resolution and not a law. Here's what was resolved in this non-binding resolution:

Resolved, That the House of Representatives--

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

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

(3) acknowledges the onset of Ramadan , the Islamic holy month of fasting and spiritual renewal, and conveys its respect to Muslims in the United States and throughout the world on this occasion;

(4) rejects hatred, bigotry, and violence directed against Muslims, both in the United States and worldwide; and

(5) commends Muslims in the United States and across the globe who have privately and publicly rejected interpretations and movements of Islam that justify and encourage hatred, violence, and terror.