Congressman Christmas card controversy - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

Congressman Christmas card controversy

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - There's a Christmas card controversy for one Virginia congressman.

Some say he is breaking the rules by saying "Merry Christmas" to his constituents.

"I knew it was the right thing to do," said Rep. Scott Rigell (R).

The congressman was determined to disobey the congressional committee that ordered no Christmas or Chanukah greetings from the U.S. Congress.

"Cannot use the phrase, 'Merry Christmas' and cannot use the phrase, 'Happy Chanukah' is overstepping the bounds of America in this season."

"What we can't say about the holidays... and it has really deflated, I think, the whole spirit of the season."

Rigell put together a video that does what he's not supposed to do — he gives a Christmas and Chanukah greeting.

"It didn't cost the taxpayers a dime to do what we were doing. And yet we were being restricted from saying 'Merry Christmas' or 'Happy Chanukah.'"

Congressman Rigell pokes fun at the politically correct Capitol Hill.

"It's a small example of over-regulation that really permeates this institution."

The video ends with Rigell in front of the U.S. Constitution that, he says, gives all people the freedom of religion.

"It's good, and proper, and right and constitutional for me to look into the camera and say to all of our friends and family across the second district and across the great Commonwealth of Virginia and the country, 'Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukah.'"

"This is America, and we cherish and value our right to express ourselves in our faith."

The congressman's holiday message went viral on YouTube with lots of feedback, but not from the folks in congress. For congressman Rigell, it comes down to this:

"This, I think, is really America at its best. The celebration and the lifting up of our faith... not the suppression of it."

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