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)