In Pennsylvania, It’s Now ‘Prayer Month’ During the ‘Year of the Bible’

The same state that is currently celebrating the “Year of the Bible” has decided that’s not enough.

Twenty Pennsylvania legislators just introduced a “noncontroversial” resolution to recognize October, 2012 (a month that’s already half over…) as “Prayer Month” (PDF):

WHEREAS, With this right, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania designates October 2012 as Prayer Month for the purpose of setting aside time to pray

WHEREAS, Prayer Month is a time to ask for healing for ourselves and the nation…

WHEREAS, This special month is also a time to bring people together in true unity and to bring mutual trust, knowledge, justice and cooperation…

RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives declare October 2012 as “Prayer Month” in Pennsylvania; and be it further

RESOLVED, That a copy of this resolution be transmitted to each church of the 180th Legislative District participating in the peace march on October 13, 2012.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation can’t believe it and they urged elected leaders to put a stop to it:

House Resolution 922 is scheduled for a vote today. These are not “noncontroversial” resolutions; they are divisive and should not be put up for a vote by House leadership. You must stop the House of Representatives, which is charged with representing all citizens, from being used for gratuitous pandering to a select religious constituency.

… The resolution excludes many nonreligious citizens in your state and violates federal and state constitutional proscriptions against religious preference. We reiterate our call for the House to get off its knees and get to work. Leave the religious posturing to private citizens and houses of worship, which are free, unlike government officials, to proselytize.

FFRF’s words didn’t help.

Earlier today, the resolution passed 189-2. The only representatives voting against it were Babette Josephs (previously mentioned here) and Michael H. O’Brien.

So… it’s “Prayer Month” during the “Year of the Bible.” Who wants to bet that, next week, one of these legislators will declare it Jesus Day?

Next year, Pennsylvania better have Blasphemy Month during the Year of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

(via Justin Vacula)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • GodVlogger (on YouTube)

    Even a single “moment of silence” is a waste if it is spent on prayer. 
    But to waste a whole month?!? 

  • GodVlogger (on YouTube)

    They could try this prayer: 
    “I’m normally not a praying man, but if you’re up there, please save me Superman!” - Homer Simpson

    This prayer can be seen on YouTube here:


  • Question Everything

    I have to wonder.  I mean, on Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, birthdays, etc, we do extra special things for those people.  For a prayer month, do they pray extra hard?  Perhaps fast for the entire month to prove their piety while proclaiming they’re just begging in their minds to accept whatever plan their god has for them anyway, since apparently that’s all prayer is good for?  Do they make prayer strike forces, ready to pounce whenever a sin is found?  Set up 24-hour rotations of prayerful prayers to ensure that every second of the month is covered by a prayer?

  • Gunstargreen

    I’m getting sick of my idiot state, its idiot government and its idiot people. They may as well just move the Mason-Dixon line up to the New York boarder because this place is looking more like the south every day.

  • Octoberfurst

     >sigh< This makes me embarrassed to be from Pennsylvania.  There is a joke that says that Pa has 3 parts: Philadelphia in the east, Pittsburgh in the west and Alabama in the middle.  It's actually quite a true statement.  We have more than our share of Bible-thumpers.  (Especially here in central Pennsylvania.)  I have no doubt that next they'll come up with "Prayer Week" and "Jesus Day".  Give it time.

  • Neil

    Pennsylvania must be the state of the damned. It needs a Prayer Month in the Year of the Bible. I fear they might not be doing enough to save themselves. I’d go with Jesus Day during Prayer Month and just to be on the safe side have a Worship Hour within that and while that’s happening strike a minute of exaltation or benediction of something. They could probably award special status to the occasional second as well.

  • GloomCookie613

    I live in Schuylkill County, aka West Virginia Lite. I feel your pain.

  • ZenDruid

    A week of burnt offerings and Flagellation Friday!

  • justinvaculasin

    Thanks for the link and the post!

    - Justin Vacula
    (using new DISQUS handle following blog import to SIN)

  • BioHazard

     Lycoming County here, unfortunately “representing”. I am an agnostic, liberal, homosexual scientist. I fit in here like a rhino in a herd of gazelle. 

  • RobertoTheChi

    This makes me embarrassed to be from Pennsylvania as well.

  • Earl G.

    Why stop there?  I declare the Microsecond of the Lord!

  • Octoberfurst

     Wow you have 4 strikes against you! How do you stay sane in wingnutland?  (By the way I loved the “rhino in a herd of gazelle” analogy.)

  • Lurker111

    And I suppose we’ll have a flagellation day within the prayer month?

  • Raising_Rlyeh

    Well, if they can declare 2012 the year of the bible then I officially declare 2013 the year of Edward Jenner and Peter Plett. Much more beneficial to society than the bible ever was. 

  • MartyM

    I can’t help but think there’s a deeper political motive here.  Republicans are usually the ones who submit bills/resolutions such as this and it would be used as a campaign bomb against an opponent who votes against them.  One passed earlier this year in Missouri unanimously to protect the Right To Pray.  Our centric Governor passed it into law.  And we also had a bill passed that made it criminal to disrupt worship services with any kind of noise or protest. Though this bill is currently being challenged I believe.

    But I think these things are more often bait for more liberal leaning congressmen or women.  In Red states such as mine, no one would survive an election if their opponent can claim they voted against prayer or God.

  • BioHazard

     My dreams of leaving keep me alive. I need to stay here for now, just to get some work experience and save  money. But my goal is the New England area. Providence, RI would be ideal.

    Also, rum. Lots and lots of rum.

  • Aloysius Cranston

    What is up with this state HR? I wanna vote these nuts out but look at my options: I can either vote for the incumbent Republican or a Democrat whose bio includes “church cantor.” This state is ridiculous, even just one county away from Philly.

  • ConureDelSol

    Why couldn’t it be the “Month of Silence” or “Month of Contemplation” or something like that?  

    Guess I’m throwing Pittsburg Zoo out of my options for post-graduation employment.

  • Rory

     After I wrote to Warren Kampf complaining about his endorsement of the Year of Prayer, I received a letter back saying that I shouldn’t see it as government encroachment in religion, because after all, it didn’t really DO anything. I dunno, Warren, I’m thinking you might have a problem when your best defense for your voting record is “but it didn’t accomplish anything!”

    I’m expecting a similarly idiotic response to my letter about this most recent stupidity.