Monday, February 6, 2012

Pennsylvania Resolution: The Year of the Bible

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed a resolution that 2012 would be the Year of the Bible; the resolution was sponsored by Representative Rick Saccone. It passed unanimously. What, do we need a remedial course in the Bill of Rights over there? This has been covered elsewhere, but this is after all my birth-state so I feel obligated to follow it here. FFRF has the information.

(Are you in Pennsylvania, and want to get in touch with good PA nonreligious groups? Try Pennsylvania Nonbelievers, with chapters in various cities, or the Penn State Atheist/Agnostic Association. Go Nittany Lions!)

To his credit, Saccone came on Atheist News to discuss it with Dan Barker from FFRF. It's a long conversation and I haven't listened to the whole thing but people have been summarizing it in the comments:

Note that Dan Barker goes right after the mistake that Saccone makes: just because religious people wrote the Constitution doesn't mean we're governed, or that those people intended us to be governed, by religious law - which Saccone doesn't want to come right out and say.

Of course for Christians this brings up a lot of important questions. Which version of the Bible? Which translation? Are the parts about slavery exempted? Catholics and Protestants even have different wording for the Ten Commandments. If Saccone's resolution is serious, and Christians take it seriously, these are the kinds of questions that should come up. Otherwise, the Bible looks very much like window dressing for people doing what they would've done anyway, rather than the document on which they base their deepest moral convictions.

And finally, would Saccone be okay with making next year the Year of the Qu'ran? If not, why not? Plenty of individual picked-and-chosen lines from the Qu'ran are morally not objectionable.

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