Congressman Doug Lamborn
is sending out Christmas cards
that contain a photo of his family at a wedding (who got married isn't stated) with the headline, "It's a Wonderful Life..."
On the back is a seasonal greeting and then this: "...I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. — Jesus Christ
The piece, mailed to an undisclosed number, was paid for by Lamborn for Congress
. How much was spent isn't known, because the expense isn't discernible in his latest campaign finance filing, through the period ending Nov. 24.
The card came to us anonymously through a recipient/constituent, who took Lamborn and other lawmakers to task for not being more sensitive to those who don't have as much as they. Lamborn knocks down $174,000
a year as a congressman.
A note from the constituent made this observation: "Mark 8: 2-9
in my view, humble as it is, would be a good Bible
verse for our wealthy elected officials to share." That verse states: "Jesus said to His disciples: 'My heart is moved with pity for the crowd...' He took seven loaves and a few small fish, blessed them and distributed them. About 4,000 people ate [and were filled]."
The constituent then noted the following prayer as one that lawmakers like Lamborn might want to ponder:
Oh, God, when I have food, help me to remember the hungry. When I have work, help me to remember the jobless. When I have a warm home, help me to remember the homeless. When I am without pain, help me to remember those who suffer, and remembering, help me to destroy my complacency and bestir my compassion. Make me concerned enough to help, by word and deed, those who cry out for what we take for granted.
Lamborn has taken up the cause not of the poor, jobless or homeless, but rather Christians. Last week, he spoke on the House floor in favor of a resolution regarding Christmas.
"Nine out of 10 Americans celebrate Christmas," he said, noting there has been a "troubling effort to remove symbols and traditions of Christmas" from public spaces.
For example, he said, an "anti religious organization" in Colorado filed a lawsuit last year against "school officials" for their involvement in Operation Christmas Child
. (No lawsuit was filed, actually.)
Though he didn't say, it appears Lamborn was referring to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation
's opposition to the Air Force Academy
urging cadets to participate in that Christmas Child effort. MRFF's founder Mikey Weinstein
says no lawsuit was filed. Rather, he adds, "All we did was force the Air Force Academy to move the program under the chaplains and away from the commanders for the obvious constitutional reasons."
Here's an account from MRFF in November 2013 of what happened:
Yesterday, we were contacted by 120 cadets and 12 faculty members — 132 total, out of whom 118 are of the Christian faith, either Protestant or Roman Catholic. They reported that senior Cadet Commanders were issuing memos to the entire Cadet Wing (USAFA student body) urging cadets to vigorously and enthusiastically participate in “Operation Christmas Child,” a project of internationally-infamous Islamophobe Franklin Graham’s Samaritan’s Purse organization. Ostensibly meant to bring a bit of “Christmas cheer” to children in disaster areas and war-stricken nations, this missionary program masquerading as an innocuous charity uses deliveries of toys and toiletries as a Trojan horse to sneak Graham’s fundamentalist Christian ministry of Jesus Christ into “heathen” nations such as Japan, Libya, Haiti, and Iraq.
MRFF immediately jumped into action against this blatantly unconstitutional memo - and it wasn’t long before an official letter of apology was emailed to the entire U.S. Air Force Academy Cadet Wing on behalf of the Cadet Wing Vice Commander (the second-highest ranking cadet at the Academy).
Lamborn's speech went on to call groups such as MRFF a "vocal minority"
and to note, "These petty efforts
by groups offended by the religious significance of Christmas violate the freedom of religion
our forefathers provided for us in the Constitution.... I have introduced a resolution to protect the symbols and traditions of Christmas for those who celebrate the holidays. We cannot allow those who choose to take offense to shut down the religious celebration of every other American."
Every other American?
Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) has truly outdone himself in terms of the breadth and depth of his Constitutional dereliction and his vituperative evangelical Christian sectarianism. Lamborn is a breathtakingly ignorant, World Class(less) fundamentalist Chrisitan bully, surpemacist and brazen bigot. He is even a disgrace to the gutter dwellers he is often compared to.
Firstly, it’s not the business of the United States military to mark, as he seems to imply, the “humble birth of our savior on a holy night 2,000 years ago.” Let me remind readers that those who serve in our armed forces solemnly swear to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; it is NOT their role to uphold one or another particular religious faith (or no faith) or its associated holidays and rituals.
Secondly, if Lamborn was implying that it was the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) which filed a lawsuit to prevent the participation of the U.S. Air Force Academy in Franklin Graham’s Operation Christmas Child (OCC), then that implication is absolutely false and is the product of either woeful ignorance or deliberate calumnious deceit. What did happen was that MRFF filed a complaint on behalf of 132 Academy personnel, the vast majority of whom were Christian, urging that participation in the OCC evangelical Christian fundamentalist charity be placed under the auspices of the Chaplain Corps, and not the Cadet Wing or other USAFA command leadership.
Lastly, MRFF is not a parochial atheist organization (about 96% of our nearly 40,000 armed forces clients are Christians themselves), but is a Constitutional civil rights organization devoted to stopping fundamentalist Christian predators like Rep. Lamborn who are quite literally 'hellbent' on seeing that not only civilian legislatures but the draconian spectre of military command influence is used as a crude and blunt instrument for unconstitutionally forcing helpless subordinate service men and women to accept their own sectarian, bigoted, and fundamentalist biblical worldview.
We asked Lamborn's spokesman how much in campaign money was spent on the Christmas card and how many were mailed, but haven't heard back. We'll update if and when we do hear something.