Constitutional Law

Lawsuit Challenges Pennsylvania Lawmakers' Year of the Bible Resolution

The Freedom from Religion Foundation has filed a suit challenging a Pennsylvania House resolution that declares 2012 the Year of the Bible.

The suit claims the resolution violates the establishment clause, report the Associated Press and the Philadelphia Inquirer. The lawsuit says the resolution “sends a message to the citizens of Pennsylvania, including [the foundation’s] members, that Christian beliefs are more legitimate in the eyes of the state than other systems of belief and thought, which constitute matters of individual free conscience.”

The resolution recognizes the Bible’s “formative influence” and cites “a national need to study and apply the teachings of the Holy Scriptures,” according to the lawsuit (PDF).

The main sponsor of the resolution, Rep. Rick Saccone, R-Allegheny, is one of the defendants. He told AP the suit is without merit. Biblical phrases decorate the state Capitol and other historical sites, he noted. “God has always been a part of our government,” he said.

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