State House lawmakers have declared 2012 the “Year of the Bible” in Pennsylvania.
The unanimous vote in the House favored a resolution to recognize how the book has shaped the commonwealth, and the “national need to study and apply the teachings of the holy Scriptures.”
Sponsoring Rep. Rick Saccone, R-Allegheny, said he’s been getting a bit of critical feedback on the measure.
“One person put on the comments, ‘Why don’t you have a resolution honoring the Quran?’ Well, we could, but the Quran didn’t have an influence on the founding of our country,” Saccone said. “I’m honoring a document and reflecting on a document that had a significant impact on the foundation and throughout the history of our country.”
A spokesman for the Pennsylvania American Civil Liberties Union says there’s no legal issue with the measure, but it sends a message of exclusion to religious minorities.
Saccone, however, said it’s not intended that way.
He likens it to many other largely symbolic pieces of legislation — recognizing Girl Scout Week, honoring Jewish chaplains, or paying tribute to military veterans.