Author Topic: Pennsylvania HR 535  (Read 317 times)

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Offline kaziglu bey

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Pennsylvania HR 535
« on: February 02, 2012, 12:16:08 PM »
I recently found out through a local Atheist forum that on Jan 24, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives unanimously approved HR 535 (http://www.legis.state.pa.us/CFDOCS/Legis/RC/Public/rc_view_action2.cfm?sess_yr=2011&sess_ind=0&rc_body=H&rc_nbr=1089) which declares 2012 the "Year of the Bible". This is obviously OUTRAGEOUS. I am writing to my Representative, John Hornaman, to express my disgust. I would encourage any Pennsylvanian citizen to do the same.
Seriously though... What would happen if the Great Green Arkleseizure didn't fram up the rammastam before the hermite curve achieved maximum nurdfurdle velocity? Now THAT would be something. AmIrite?

Online Mr. Blackwell

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Re: Pennsylvania HR 535
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2012, 12:23:49 PM »
It's also the year of the Dragon in China....this could get ugly.
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Offline sun_king

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Re: Pennsylvania HR 535
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2012, 12:27:56 PM »
Oh the horror!

Drop a hint that it should be the "Year of the Mayans", it is supposed to be their Grand Finale.

It's a leap year, that means another extra day of shame...

Online Mr. Blackwell

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Re: Pennsylvania HR 535
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2012, 12:31:33 PM »
I found a copy of the resolution

http://www.legis.state.pa.us/CFDOCS/Legis/PN/Public/btCheck.cfm?txtType=PDF&sessYr=2011&sessInd=0&billBody=H&billTyp=R&billNbr=0535&pn=2983

A RESOLUTION
Declaring 2012 as the "Year of the Bible" in Pennsylvania.

WHEREAS, The Bible, the word of God, has made a unique
contribution in shaping the United States as a distinctive and
blessed nation and people; and

WHEREAS, Deeply held religious convictions springing from the
holy scriptures led to the early settlement of our country; and

WHEREAS, Biblical teachings inspired concepts of civil
government that are contained in our Declaration of Independence
and the Constitution of the United States; and

WHEREAS, Many of our great national leaders, among them
President Washington, President Jackson, President Lincoln,
President Wilson and President Reagan, paid tribute to the
influence of the Bible in our country's development, as
exemplified by the words of President Jackson that the Bible is
"the rock on which our Republic rests"; and

WHEREAS, The history of our country clearly illustrates the
value of voluntarily applying the teachings of the scriptures in
the lives of individuals, families and societies; and

WHEREAS, This nation now faces great challenges that will
test it as it has never been tested before; and

WHEREAS, Renewing our knowledge of and faith in God through
holy scripture can strengthen us as a nation and a people;
therefore be it

RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives declare 2012 as
the "Year of the Bible" in Pennsylvania in recognition of both
the formative influence of the Bible on our Commonwealth and
nation and our national need to study and apply the teachings of
the holy scriptures.
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"People want to get whatever they want to get. Do I care? No, I don't care. People need certain things" - Senator Leland Yee (D) California

Offline velkyn

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Re: Pennsylvania HR 535
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2012, 12:39:27 PM »
ah, Pennsyltucky, what a state to live in.  I have a post that will be going up on my blog about this, but I think I'll post it here too.  I've also sent a version of this ot my local paper and hoping that they'll print it. I'm also debating about sending to all of the state representatives. I conveniently have all of their emails in a nice handy excel file.  I did email my state senator (Piccola) about this and he basically said "yep, they're idiots. A resolution means nothing and little chance anything like this will be considered by the senate."

"Thou Shalt Pander to a small ignorant sect of one religion" 

House Resolution 535 has been introduced, and passed unanimously in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.  Again, some of our legislators (Representative Saccone from Allegheny Co. is the primary sponsor) have decided to waste time and resources on creating a resolution that declares 2012 as the “Year of the Bible” to pander to a small portion of their constituents. The Bible is indeed an important book, and has influenced many.  However, in the interests of honesty and historical integrity, let’s review and correct some of the claims in the resolution.

Here is the text of HR 535: Declaring 2012 as the "Year of the Bible" in Pennsylvania. WHEREAS, The Bible, the word of God, has made a unique contribution in shaping the United States as a distinctive and blessed nation and people; and WHEREAS, Deeply held religious convictions springing from the holy scriptures led to the early settlement of our country; and WHEREAS, Biblical teachings inspired concepts of civil government that are contained in our Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States; and WHEREAS, Many of our great national leaders, among them President Washington, President Jackson, President Lincoln, President Wilson and President Reagan, paid tribute to the influence of the Bible in our country's development, as exemplified by the words of President Jackson that the Bible is "the rock on which our Republic rests"; and WHEREAS, The history of our country clearly illustrates the value of voluntarily applying the teachings of the scriptures in the lives of individuals, families and societies; and WHEREAS, This nation now faces great challenges that will test it as it has never been tested before; and WHEREAS, Renewing our knowledge of and faith in God through holy scripture can strengthen us as a nation and a people; therefore be it RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives declare 2012 as the "Year of the Bible" in Pennsylvania in recognition of both the formative influence of the Bible on our Commonwealth and nation and our national need to study and apply the teachings of the holy scriptures."
 
The United States, while a very nice country to live in, is not demonstrably blessed by any god, as Iran is not “blessed” by Allah or India by Vishnu, no matter how some might wish it to be. We still screw up from time to time and it’s good to admit that rather than attempting to revise history like some Americans would have it, like Tea Party idiots who want to pretend that slavery never occured. Can you imagine if these same people tried to claim that the Holocaust never occurred like Iran’s President Ahmadinejad?  Our legislators would condemn them soundly.  All of our great freedoms have been won by the hard work and sacrifice of American citizens of all races, religions and sex; no one sat back and waited for a magical force to remove King George III’s rule over this land or to keep enemy planes and subs from our shores.
 
Deeply held religious convictions did lead to the early colonization of the Americas. Many religious sects came to the US to have freedom to practice their own versions of Christianity since they were persecuted in Europe. However, when in the colonies, they proceeded to persecute anyone who did not agree with them, laws of blasphemy punishable by whipping or death, banishment etc.  It seems that they learned nothing about freedom, only how to be intolerant.
 
Biblical teachings have nothing in them about civil government. (Lest anyone claim I don’t know what the Judeo-Christian bible says, I’ll even provide an excellent link to it in multiple translations: http://www.biblegateway.com/ ) There is nothing about democracy, representation or that all men are created equal and have rights like the pursuit of happiness. What little the Bible says about government is that any person who is in power is there by God’s will and should be obeyed with no exception (Romans 13, Titus 3, 1 Peter 2, etc, and yes, I do realize that it’s the not the “gospels” that say these things). The US would not have been founded if the revolutionaries had accepted this. The Declaration of Independence says “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” The US Constitution mentions nothing about divine power and it directly contradicts biblical assertions that men should be considered superior, that slavery should be allowed, and that other religions are not to be tolerated. 
 
Representative Saccone’s resolution is correct that more than a few of our presidents have mentioned the Christian God in their speeches.  That does not mean that their assertions were correct or that they were not aware of how dangerous promoting one religion was.  George Washington said: "All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship. It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it was by the indulgence of one class of people, that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights. For happily the government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean [conduct] themselves as good citizens, in giving it on all occasions their effectual support."  The Christian Bible is not an immutable and solitary “rock” on which our Republic rests, as the resolution would claim.  Our Republic rests on the common moral ground and work of *all* Americans, be they Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, Wicca, atheists, agnostics, etc.  The Golden Rule is not some Christian-only law.  All religions have some version of this.  Atheists often go with empathy and the common benefit of mankind.  Americans value freedom and that is not something found in the Holy Bible. 
 
I find it somewhat hypocritical that this resolution would say how valuable it was “voluntarily applying the teachings of the scriptures in the lives of individuals, families and societies” when the resolution is an attempt to take any voluntariness away from every Pennsylvanian.  It also fails to take into account that the teachings of the scriptures have also harmed this country.  The Bible was used to support slavery as much as to decry it, it was used as an excuse to murder and subjugate the native peoples, it was used and is still used to delay the equal rights of women.  The Bible has been invoked to deny equal rights to homosexuals, mixed race couples, followers of other religions and those who follow no religion at all.  Some may not find that objectionable but the US is built on protecting the minority from the majority. Those who wrote and signed the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution knew very well the dangers of declaring a “state” religion and they went out of their way not to do so.  They did not carefully calligraph “We The People of the United States of America” and simply add “follow the Bible and its laws.”   
 
This nation is indeed facing many challenges but none have ever been solved by invoking some divine power nor turning to a book full of primitive laws that advocates things we have long left behind as a society.  It is only by cherry-picking this book that anyone can find anything valuable in it, and none of those things are unique to Judaism or Christianity.  Christians must ignore the commandments that say to kill those that break the sabbath, that rape victims should be forced to marry their assailants, that say that those who do not worship this God should be put to death (Luke 19, the parable of the minas, a parable that is rarely presented by priests or pastors), that women must dress and act in certain ways, etc.  Many of them wish to have the “10 Commandments” in every public building but forget that they don’t stop there.  Following such ignorant bigoted nonsense does not strengthen us as a people; learning from each other and embracing our differences has and does.  We do not need to apply and study such things except as a history lesson showing how far we’ve come.     
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Online Mr. Blackwell

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Re: Pennsylvania HR 535
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2012, 12:49:14 PM »
House Resolution 535 has been introduced, and passed unanimously in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.  Again, some of our legislators (Representative Saccone from Allegheny Co. is the primary sponsor) have decided to waste time and resources on creating a resolution that declares 2012 as the “Year of the Bible” to pander to a small portion of their constituents. The Bible is indeed an important book, and has influenced many.  However, in the interests of honesty and historical integrity, let’s review and correct some of the claims in the resolution.   

I would also add that it effectively changes nothing. So yeah...just a bunch of posturing.

To give you an example of how pointless these things are consider that the Boston Strangler was honored in a resolution, passed in Texas, for his "unconventional techniques involving population control and applied psychology."
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"People want to get whatever they want to get. Do I care? No, I don't care. People need certain things" - Senator Leland Yee (D) California

Offline velkyn

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Re: Pennsylvania HR 535
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2012, 12:55:28 PM »
I would also add that it effectively changes nothing. So yeah...just a bunch of posturing.

To give you an example of how pointless these things are consider that the Boston Strangler was honored in a resolution, passed in Texas, for his "unconventional techniques involving population control and applied psychology."

holy jeezits (even it it was a joke).  again, for those texans on the forum, I am sorry, and I'm profoundly glad that some other state makes Pennsyltucky look positively reasonable.  ;D
« Last Edit: February 02, 2012, 12:59:49 PM by velkyn »
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Offline Historicity

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Re: Pennsylvania HR 535
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2012, 01:36:42 PM »
Velkyn, I have a demurrer, not a rebuttal to your fine essay.

 Barbara Tuchman gave a concrete example in which America was based on the Bible in her book The March of Folly.  The chapter "Remember Jeroboam"[1] is on how members of the English Parliament and royal government had concluded that clamping down on America would provoke a revolution and that extending a major military move across the ocean was unlikely to work.  The same people still went ahead and did it because England would lose face if it negotiated local autonomy.  In the Parliament people openly stated "Remember Jeroboam".

Quote
1 Kings 12:3 That they sent and called him. And Jeroboam and all the congregation of Israel came, and spake unto Rehoboam, saying, "Thy father made our yoke grievous: now therefore make thou the grievous service of thy father, and his heavy yoke which he put upon us, lighter, and we will serve thee."

And he said unto them, "Depart yet for three days, then come again to me. And the people departed."

And king Rehoboam consulted with the old men, that stood before Solomon his father while he yet lived, and said, "How do ye advise that I may answer this people?"

And they spake unto him, saying, "If thou wilt be a servant unto this people this day, and wilt serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be thy servants for ever." But he forsook the counsel of the old men, which they had given him, and consulted with the young men that were grown up with him, and which stood before him.

And he said unto them, "What counsel give ye that we may answer this people, who have spoken to me, saying, Make the yoke which thy father did put upon us lighter?"

And the young men that were grown up with him spake unto him, saying, "Thus shalt thou speak unto this people that spake unto thee, saying, Thy father made our yoke heavy, but make thou it lighter unto us; thus shalt thou say unto them, My little finger shall be thicker than my father's loins[2] . And now whereas my father did lade you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke: my father hath chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions."

So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam the third day, ...  And the king answered the people roughly, and forsook the old men's counsel that they gave him; And spake to them after the counsel of the young men, saying, "My father made your yoke heavy, and I will add to your yoke: my father also chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions."

Wherefore the king hearkened not unto the people; for the cause was from the LORD, that he might perform his saying, which the LORD spake by Ahijah the Shilonite unto Jeroboam the son of Nebat. So when all Israel saw that the king hearkened not unto them, the people answered the king, saying, "What portion have we in David? neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse: to your tents, O Israel: now see to thine own house, David." So Israel departed unto their tents.

But as for the children of Israel which dwelt in the cities of Judah, Rehoboam reigned over them.

Then king Rehoboam sent Adoram, who was over the tribute; and all Israel stoned him with stones, that he died. Therefore king Rehoboam made speed to get him up to his chariot, to flee to Jerusalem.

So Israel rebelled against the house of David unto this day.

And it came to pass, when all Israel heard that Jeroboam was come again, that they sent and called him unto the congregation, and made him king over all Israel: there was none that followed the house of David, but the tribe of Judah only.
 2. Obviously, this means penis. It's like the oath taken in Abraham's time while holding another man's penis.

In effect Biblical history was cited by the English and the Americans as an example of what not to do.
 1. IIRC

Offline velkyn

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Re: Pennsylvania HR 535
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2012, 02:20:18 PM »
Can you expound on this?  I'm having trouble following what the bible verses say and how that relates to America.  From what I read in the bible verses,  Jeroboam was a favored of God that got a prophecy that Solomon's kingdom was going to split.  He would get some of the tribes (Israel)and Solomon's son would get some (Judah).  J. is promised all sorts of things if he obeys god. God, in standard god fashion, makes R. a jerk to fulfill the prophecy.  Then J is an evident idiot (or another plaything of this god) since he goes around building more golden calves.   God finally makes a statement that a descedant of David will commit human sacifice the altars that J. built and that he's ticked at J. 

I'm getting that R. is George 3 and he ignored his wise counselors.  I guess I'm using "based" differently than you, and Ms. Tuchman might be.
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Offline Frank

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Re: Pennsylvania HR 535
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2012, 02:22:52 PM »
Do you get a day off? Bet you don't. :(

That state is doing this, This state is doing that.

This is what you get when you have 49 little countries (I won't include Hawaii since it's 1000 miles away) all full of their own self importance and ever ready to pander to vocal minorities.

It's the year of the Bible in Pennsylvania. So what?
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Offline Nick

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Re: Pennsylvania HR 535
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2012, 02:30:19 PM »
Well, I guess when 2012 is over you won't have to wory about it anymore.  They can't do "year of" twice in a row.  Maybe it will be the Koran's turn in 2013.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2012, 02:39:26 PM by Nick »
Yo, put that in your pipe and smoke it.  Quit ragging on my Lord.

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Offline velkyn

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Re: Pennsylvania HR 535
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2012, 02:38:28 PM »
It's the year of the Bible in Pennsylvania. So what?

So what? The resolution is just one more spreading of the same old lies and enshrines them.  and unfortunately, many people are simply too lazy or too ill-educated to find out the truth.

I guess I can note all of the crap that happens in PA for 2012 and then ask just what declaring the year of the bible actually d id.

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Offline kaziglu bey

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Re: Pennsylvania HR 535
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2012, 02:40:44 PM »
I guess I can note all of the crap that happens in PA for 2012 and then ask just what declaring the year of the bible actually d id.

Yeah, watch the entire State go to hell in a year. That would be a great, if unfortunate, irony. With Corbett in charge, it's certainly possible....
Seriously though... What would happen if the Great Green Arkleseizure didn't fram up the rammastam before the hermite curve achieved maximum nurdfurdle velocity? Now THAT would be something. AmIrite?