In act of wishful thinking R-Rep. Paul Broun hopes to push through congress a resolution proclaiming 2010 as the Year of the Bible.
Blow back over the resolution on the internet has been huge. GovTrak.us reports that the resolution is currently the most blogged about piece of legislation. The responses are said to be "less than complimentary." Many disregard calling it unconstitutional and a waste of time.
Democrat Rep. Barney Frank of Mass, wonders what will be next, quipping that maybe 2012 will be Year of the Quran. D-N.Y Jerrold Nadler says "That’s an endorsement of religion by the federal government, and we shouldn’t be doing that,” He said this despite having introduced his own legislation dealing with religion.
Rep. Nadler's legislation was aimed at overturning a federal appeals court ruling. A condominium board in Chicago banned Jews from installing Mezuzahs on the door frames of their homes. Mezuzahs are a piece of parchment inscribed with a religious text. The court ruled the condominium board had the right to ban them, Nadler's bill would have overturned that ruling. Rep. Nadler said, "Condo boards shouldn’t be able to interfere in an individual’s right to practice his or her religion." Mr. Nadler has a Mezuzah on the door frame of his personal residence but declined to put on on his congressional office door.
Broun defends his bill saying it has nothing to do with Christianity. He sees it as recognizing the Bibles role in the founding of the United States, saying it provides the basis for the freedom of religion enjoyed by people of all faiths.
David Silverman, national spokesman and vice president of American Atheists, does not see Broun's legislation as a problem. Siting the recent Pew poll, on American religious life, that showed nonreligious Americans as the fastest growing group, Silverman said “We are seeing Christianity on such a dramatic decline that we’re not particularly worried about it. We’re thinking that this kind of old-style George W. Bush Republicanism is about to go away,”
The legislation would ask for a presidential proclamation calling on "...citizens of all faiths to rediscover and apply the priceless, timeless message of the Holy Scripture which has profoundly influenced and shaped the United States and its great democratic form of government.”
Currently the bill has 15 Republican co-sponsors. Broun hopes to get Democrats to sign on but so far he has been unsuccessful. If passed this would be a repeat of the year for the bible declared by Ronald Reagan in 1983.