Pennsylvania House Names 2012 ‘Year Of The Bible’

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives has unanimously approved a resolution designating 2012 as the “Year of the Bible.”

Introduced by Rep. Rick Saccone (R–Elizabeth Township) and 36 other legislators, H.R. 535 states that “biblical teachings inspired concepts of civil government that are contained in our Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States.” It also asserts that “renewing our knowledge of and faith in God through holy scripture can strengthen us as a nation and a people” and declares “our national need to study and apply the teachings of the holy scriptures.”

The non-binding resolution was dubbed “noncontroversial” so it could be brought to the House floor quickly and without committee hearings.

Scranton Atheism Examiner columnist Justin Vacula  wondered what the reaction might be if the wording were a little different.

“One should wager that if Pennsylvania lawmakers were to pass a resolution calling 2012 ‘The Year of the Koran,’ noting that the Koran was ‘holy scripture’ that was the word of Allah, such a resolution would be problematic,” Vacula observed. “Why not, then, concerning the Bible?

“Governmental entities,” he concluded, “ought to remain neutral on matters of religion.”