Rep. Rick Saccone from Elizabeth Township, Allegheny County, is at it again.
You remember Tricky Ricky. He wants to all he can to bring (his) God into government at the state level. Last year he brought us HR 535: The Year of The Bible, which was so bad that U.S. Middle District Judge Christopher C. Conner noted that
… its express language is proselytizing and exclusionary (e.g., “Renewing our knowledge of and faith in God through holy scripture can strengthen us as a nation and a people”). The court is compelled to shine a clear, bright light on this resolution because it pushes the Establishment Clause envelope behind the safety glass of legislative immunity. That it passed unanimously is even more alarming. This judicial rebuke of the resolution is not intended to impugn the religious beliefs of any citizen. To the contrary, the court’s disapprobation is directed to the blatant use of legislative resources in contravention of the spirit – if not the letter – of the Establishment Clause. At a time when the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania faces massive public policy challenges, these resources would be far better utilized in meaningful legislative efforts for the benefit all of the citizens of the Commonwealth, regardless of their religious beliefs.
Pastor Rick also runs a bus tour to Harrisburg to point out all the Biblical references that he can find chiseled into the State Capitol Building to affirm (in his small mind) that we are a Christian state, once again turning the Establishment Clause envelope inside out:
Pennsylvania was founded on religious liberty and our state Capitol is loaded with Biblical references in pictures and quotes of scripture chiseled throughout. Come see for yourself by joining my upcoming Religious Liberties Bus Tour.
So why post ‘In God We Trust’ in every school in the Commonwealth, especially when funding is being cut and teachers are not being hired? Listen to the hearing yourself to find out.
There are some telling exchanges. At 21:00, Rick Saccone states that teachers are afraid of posting anything about God, but with this bill there is something about God that they could post. “We can put these things in front of our kids, with the hope that some of this might sink in.” Rep. Santarsiero then goes to the key question of hearing. “When you said some of this might sink in, what did you mean by that?” Rick Saccone, caught like a deer in headlights, does a quick about face.
Later at 35:00, Saccone incorrectly says it is a great motto that applies to all religions. “People can interpret God in their own way … so it applies to everybody.” “The beauty of it is that it can be embraced by people of all faiths and I encourage people of all faiths to embrace it and I certainly respect all religious faiths.” So there you have it. He wants a religious test for the students of Pennsylvania. Non-believers, atheists, and agnostics are some not part of “everbody” in the Commonwealth.
And if that was not were not enough at 42:15 Rick Saccone refers to “the new ‘In God We Trust’ Museum that is coming”. Yikes! This is news to me and, if funded by tax dollars, could be yet another battleground for church-state museum.
In the meantime, schools are in need of real support that Harrisburg has failed to address.