IFAS | Freedom Writer | September/October 1990 | bible.html

No 'Year of the Bible' here

Last December, Congress passed a joint resolution asking President Bush to proclaim "the value of studying the Bible." In February of this year, the president signed the measure proclaiming 1990 the International Year of Bible Reading. Governors of 36 sta tes have signed similar measures.

Last spring a local minister in Benicia, California asked Mayor Marilyn O'Rourke to issue a Bible-reading proclamation in that city. She ignored the request. Then, Richard W. Shafer, a born-again city councilman in Benicia, brought the measure to a vote o f the City Council. It passed 3-2. However, Mayor O'Rourke opposed the move because it violated the First Amendment's prohibition against the establishment of religion by government.

Pastor Cameron W. Wilson of the Calvary Community Church favors the Bible proclamation. He said the issue is about "trying to win the country back to the way it was," adding, "Jewish organizations" have been hurting Christians by challenging practices lik e prayer in schools and religious symbols on public property. "They're beginning to bruise us badly," Wilson said. "If they continue they can only expect to generate a backlash by people around the world against Jews." Mayor O'Rourke is Jewish.

© 1998 Institute for First Amendment Studies, Inc.