PA House Unanimously Declares 2012 “Year of the Bible”

On Tuesday, the PA House decided it made sense to declare 2012 the “Year of the Bible”—and unanimously passed a resolution doing just that, 193-0.

The resolution, primarily sponsored by state Rep. Rick Saccone, of Allegheny and Washington Counties, is about a page long and according to some bloggers, is probably a violation of Church and State. And if not, it should be. Here’s an excerpt:

WHEREAS, Deeply held religious convictions springing from the 
holy scriptures led to the early settlement of our country; and

WHEREAS, Biblical teachings inspired concepts of civil 
government that are contained in our Declaration of Independence
 and the Constitution of the United States; and

WHEREAS, Many of our great national leaders, among them
 President Washington, President Jackson, President Lincoln,
 President Wilson and President Reagan, paid tribute to the 
influence of the Bible in our country’s development, as 
exemplified by the words of President Jackson that the Bible is 
“the rock on which our Republic rests”; and

WHEREAS, The history of our country clearly illustrates the
 value of voluntarily applying the teachings of the scriptures in 
the lives of individuals, families and societies; and…

You get the idea. All your favorite Philly pols, like Reps. Taylor, Josephs, O’Brien and the Boyles signed onto this. As noted at Americans United, “One of the great ironies of this situation is that Pennsylvania was founded as a refuge for those seeking religious tolerance. In his “holy experiment,” William Penn famously welcomed religious dissenters of many different stripes to his colony. He thought God, not government, was the ‘only Lord of Conscience.’”

It’s a resolution. It holds no real power. Which is probably the worst part about it. Because it’s more fodder to the idea that the state government is taking its sweet time writing resolutions such as this one, instead of focusing on the economy. It’s nothing new—they bizarrely used the power of prayer and the shame of the dead to tighten abortion restrictions last year. Declaring 2012 the “Year of the Bible” is sort of just the naked face of a state system being rebuilt on the backs of the beaten down by religious fanatics using the middle finger as their bargaining chip.

19 Responses to “ PA House Unanimously Declares 2012 “Year of the Bible” ”

  1. Theophile says:

    Hi Randy,
    Please read Foxes book of Martyrs*, then You will understand why William was imprisoned for Bible reading, and what he meant by “welcoming religious dissenters of many different stripes to his colony”, as these “religious dissenters” were dissenting from the Papacy, or the state church, not the Bible.
    Why read Foxes? Because what we think of when we hear the terms “Christianity”, “The Church”, “Religionist”, etc, is not exactly the same as what it was referring to 200-300 years ago. The founding fathers of our nation had not only heard of and read Foxes, they nearly quote it.
    You see references to the inquisition, and the crusades as the scourge of Christianity, but none of those making the claim can explain why so many were burned at the stake with their Bibles. Why were Bible believers being burned at the stake along with their Bibles, by so called Christians?
    The Bible itself, and the right to read and have one, has had more bearing on our history that most in our present generation realize, to our own peril.

  2. Dennis C. Lee says:

    Fine, if that’s what the legislators want to spend time doing on the public dime, so be it. But others will be demanding equal time. Will 2013 be the year of ‘The God Delusion’ by Richard Hawkins? Or perhaps it will be the Bagavad Gita, or The Book of Mormon, or perhaps even ‘The Satanic Bible’ by Anton Levey. Now do you see why the founding fathers wanted to keep religion out of government?

  3. No one is going to argue the historical importance of the Bible. But the Bible has no place in laws just for this reason. Furthermore, not everyone is Christian and non-Christians should not feel pressured by their government to read the Bible. The ideas found in the Bible that are part of the founding of this country are present in most religions. There is no need to single out Christianity over other religions, especially in government. I have started a petition against this resolution, I hope readers of this article of any religious persuasion recognize that this resolution has no place in government and will sign the petition.

    http://www.change.org/petitions/the-pa-state-house-repeal-house-resolution-no-535-declaring-2012-the-year-of-the-bible

  4. Bill R says:

    I would sign the petition but the PA state house has wasted too much of my time on religious issues already. Repeal would be a further waste. The resolution is illegal and unethical. We should ignore it.

  5. brendancalling says:

    time to kill homosexuals; kill people who commit adultery; kill back-talking children; ban pork production; get shrimp and mussels and oysters OUT OF OUR RESTAURANTS; no more shaving and haircuts; no cotton-poly blends; no more pork production; and time to raise taxes on the rich, just like the bible says.

  6. shawn says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tz3EEqtcJME

    Based on biblical principles? Uh, no. Not really.

  7. Anon says:

    These people who write and vote on meaningless legislation are the same ones saying that Barack Obama is hurting our country by not doing anything to help the economy. They probably got elected on a ‘We’ll create Jobs’ ticket, too. Hypocrites!

  8. Steve Cross says:

    Don’t worry folks – next year will be the “year of the Koran”. I know we can balance this out.

  9. John Mickle says:

    In what way was this nation built on the Bible?
    The SUPREME law of the land is the US Constitution. Among the many precepts where it does NOT emulate the Bible is the ability to amend the supreme law. Others include: Free exercise of religion, no cruel or unusual punishments, the right to bear arms, the right to a jury trial, the right to be secure unless a warrant is issued, the forbidding of requiring any religious test to hold office, the abolition of slavery, bicameral representative legislatures, etc, etc, etc, etc…
    EVEN many of the laws that ARE found in the Bible cannot give the Bible as their basis, as they precede it. Take for example, Hammurabi’s code, which made murder illegal hundreds of years before the traditional date of Moses receiving the 10 commandments.
    In short, educate yourself, you “public servants”.
    You don’t bother protecting our waterways from fracking, you don’t spend your time helping the economy, but you have time for this crap??? And 193-0, so not one of you had the sense and cojones to say, “Wait a minute, is this really such a good idea?”
    Invoking Washington and Lincoln is also ludicrous, as Washington was a well-known theist/Deist, and Lincoln had the famous quote: “The Bible is not my book nor Christianity my profession. I could never give assent to the long, complicated statements of Christian dogma.”
    Re-writing history to suit some Christians’ agenda is disgusting, and moreso when the power of the state is used to push it.

  10. Martin Evans says:

    So when do the purges begin? And by what method are you going to execute the undesirables?

    Pennsylvania has seceded from the Union.

  11. reggie patrick says:

    Not only is the year 2012, the year of the Bible, but every year is the year of the Bible. Time itself is centered on the promised seed to come into this world. see Gen 3:15 -His heel would be bruised by the serpent but He would crush the head of the serpent.(Satan). From the first messianic scripture to now Has been the year of the Lord All years B C before Christ and all Years A D after Christs’ life, death and resurrection. It is encouraging, in this reprobate culture of humanaism & hellywood, that the vote was 193 to 0. But with or without the vote every year is the “Year of the Bible and the Year of the Lord.” No amount of agnostic, humanistic whinning and complaining can ever change the truth.

  12. LOCKE says:

    Politicians are making a mockery of our system and doing what they please, because like most people, they are human and try to press their limits to see what they can get away with. And you let them.

    But you can’t do anything about that right? Your powerless before this. They will have their feast and jokes at your expense and at the end of the day you’ll be just happy they didn’t screw you over more. Life is good enough isn’t it? We’re living the friggen utopia here, who cares if life can be better when it’s just fine now. You sing, laugh and have happiness everyday right? No problems what so ever. Your life is fine along with everyone you know.

    Now get back to work and don’t worry, whip marks are totally in right now, no one will notice cause everyone has em.

  13. Vin Broccoli says:

    No matter how much belief humans put into an imaginary being… it will never make it real. A god does not exist, never has and never will, despite mass delusion and schizophrenics thinking otherwise.

  14. [...] Jefferson’s ‘Wall of Separation’, The Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed a resolution declaring 2012 the “Year of the Bible”. Resolution No. 535 passed unanimously on [...]

  15. The significant outcry against this nonbinding resolution has convinced Rep. Greg Vitali and myself to introduce a motion for reconsideration on February 8, 2012. The motion for reconsideration will come up for a vote sometime the week of February 13, 2012, or soon thereafter. Please contact your state representative and other state representatives and ask for support of the Cohen-Vitali motion for reconsideration. Also please sign the signon online petition against this resolution and ask others to do so as well: so far over 10,000 Americans, the vast majority of them Pennsylanians, have signed this petition, and I am hoping for over 50,000 by February 13, 2012.

  16. InNane says:

    This is just a cost saving measure, right? BYO Bible to school and save money on textbooks?

    @Brendancalling, nice to see someone knows their Leviticus. Let’s go whole hog (so to speak) and ditch our English measuring system as well. Everthing measured in CUBITS!

    We appear like crazed morons to the rest of the civilized world. We even break our own laws to do it. This state may really be doomed…

    phunnyphilly.wordpress.com/

  17. dee moore says:

    I hate when sites publish part of something and then say . . . you get the idea . . . I don’t think that is a fair way to present anything. Go read the ENTIRE piece before you even comment. I take the live and let live approach to things. Freedom to practice any religion (or not, if you choose) is your right but this country was founded on principles like the Ten commandments and the Bible (a best seller for some reason!) whether you like it or not! The Bible is really compelling reading whether you are Christian or agnostic. Some good lessions to be learned too . . .

  18. Rennyrij says:

    Reply to Reggie Patrick:
    I used to think the way you do, Reggie, or nearly so. It took me 67 years to realize Christianity is just bunk. Our ancestors, back to (more or less) the year 1, were lied to. And because they were indoctrinated as children, generation after generation, and children (usually) believe everything their parents tell them, we are stuck with this religion called “Christianity”, which professes to teach love and honor and compassion but actually preaches fear, hatred, divisiveness and tyranny. And self-righteousness! Did you know that Hitler considered himself to be a Christian?

    I’m now a Freethinker, and oh, how wonderful to have dumped all that Christianity garbage! I don’t have to hate anyone! How great is that? Yet I know that those who are still in the clutches of Christianity can not easily let go. Fear of being shown to have been wrong, is one reason they can’t let go. Peer pressure is another, but the strongest hold over them is their sureness that they are right. To hell with the rest of us, we’re – what – chopped liver? It was Seneca who said, “Religion is considered by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” You’d better believe our “rulers”, or elected officials, consider religion to be useful to their agenda!

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