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house Bill H. Res. 192

Honoring the Sikh American Community’s Celebration of Vaisakhi

Argument in favor

The Sikh American community deserves national recognition of their main religious celebration. The 500,000 Sikhs living in the U.S. continue to struggle with discrimination. Endorsing Sikhs’ major holiday on a governmental level would signify a demand for a change in attitude towards this growing American community.

PenguinCole's Opinion
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03/16/2016
if we can have a Christmas celebration, we can have this
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Anthony's Opinion
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02/09/2016
what possible harm would this have everyone loves a parade well almost everyone
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edwardcoe's Opinion
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05/14/2016
Sikhs have been the victim of stereotyping and assumptions that they are Muslim and/or terrorists. Anything that brings attention to this community will be positive and help prevent discrimination.
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Argument opposed

Honoring religious holidays such as Vaisakhi is not the government’s role; doing so violates separation of church and state. Endorsing a religion in any way should not be allowed. Moreover, this isn’t the type of issue Congress should be spending time discussing.

Loraki's Opinion
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08/30/2016
Not when you're doing everything possible to DISHONOR everything pertaining to CHRISTIANITY!
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Ryan's Opinion
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08/13/2015
Although I respect the Sikh's community, the government should not show acknowledgement to religious holidays of any kind.
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operaman's Opinion
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08/30/2016
I believe in Freedom of Religion. And Sikhs deserve the same. Our Constitution guarantees it, but not special recognition, just like Christians. We Christians had Christmas until Government changed it to "Winter Break" or Easter before the bunny that lays eggs. But so far, normal Christians can call it Christmas as long it's out of ear shot of government or schools. So why are we hearing about Sikhs? Sikhs are honorable and so are Christians.
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What is House Bill H. Res. 192?

This bill would nationally honor the Sikh American community’s celebration of Vaisakhi, a springtime holiday that commemorates Guru Gobind Singh’s creation of Khalsa (literally meaning pure) Panth, a formal community of initiated Sikhs, in 1699. The Khalsa established several core Sikh practices, such as refraining from hair removal and vowing to wear turbans as articles of faith. Khalsa’s themselves are Sikhs who have undergone the Amrit Ceremony, in which Sikhs are baptized and pledge to live up to the expectations of the celebrated Guru Singh.

Today, Vaisakhi celebrations include performances of Seva, or acts of selfless service. Sikhs across the U.S. provide free meals to visitors to Sikh Gurdwaras (Houses of Worship), volunteer for community service, and celebrate equality on this day. The Sikh American community also honors the festival with parades across the country.

Impact

Sikh American Community; Sikh organizations in the United States; and the House of Representatives.

Cost of House Bill H. Res. 192

The CBO estimates that implementing this bill would have no impact on the federal budget.

More Information

In Depth: Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA), Co-Chair of the American Sikh Congressional Caucus and lead sponsor of this legislation, announced the day of the bill’s introduction:

“America’s founding ideals of freedom of worship, equality, and justice are reflected in the Sikh American community’s celebration of Vaisakhi. I am proud to represent one of the largest Sikh communities in the country. I have partnered with the community on many issues, including civil liberties, education, and business development. With this Resolution, I am saying thank you and wishing Sikhs across America and around the world a joyous Vaisakhi.” 

Cosponsor of the bill, Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA), similarly voiced her support on April 14th, 2015:

“Vaisakhi is a time for us to commemorate the great contributions that the Sikh community has made to our country. During this celebration, we are reminded of the important traditions adopted by Sikhs, and the Sikh-American community’s commitment to the highest standards of service, courage, and consciousness.” 

An identical resolution of this bill was introduced in 2013 but never voted on.

Of Note: Founded in Punjab over 5 centuries ago and introduced to the U.S. in the 19th century, Sikhism is the 5th largest world religion today, with over 25 million followers across the globe. The monotheistic religion promotes equality, community service, and freedom.

Sikhs today occupy a variety of professions throughout the U.S. yet continue to face religious discrimination. In the words of Rep. Garamendi, Sikhs are still confronted with “deplorable hate crimes,...discrimination,...and misconceptions in the public,” which manifest everywhere from the workforce to the U.S. Armed Forces, where Sikhs struggle to wear their traditional religious wear. This legislation attempts to piggyback on the work of the American Sikh Congressional Caucus, educating members of Congress and beyond on issues that face the Sikh community.

Media:

Summary by Meera Santhanam

(Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons user Onef9day)

Official Title

Honoring the Sikh American community's celebration of Vaisakhi.

simple resolution Progress


  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Oversight and Reform
    IntroducedApril 13th, 2015
    Not when you're doing everything possible to DISHONOR everything pertaining to CHRISTIANITY!
    Like (6)
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    Although I respect the Sikh's community, the government should not show acknowledgement to religious holidays of any kind.
    Like (5)
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    I believe in Freedom of Religion. And Sikhs deserve the same. Our Constitution guarantees it, but not special recognition, just like Christians. We Christians had Christmas until Government changed it to "Winter Break" or Easter before the bunny that lays eggs. But so far, normal Christians can call it Christmas as long it's out of ear shot of government or schools. So why are we hearing about Sikhs? Sikhs are honorable and so are Christians.
    Like (3)
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    This is a waste of time for congress to decide on
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    Endorsement of religion.
    Like (2)
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    I've always been under the impression that if you come to the USA to live then you are doing that because our country offers a better way of life that you wish to take advantage of.. If that is the case, then why do people come from other countries choose to come here to change our laws to make their old lifestyle legally valid here? If you want to be an American? Then that would mean you live like Americans. Practice your religion, your language, your traditions in your own house.. But as a citizen you need to honor Anerican traditions, learn to speak our language, learn and utilize our history and customs, not try to make my home, your new home, into the country that you left behind.. If you do not agree with that ? Then go back to being a citizen in the country you came from..
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    We are a Christian nation in spite of our Muslim leaning Dear Leader. He does not deserve the title President.
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    Good grief, don't our politicians have any better to do with their time on our dime?
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    I'm going to do the same thing as congress on this one and not even vote.
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    We do not need the government to sanction religious holidays.
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    Good cause but Congress has many more important things to do.
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    Seperation of church and state. If this bill included everyone...... Maybe No special treatment
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    It's just a nice thing to do, why not?
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    Separation of church and state, the government should not get involved in any religious holidays
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    separate church and state! get rid of the National Xmas tree too!
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    Where are the seperation of church and state people on this issue?
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    Church and State should be separate. Congress should be supportive of all religions. So unless they are willing to do the same for all, they should refrain from bills like this this.
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    Sikhism is t great religion
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    No, it has nothing to do with our American values and their allegiance should be to the United States otherwise we are just letting other cultures destroy our values and beliefs. If they don't like it they should go back to their country. We the people need to start Saying No and change our laws to protect our American ways. Enough is Enough
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    They are Americans. Let's celebrate them. Hardworking decent Americans.
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