What Fresh Hell Is This?

March 28, 2012

Hmm...They've Been Busy.

Remember our friends the Freedom From Religion Foundation?

They're the folks who're looking to get the New Kensington-Arnold school district to remove the (obviously unconstitutional) Ten Commandments Monument from school property.

(And if there's anyone who agrees with the FFRF and who actually lives IN New Kensington who is reading this, the FFRF wants to hear from you.)

But this isn't about that.  This is about the Pennsylvania House declaration of 2012 as "The Year of the Bible".

I didn't like it, thought it was unconstitutional (by both state and federal constitutions) and so, apparently, does the FFRF.

From Foxnews.com:
A national atheist and agnostic group is suing Pennsylvania lawmakers for passing a resolution that declares 2012 as "The Year of the Bible."

MyFOXphilly reports the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) filed a federal lawsuit on Monday arguing that the Pennsylvania House's declaration is unconstitutional.

The resolution, which was authored by State Rep. Rick Saccone, passed unanimously in January.

The lawsuit names Saccone as one of three plaintiffs, and claims the resolution is tantamount to the state endorsing "state-sponsored religion."

The resolution, which was authored by State Rep. Rick Saccone, passed unanimously in January.
For his case:
Saccone has said the resolution is meant to recognize the impact the Bible has had on the U.S. and on the state, and does not inhibit anyone from believing or not believing in any faith.
The AP has more:
An organization that includes atheists and agnostics has filed a lawsuit over a state House resolution that declares 2012 the Year of the Bible, saying the measure violates the U.S. Constitution's provision that prevents government from enacting laws "respecting an establishment of religion."

The Freedom from Religion Foundation on Monday sued the measure's main sponsor, Rep. Rick Saccone, R-Allegheny; House clerk Tony Barbush; and House parliamentarian Clancy Myer over the resolution.

The lawsuit says the resolution "sends a message to the citizens of Pennsylvania, including (the foundation's) members, that Christian beliefs are more legitimate in the eyes of the state than other systems of belief and thought, which constitute matters of individual free conscience."
And Saccone gets more press:
Saccone, whose resolution notes the Bible's "formative influence" and says there is a "national need to study and apply" scripture, said Monday that the lawsuit was meritless.

"God has always been a part of our government," said Saccone, noting biblical phrases decorate the state Capitol and other state historical sites. "To deny that is to deny history. And that's all the resolution is — a recognition of a book that has been so important in our nation's history."
Not exactly the case, sorry to say.  The resolution opens with quick assertion that the Bible is the word of God (something a secular government  has no authority to do) and later it calls for "[r]enewing our knowledge of and faith in God through holy scripture" (something else a secular government has no authority to do).

Odd that the guy who sponsored the resolution would so mischaracterize it to the national press.

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