Republican House Whip Steven Palazzo (MS) recently sent a Bible to every member of Congress, telling them that they should use it to guide their decision-making on public policy. Talking Points Memo has a copy of the letter he went along with the Bible.
Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-MS) enclosed the Bible in his letter dated July 29 and sent to all House and Senate offices. The letter, written on an official letterhead in his capacity as assistant majority whip, was confirmed by Capitol Hill aides whose offices received 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,” Palazzo wrote.
“Please find a copy of the Holy Bible to help guide you in your decision-making,” the congressman continued, saying the Bibles were donated by one of his constituents from South Mississippi named J.B. Atchison…Barry W. Lynn, the executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, criticized the idea of using the Bible as a guide for legislating.
“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,'” Lynn said in response to Palazzo’s letter. “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.”
Barry is absolutely right. And the Bible is a terrible guide to public policy. If you actually followed the commands of the Bible and enforced them as public policy, we would be a theocracy, not a free country.