Even though this is arguably the least productive Congress in U.S. history, maybe that’s for the best given how one legislator thinks they should guide themselves.
Assistant House Whip Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-MS), a Tea Party member elected in 2010, sent a Bible to every member of Congress this week, and Talking Points Memo obtained a copy of the letter that came along with it:
On a daily basis, we contemplate policy decisions that impact America’s future. Our staffs provide us with policy memos, statistics, and recommendations that help us make informed decisions. However, I find that the best advice comes through meditating on God’s Word.
Please find a copy of the Holy Bible to help guide you in your decision-making. This copy is provided as an inspirational and informational resource to you by Mr. J.B. Atchison, a constituent of mind from South Mississippi.
If there is ever anything I can do for you, please do not hesitate to contact me.
How about passing legislation that’ll actually help Americans instead of asking members of Congress to rely on supernatural fairy tales for guidance?!
Sorry… That’s why I’m not in public office. Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), a Muslim who’s much more polite than I am, just sent back a thank-you note.(In case you’re wondering, only a few dozen members of Congress are something other than Christian.)
On a side note, a quick search for J.B. Atchison on Facebook found one Mississippi resident who likes Rep. Palazzo (bingo!), loves the movie God’s Not Dead, wants to impeach Obama, and likes Jim Carrey (the horror!)…
Barry Lynn of Americans United for Separation of Church and State had some very strong words against the Christian gesture:
“When a politician calls for using the Bible as the basis for public policy, what he or she is really saying is, ‘Let’s use the Bible as I interpret it as the basis for public policy,'”… “When it comes to religion, our nation is pluralistic and diverse. Rather than look to the Bible or any other religious book to craft our nation’s public policy, we would do well to examine another source instead, one that was actually created to guide governance. It’s called the Constitution.“
Palazzo clearly hasn’t read the Constitution. At least he never got past the First Amendment.
Come to think of it, he probably hasn’t read the Bible either. Like most conservative politicians, he seems much more interested in using the Bible as justification to vote however he’d like. It’s not a source of guidance for him; it’s just a method to prevent further discussion. (Turns out God’s a Tea Party member, too. Who knew?!)
Sounds like a good time to rehash this old West Wing clip:
(Thanks to Scott for the link)