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March 3, 2009

Pennsylvania Buys Bibles


The Pennsylvania state General Assembly spent $13,700 this year on 220 Bibles and other religious texts for legislators for taking oaths, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

All but seven of the 203 House members received one, with 72 picking the New American Catholic Bible, making it the most popular choice.

State Rep. Chris Ross (R., Chester) got a copy of the Quran. He said yesterday that he took the Jan. 6 oath on his own Bible, but ordered the Muslim holy book because he had always wanted to read it.

State Rep. Dan Frankel also got a Quran, but it was an ordering mistake. He traded it in for another copy of the Torah - the sixth he has received from taxpayers since first being elected in 1998.

After it was announced that President Obama would use Abraham Lincoln's Bible, Noreen Malone wrote for Slate about how after Grover Cleveland, it turned into BYOB, where presidents would often bring a family Bible.

(h/t Howard M. Friedman)


If Pennsylvania has $13,700 to spend on new Bibles, one for each member of the General Assembly that they have no poor in their state. Every one has health insurance and a job. Wow I may move there.

What a waste of money! This is just another example reinforcing the politician stereotype of using taxpayer money for personal privilege. If Chris Ross wants to read the Quran, he should buy is own just like everybody else! Politicians should be fiscally responsible in the midst of a depression-like crisis.
Oh yeah, and taxpayer money shouldn't be spent on religious material, it corrupts both state and church to do so. Who knows, the Bible, Torah and Koran manufacturer probably gave money to their campaigns.

The purchase of God's Holy word is never a waste of money, and I know of no one who needs it more than the politicians we have in office today, not just at the state level but especially at the national level. Pelosi, Reid, and Obama could use some good bibical and constitutional teaching. However the Gideons would have been more than happy to have given each of these lawyers the real book of law had they just requested it. I just hope they take the time to read the Bible they received, if they swear by it they should at least read it.

I love God, the Bible is immeasurably valuable, and Bible-believing elected officials are an imperfect but wonderful blessing for any nation. But there is no call for buying Bibles with taxes. Though the Gospel is really the true good news for mankind, it is wrong -a sin- to compell all taxpayers, even nonbelievers, to pay for a Bible to be used at a ceremony. BYOB is good; let the elected official make a personal statement by bringing a particular volume, rather than an anonymously provided new copy. Also let the official cast about for a secular substitute if so inclined. (good luck with that, politicos) I'd rather a swearing in be authentic than have God's Word turned into some kind of cosmetic. I think he detests that too.

A true waste of money are we sure they all need a Bible or Torah or Koran? What is the State of Pennsylvania trying to say to its politicians. Standards to live by. Is it going to happen. I no longer live in my home state. It probably is just as crooked as any other. Bibles don't make to much of a difference. The amount of money used probably does not mean to much with all the graft in politics, city, state or federal.