Yesterday, Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA), the Founder and Chairman of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, sponsored House Resolution 397:
Affirming the rich spiritual and religious history of our Nation’s founding and subsequent history and expressing support for designation of the first week in May as “America’s Spiritual Heritage Week” for the appreciation of and education on America’s history of religious faith.
He has 24 other co-sponsors in the House.
When a similar bill was introduced last year, it had 93 co-sponsors.
What does this bill have to say about out religious history?
Whereas in 1853, the United States Senate declared that the Founding Fathers ‘had no fear or jealousy of religion itself, nor did they wish to see us an irreligious people . . . they did not intend to spread over all the public authorities and the whole public action of the nation the dead and revolting spectacle of atheistical apathy’;
Whereas in 1954, Congress by law added the phrase ‘one nation under God’ to the Pledge of Allegiance;
Whereas in 1954, a special Congressional Prayer Room was added to the Capitol with a kneeling bench, an altar, an open Bible, an inspiring stained-glass window with George Washington kneeling in prayer, the declaration of Psalm 16:1: ‘Preserve me, O God, for in Thee do I put my trust,’ and the phrase ‘This Nation Under God’ displayed above the kneeling, prayerful Washington;
Whereas in 1956, Congress by law made ‘In God We Trust’ the National Motto, and added the phrase to American currency;
Many of the statements just give an indication of the deep political pressure to mention religious faith. Some, like the 1950s alterations mentioned above were part of a political ploy to “combat atheistic Communism.”
We certainly don’t need a week to “affirming the rich spiritual and religious history” of our country when Christianists try to do that year-round, anyway.
If you’d like to do your part in putting a stop to this, let your representative know how you feel. Just click here to go to the Secular Coalition for America’s action alert.