PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Did you know this is the “Year of the Bible” in Pennsylvania?
But an atheist group from Wisconsin has filed a federal lawsuit against state lawmakers saying it’s unconstitutional.
Catholic Church of the Assumption parishioner Mary Ann Appelt feels the atheist group should not stand in the way of the “Year of the Bible.”
“We shouldn’t have to bow down to them,” said Appelt. “The majority of us and we’re Christians, there is a God. I will stand behind that and I will fight it tooth and nail.”
But others feel the state resolution pushes the Bible on everyone.
“Church and state should not be mixed, end of story,” says one local resident.
“There shouldn’t be any religion involved with our elected representatives,” said another. “They need to be taught their place again. They forget that they’re working for us.”
The Freedom from Religion Foundation filed the federal lawsuit, stating the Bible contains violent, sexist and racist models of behavior and could encourage people to harm others.
KDKA’s Kristine Sorensen spoke with the co-president in Wisconsin by phone.
“It makes them feel like second-class citizens, that their government is exhorting them to study and apply Scripture that they disagree with,” said Annie Laurie Gaylor, of the Freedom from Religion Foundation. “It’s a slap in the face.”
But the resolution’s sponsor, Rep. Rick Saccone who represents the southern part of Allegheny County, defends it.
“I think the lawsuit is frivolous and a denial of history,” said Rep. Saccone. “I mean, God has always been a part of our government. The Bible has been a big part of that. Every president swears his oath of office with his hand on it.”
The resolution for the “Year of the Bible” was passed unanimously by the State House of Representatives. Some have said they didn’t realize they voted for it, but the sponsor says that’s no excuse.
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