If one U.S. Congressman has his way, 2010 will be the Year of the Bible. Georgia Republican Paul Broun has introduced legislation asking the President:
“to issue a proclamation calling upon 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.”
The biblical legislation has sparked intense debate, with everyone from outspoken Congressman Barney Frank to national religious leaders throwing fuel on the fire. Here’s what people are saying about Broun’s Year of the Bible:
1. “The National Year of the Bible Resolution reminds us that our great nation was founded upon Biblical principles and that religious freedom is guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. I encourage Speaker Nancy Pelosi to bring this resolution to the floor so President Barack Obama has the opportunity to designate an appropriate year as ‘The National Year of the Bible.’”
Rep. Paul Broun - (R) Georgia
2. “Does that mean 2009 is not the year of the Bible? What is 2012 the year of? The Quran?”
Rep. Barney Frank, (D) Massachusetts
3. "Would it really be so wrong to honor the most influential book, for better or worse, in America? Comfortable or not with that reality, that is the way it is. And for that reason alone, the year of the Bible should be a good idea."
Brad Hirschfeld, President of CLAL - National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership
4. “Right now, we’re seeing atheism on such a rise. 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.”
David Silverman, Vice President, American Atheists
5. "I applaud [Rep. Broun's] courage in trying to convince Democrats and Republicans alike that the country needs to return to its first love for a God who has the power to restore America and prevent our country from further economic and ethical decadence and immorality. In the last decade, as homosexuality, abortion, and divorce, even among evangelicals, has increased, our nation has experienced a decline in the economy and employment. As we continue to adopt new legislation which deteriorates the moral fiber of our country and closely mirrors Sodom and Gomorrah, we will continue to experience a decline in the economy and run the risk of falling into the hands of an angry God."
Betty Sims, ordained minister, formerly with Macon Telegraph and Christian Life Newsmagazine
6. "I wonder if we’re going to have a year venerating every other religious text on the planet? Seems fair. Another upside is that we can confidently exclaim every other year to be not the 'Year of the Bible'."
7. "The bill is but one more reminder of all the silly legislation that Congress so often spends its time passing, honoring this or that sports team, re-naming French fries and the like. It purposefully thumbs its nose at the idea of a separation between church and state, and plays favorites with one particular faith."
David Knowles, Editors of Politics Daily