The liberals at the York Dispatch newspaper are up in arms again about the Christians in Pennsylvania. Seems that a bill co-sponsored by local Christian-conservatives, State Representatives Seth Grove and Will Tallman, introduced by State Representative Richard Saccone, passed unanimously, declaring this to be the "Year of the Bible." The liberal York (PA) Dispatch, taking dead aim at Saccone, Grove and Tallman, declared "The Year of the Bible Flap." They have also run editorials this past week criticizing the Bible specifically and Christians in general and complained about any recognition of the role of Christians in the founding of America. So what's their complaint?
First, I must admit to my bias here: I am one of the people who attended the ACTION of PA (Americans for Christian Traditions in our Nation) breakfast this past Saturday morning in New Oxford, PA, and who joined in standing ovations for local legislators Seth Grove and Will Tallman when they spoke there. Representatives Grove and Tallman may not be very popular at the York Dispatch and in the inner city of York, PA - a blue enclave surrounded by the very RED state part of south central Pennsylvania. But a few miles out from the blue-city in more red, New Oxford, PA, the work of Representatives Grove and Tallman to represent mainstream "values" voters earned them serious applause, especially when Seth Grove recited a litany of benefits of his being part of the new Republican governing majority in Pennsylvania which includes the Governor and both chambers of the legislature.
Symbols can be scoffed at and yes we want substance but we really ought to pause a moment - as was done Saturday morning in New Oxford - to give applause where it is deserved. So what is the liberal complaint about our recognizing a "Year of the Bible" in Pennsylvania, thanks to the support of Rep. Grove and Tallman, who joined as co-sponsors of House Resolution 535 authored by Rep. Rick Saccone (PA 39) in January and passed unanimously?
Well, The York Dispatch whines, not everybody agrees with HR 535's unanimously adopted declaration that the Bible is "the word of God" and that people should "study and apply the teachings of the holy scriptures."
Here's a conservative dispatch, for the liberal Dispatch: if it wasn't for the Christians who founded America, then the religious diversity which is allowed and indeed encouraged in America, would never exist.
Representatives Grove, Tallman and Saccone know, as do the attendees at this "Americans for Christian Traditions in our Nation" breakfast meeting, that it was the Christian beliefs of the founders which caused the adoption of a First Amendment which still confuses the York Dispatch - a prohibition AGAINST the government's then popular practice of prohibiting the "free exercise" of religion. They parrot the usual leftist line that the Constitution demands a "separation of Church and State" without noting that such language appears nowhere - as Rep. Tallman is actually quoted saying. The First Amendment is a prohibition against the federal government forcing us to practice a state religion, as was the case in merry old England.
Being a Catholic who has adopted the nom de plume of the father of that First Amendment guarantee of religious freedom, I am especially alarmed at how confused liberals are about what Patrick Henry's purpose was. In his state of Virginia - as back in the mother country of England - it was perfectly legal and routinely done - to prohibit Catholics from practicing their religion.
Oh? You thought it was only in the Muslim countries of the Middle East and all the other countries where you can ONLY practice the religion endorsed by the state - and even be sentenced to death for becoming a Christian. In America, before the First Amendment, the government could and did tell you what religion you were allowed to practice, and which you weren't. Just like old England.
Patrick Henry's push for adoption of a "Bill of Rights" was designed to specifically STOP the FEDERAL government from doing any such thing in the future. The First Amendment does not PROHIBIT you and me from practicing our religion, nor does it tell the Pennsylvania legislature that they are forbidden from recognizing the role of Christians in the founding of this great Republic.
And so we have an "Americans for Christian Traditions in our Nation" (ACTION of PA) to take up the banner of that cause form long ago, the founding of the American Republic, because liberals such as those who wrote this editorial at the York Dispatch, are clueless about history or willfully rewriting it. The founders' work was to STOP the government from prohibiting us from practicing our faith. The group is growing too, as their leaders report the recent Breakfast surprised them with 150 attendees instead of the expected 75, forcing them to switch to a larger room at the last minute. One can imagine the panic at the nearby liberal York city newspaper.
The York Dispatch reports complaints from the usual suspects, such as the Pennsylvania Council of (Leftist) Churches, whose Executive Director, Rev. Sandra Strauss, said this Year of the Bible resolution introduced by Representatives Seth Grove, Will Tallman and Rick Saccone, "sends a negative message to non-Christians."
And, the paper reports, some unnamed legislators immediately paid homage to Reverend Sandra by calling a press conference to apologize for saying good things about the Bible in public. Being Catholic, I have to wonder, what penance do they suggest for us who are in fact, all guilty of the terrible sin of speaking good about the Word of God and of the founding fathers who said they were guided by His word?
I joined the ACTION of PA audience this past Saturday in giving a standing ovation to Rep. Seth Grove and his co-sponsor, Rep. Will Tallman, and I urge you to give them both a tip of the hat as well. I am delighted that there exists a group with a name like "Americans for Christian Traditions in our Nation." Who says the issues of concern to "values voters" are always ignored? In Pennsylvania, a wrathful liberal city paper sure doesn't think that's the case. Send more of this our way, Representative Rick Saccone, Seth Grove and Will Tallman! (http://www.repgrove.com, http://www.repwilltallman.com, http://www.repsaccone.com).