Hey Pennsylvanians, Guess Where Your Tax Money is Going?

During this recession, it’s important for state governments to get their priorities straight.

Which must be why the Pennsylvania General Assembly is spending $13,700 on only the most important things:

With the state sinking deeper into a fiscal hole, the Pennsylvania General Assembly bought 220 Bibles and other holy books for legislators as they took the oath of office last month.

And the public paid for them — roughly $13,700 in all.

Volumes were ordered for 24 of the 25 senators who took the oath last month. Officials in that chamber could not immediately provide more details yesterday.

House members got to pick from more than a dozen choices, ranging in price from $30 to $90. Each was embossed with the lawmaker’s name at an additional cost of $15 per book, according to public records.

Your money is paying for their faith.

You’re telling me none of those officials have Bibles of their own that they can’t use when taking an oath? (Not to mention no one should be taking an oath of office on a Bible, anyway…)

Actually, State Rep. Chris Ross (R., Chester) has his own family Bible and took an oath on it, too. But he decided to order a copy of the Koran just for shits and giggles. He said he “had always wanted to read it.”

(Maybe someone should tell him about the Internets. The Koran is free there.

Obviously, $13,700 is only a fraction of the state’s budget, but I can think of far better uses for that money. You can, too.

Activist Eric Epstein says it well:

“Holy Moses,” said Eric Epstein, a Harrisburg activist and founder of RockTheCapital.org, when told about the bulk purchase. “By the time you arrive at this station in your life, you shouldn’t need the taxpayers to pay for your moral boarding pass.”

Kudos to the seven (out of 203!) state reps who decided not to have the public fund their faith.

  • PrimeNumbers

    Yes, that’s an excellent way to waste taxpayer’s money and break the first amendment while you’re on with it. Although, this is pretty much what we’ve come to expect, isn’t it…

  • http://atheistsandchristians.com Mike aka MonolithTMA

    Errr…what?

    That’s just nuts. I’d bet even a lot of Christians would agree that $13,700 for bibles just for swearing in is a waste, and something taxpayer money shouldn’t be used for.

  • http://www.cognitivedissident.org cognitive dissident

    Besides the cost, what really annoys me about this whole thing is that it’s not as if the Bible is either a). so uncommon a book that legislators won’t already have a copy, or b). in any way relevant to good governance.

    I’m an atheist, and I have four Bibles at home–in addition to the Apocrypha, the Dead Sea Scrolls, a Qu’ran, various Greek and Hindu myths, etc.

    I would much rather have legislators who are conversant with the Declaration, the Federalist Papers, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. Trying to legislate from religious texts is a recipe for barbarism.

  • Chubby

    wouldn’t it make more sense to be swore in using the constitution?

  • Forkboy

    Why couldn’t they just use one and pass it around? They act as if it is some sort of memento from their swearing in, which I guess it is, but that’s hardly the point.

  • Brooks

    Besides I thought Jesus thought that swearing an oath at all was a sin? According to Matthew 5:33-37

    “Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.’ 34 But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.

    Jesus would be ashamed of these Christians.

  • Siamang

    Wow, that’s dumb.

    I’m guessing it’s to commemorate their swearing in.

    Those are some expensive bibles!
    $45 to $105 per inscribed Bible?

    I guess we should be thankful. The way government spends, we’re lucky they didn’t buy kindles for everyone and put the Bible on them. Or iPhones.

  • MV

    CRAP! Thats is my fricking money!

    Goes to confirm that PA bureaucrats are a bunch of money wasting pricks.

    Honestly, they want to waste money on individual Bibles for legislators(what happened to the incumbent’s Bibles from last term?), but cannot scrape enough money together for the Governors School of Excellence that teaches are best and brightest young minds?

    Man I hate our legistlators.

  • Random Chimp

    WHAT?!?!

    Epic FAIL.

    *facepalm*

    That’s it. When I finish college, I leaving Pennsylvania for good.

  • Erik

    Jesus would be ashamed of these Christians.

    Jesus would be ashamed of many “Christians” these days, I think.


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