At the end of this post is a copy of the letter I sent to my state Senator. I also sent a slightly different version to my state house rep who voted for the bill. First, the bill can be found here. It generally lists all of the wonderful ways in which this country, civil society, etc. rests solely with applying the bible to the country. It says we need to ‘study and apply the teachings of the holy scriptures." THE holy scriptures. Not "ONE of many holy scriptures". Not "ONE of many and we realize not all our citizens are Christian so this bill only applies to them." Nope, none of that pesky inclusiveness. None of that "all equal" bullshit from our federal documents. Nope, nope, nope.
Change.org has a petition you can sign here. If you think perhaps your rep could never have voted for such a thing, the roll call is here.
Sen John Pippy,
I am deeply appalled by the passing of House Resolution 535 which states that
• the Bible is "the word of God"
• "The history of our country clearly illustrates the value of voluntarily applying the teachings of the scriptures in the lives of individuals, families andsocieties; and"
• "Renewing our knowledge of and faith in God through holy scripture can strengthen us as a nation and a people;"
• "That the House of Representatives declare 2012 as the ‘Year of the Bible’ in Pennsylvania in recognition of both the formative influence of theBible on our Commonwealth and nation and our national need to study and apply the teachings of the holy scriptures."
I am not a Christian. What of my friends who are fellow Neo-Pagans, or Bahá’í, or Hindu, or Muslims, or atheists?
Further, I agree with Patrick Elliott, staff attorney with the Freedom From Religion Foundation, who notes:
"It is shocking that House leadership would classify this as a "noncontroversial resolution" and put it to a vote. It is even more astounding thatrepresentatives would pass this. It seems that either they did not know what they were voting on or they were intentionally interfering with the rightsof conscience of their constituents in violation of the U.S. Constitution. This is a blatant violation. The resolution proclaims that the Bible is the "wordof God," states that "renewing our knowledge of and faith in God through holy scripture can strengthen us as a nation and a people," and declares2012 as the "Year of the Bible" in recognition of "our national need to study and apply the teachings of the holy scriptures.
Once the government enters into the religion business, conferring endorsement and preference for some religions over others, it strikes a blow atreligious liberty, forcing taxpayers of all faiths and of no religion to support a particular religious view."
Mr Pippy, at first I thought this bill had to be another joke written by the satirical website The Onion. Then I thought it must have been passed byfringe thinkers. When I saw it was passed unanimously I was so very disheartened to be a citizen of this commonwealth. I may not longer tell peopleonline what state I live in. I used to tout PA as a state that "though it still has some backwards ideas, was moving with vigor toward a moreprogressive compassionate attitude toward all of its citizens." I no longer this is true.
I urge you to vote nay this bill in the state Senate and to advise your fellow state Senators to do the same.
Pass it on, folks! Pass it on.
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Signed the Change.org petition although since I’m in NJ and not PA I’m not sure my opinion will have much weight with your legislature. That said, YIKES!
I’ve signed as well, despite being an out-of-stater. Damn, though, WTF?!?!?!
I know, right? Thank you!
It’s fun to feel your state moving backward! Thanks. 🙂