Courts routinely defer to legislative findings of fact, but this one may be a bit too ambitious. Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA), has introduced a resolution seeking to place the Lincoln-Obama bible on permanent display in the Capitol Visitor Center, a very good idea. However, the resolution includes the following line: “Whereas the Holy Bible is God’s Word.”
H. Con. Res. 34, a resolution states that Congress is “Calling upon the Capitol Preservation Commission and the Office of the Architect of the Capitol to place the Lincoln-Obama Bible on permanent display upon the Lincoln table at the Capitol Visitor Center for the benefit of all its visitors to fully understand and appreciate America’s history and Godly heritage.”
Rep. Forbes is the founder of the Congressional Prayer Caucus and may have some problem with non-believers, Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, and an assortment of other faiths which do not subscribe to that particular whereas finding of fact.
If Congress finds that the Bible is God’s word, would that make non-Christians and non-Jews legislatively defined blasphemers? Probably not, but then again Congress has not taken sides in the past due to that quirky Separation of Church and State thingy. Then again, people can finally claim to have found God in Congress (specifically the Visitor’s Center).
Not to buck the Almighty, but we may want to just work on moving the Bible to the visitor center and let the theologians continue to debate the whereas question for now. Of course, it is far easier to find that the bible is God’s word than to take that language out.