After learning that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada,
would be keeping the chamber in session in the days leading up to
Christmas, with an eye toward securing passage of the Strategic Arms
Reduction Treaty (START), these Republican senators did not react by
declaring their pride at being able to further the mission of the Prince
of Peace by limiting the likelihood of nuclear war.
Instead, they grumbled that any Senate Majority Leader who messed with their Holiday shopping schedules must be a very poor Christian indeed.
"It is impossible to do all of the things that the majority leader
laid out without disrespecting the institution and without disrespecting
one of the two holiest of holidays for Christians," fretted Arizona
Senator Jon Kyl, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate.
South Carolina Jim DeMint, the fiercest of the Senate's conservatives, was even more charged up about Reid's supposedly desecration of Christmas.
"It's sacrilegious and disrespectful," DeMint griped. "What's going
on here is just wrong. This is the most sacred holiday for Christians."
Actually, Easter tends generally to get the higher billing.
And, as just about everyone predicted, the Senate approved the START
Treaty and finished one of the most productive lame-duck sessions in
congressional history well before St. Nick's departure.
But DeMint's point was clear enough: People who perform public
service when they should be shopping are bad Christians. And, if anyone
in America did not get it, former White House political czar Karl Rove,
the living embodiment of Christian charity, shouted into the FOX News
echo chamber that Reid was "the guy who tried to steal Christmas."
Picking up on that theme, Fox host Megyn Kelly asked, "Is Senate
Majority Leader Harry Reid a Grinch? Is he trying to Scrooge his
colleagues with plans to keep the Senate in session until Christmas Eve
and then call everyone back before New Year's?"
Alright, so that's the question.
But where, where, to turn for an answer?
How about the founders, on whom DeMint and his followers " do we call
them "DeMinters" or just "DeMinted"? " tell us they rely for all
insight and instruction?
What did the founders make of working during the Christmas season?
There's actually some instructive history on this point.
Nearby, in Philadelphia, Tom Paine was worried about the fate of the
revolution he called into being with his pamphlet, "Common Sense."
Hoping to inspire his countrymen once more, Paine worked through the
middle weeks of December, 1776, on a new pamphlet, "The American Crisis."
He finished it around the Solstice and the first edition published on
December 23rd. As they came off the presses, copies of "The American
Crisis" were rushed to Washington's camp.
Washington ordered the pamphlet to be read to the troops as they gathered around their campfires on Christmas Eve, especially the part that read: "THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated. Britain, with an army to enforce her tyranny, has declared that she has a right (not only to TAX) but "to BIND us in ALL CASES WHATSOEVER,' and if being bound in that manner, is not slavery, then is there not such a thing as slavery upon earth. Even the expression is impious; for so unlimited a power can belong only to God."