"Things that are done, it is needless to speak about...things that are past, it is needless to blame." - Confucius
WASHINGTON (CNN) – In a belated celebration on Wednesday, the House marked last month's 2,560th birthday of Chinese philosopher Confucius by passing a resolution recognizing "his invaluable contributions to philosophy and social and political thought."
But some members apparently prefer their Confucius confined to a fortune cookie rather than on the House floor. According to the vote tally, 47 voted against the birthday resolution and 13 voted "present," while 361 supported it.
"We love Confucius, but what a joke of a vote," Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, told CNN.
"I can't go back to the people of Utah and say, 'Yeah, we're voting on Confucius today,'" said Chaffetz, who called the resolution "absurd." "How many more birthdays do we vote on before we start fixing the economy?"
The resolution's sponsor, Democrat Al Green of Texas, said on the House floor the resolution is meant to celebrate the "personal introspection" of the Chinese philosopher and his "respect of social relationships, personal and governmental morality."
"He preached that politicians must always present truth and morality. He taught the philosophy of reciprocity, never impose upon others what you would not choose for yourself," said Green.
When asked about the criticism aimed at his resolution, Green gave CNN a Confucius-like statement: "Although I would like 100 percent of the people to agree with me 100 percent of the time, I have learned that rarely happens."
Arizona Republican Jeff Flake, who also voted against the measure, tried conjuring the Chinese philosopher in an e-mail prediction: "He who spends time passing trivial legislation may find himself out of time to read healthcare bill."