Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Pennsylvania Buys Bibles For Its Legislators

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported last week that the Pennsylvania state General Assembly spent $13,700 this year purchasing Bibles and other books for legislators to use in taking their oaths of office last month. It has been traditional for decades in the state for each legislator to receive a personalized holy book at government expense at the beginning of each term. They have a choice of over a dozen alternatives. 196 of the 203 members took up the offer this year, with the New American Catholic Bible being the most popular pick. One legislator who used his own Bible to take the oath nevertheless ordered a copy of the Qur'an at state expense because he had always wanted to read it. Americans United yesterday issued a press release criticizing the state's policy.