Georgia Republican Wants Obama to Make 2010 Year of the Bible

WASHINGTON -- A Republican House member wants President Obama to make 2010 the year of the Bible.

There's no sign that Obama will get the chance in the foreseeable future. Georgia Rep. Paul Broun's resolution would have no force of law if passed. And it can't be passed unless majority Democrats, who referred it to a committee, bring it to the floor for a vote.

The resolution reads in part:

"The president is encouraged ... to issue a proclamation calling upon citizens of all faiths to rediscover and apply the priceless, timeless message of the Holy Scripture which has profoundly influenced and shaped the United States and its great Democratic form of government, as well as its rich spiritual heritage, and which has unified, healed and strengthened its people for over 200 years."

Told of the measure, several Democrats and liberal and atheist bloggers objected. Some said it would violate the separation of church and state by advocating one book of faith over others.

"If Broun wants to practice his brand of Bible-thumping by legislative 'ministering' to the public, let him get his own damn pulpit outside the halls of Congress," blogged Talking Points Memo on May 13. The Politico also reported on the resolution.

Broun said the nation's values are based on those espoused in the Bible.

"The national year of the Bible resolution reminds us that our great nation was founded upon biblical principles and that religious freedom is guaranteed by the Bill of Rights," he said in a statement. The resolution has 14 co-sponsors.

There is precedent. By signing proclamation 5018, President Ronald Reagan designated 1983 the year of the Bible, "in recognition of the contributions and influence of the Bible on our Republic and our people."

"I encourage all citizens, each in his or her own way, to re-examine and rediscover its priceless and timeless message," the proclamation reads.