You gotta hand it to the brave men and women collectively known as the House Republicans.
A month after erasing the word "French" from the House cafeteria; a couple days after floating the idea of digging up the red, white and blue remains of Americans buried in the dishonorable soil of France; and less than 24 hours after the bombs began falling on Baghdad, our proud leaders drafted a resolution "recognizing the public need for fasting and prayer in order to secure the blessings and protection of Providence for the people of the United States and our Armed Forces during the conflict with Iraq ..." (The Senate passed a similar resolution via voice vote a week earlier.)
House Resolution 153 passed easily, 346-49. (Twenty-three tough-minded lawmakers answered "present," 16 didn't vote).
In these troubled times, who would reject a formal appeal to God, especially when proffered from such a divinely inspired body of public officials?
And in times like these only a traitorous liberal would bring up the question of separation of church and state, which is apparently mentioned in passing in the Constitution somewhere.
Fear not, patriotic readers: The Republicans have that argument covered. HR 153 notes that in at least four instances -- 1774, 1776, 1787 and 1863 -- America's forefathers invoked prayer and fasting in a public setting. Tell your liberal friends to forget the phone call to their ACLU lawyers! Bob Dylan may have been talking out of the side of his mouth when he wrote "With God on Our Side" in 1964, but our representatives are serious.
Dennis Kucinich, the unabashedly progressive Ohio Democrat waging a lost-cause bid for the presidential nomination, mumbled something about religious persecution when debating the bill.
"This resolution may be seen by some as an attempt to inject religion into this war at a time when some of America's enemies abroad are asserting that this is indeed a war about religion," he said. "I also think that aggressive war is not consistent with prayerful aspirations."
Cry us a river, peacenik.
As is our custom every time the House takes a tough stand on God and/or country, mom and/or apple pie, Orlando Weekly called Rep. Ric Keller (R-Orlando) for comment. (We did this despite the fact that, based on appearances, Keller is not one for regular fasting. He is, however, a big fan of apple pie.) Here's what Jason Miller, Keller's chief of staff, told us:
"There's no law passed; it's a civil proclamation. It says on `money` 'In God We Trust.' I don't think it's anything that will escalate tension between the United States and the rest of the world."
One thing puzzles us: Why was Rep. Corrine Brown (D-Jacksonville) the only non-Republican to co-sponsor the bill? After all, didn't she issue a press release six days earlier condemning the war?
Brown didn't return our calls.