It's no joke. With the onslaught of the second great depression, Republican Congressman Paul Broun from Georgia has decided to push for a bill that will make 2010 the Year of the Bible. Year of the Rat (2008), Year of the Ox (2009), and now the Year of the Bible?
With Congress' approval, Ronald Reagan made 1983 the year of the Bible. And Broun wants to bring back this super hip, retro Christian idea. (Maybe we can bring back ‘80s music, tight jeans and huge hair while we're at it.) When Jewish and Atheist congressmen and congresswomen read Broun’s bill, they freaked out. A few even threw political temper tantrums, which must have been fun to watch.
What's hilarious about the reactions to this bill is that Jews share 39 sacred biblical books with Christians, but Jewish congressmen have been some of the most outspoken people against this bill. Unless someone from the Jewish faith is infuriated because of the church and state issue, I can’t wrap my head around why they would oppose this bill. But, even if separation of church and state causes someone to oppose this bill, there is still a problem with their understanding of the usage of the Bible. People and organizations outside the church use the Bible as well. There are even whole non-profit societies dedicated to studying the Bible that are not religious at all, like the Society of Biblical Literature.
What is fascinating about this whole fiasco is not the bill itself, but the reaction. Atheist leaders all over are saying that they are not even worried because church growth is declining and atheism is on the rise. “Right now, we’re seeing atheism on such a rise,” said David Silverman, vice president and national spokesman of American Atheists. I don’t know about you, but Silverman’s remark sure sounds like it stems from a cultic religion to me. Just replace the word atheism with Mormonism and suddenly things sound a little different, “Right now, we’re seeing Mormonism on such a rise.” When you read it with that word substituted, it’s jarring, isn’t it? Atheists aren’t worried because their religion is growing.
To be quite frank, I think the bill is nonsense and makes Christians look stupid. But at the same time I am all for anything that gets people to read the Bible. No matter what side you take, I think we can learn some things from the bill proposal. Broun recently said, “we must … not forget to protect and celebrate our fundamental freedoms that the Bible has influenced.” Broun is right. The Bible (directly and indirectly) influenced the constitution and the bill of rights. The Bible was at the center of moral and religious thought of the century, and continues to be so; even if atheists wish to deny it. The morals in the Bible have infiltrated culture so deeply that we don’t even notice them anymore. Where do you think the golden rule came from?
Are you okay with the Year of the Bible bill? Would you sign it? Does it make Christians look stupid? Does it accomplish anything for our nation? Drop a comment and let me know.
Source: Victoria McGrane, "The Bible bill?"