On January 24, 2012, House Resolution Number 535 (HR 535) was unanimously approved by Pennsylvania legislators (193-0). HR 535 was introduced by State Representative Richard Saccone and co-sponsored by Representatives Seth Grove and Will Tallman. At the time of the vote, the so-called "noncontroversial" resolution was never called to question by any State Representative. Regrets for the oversight were expressed by State Representative Mark Cohen. He has formally requested that HR 535 be reconsidered and organized a press conference at the State Capitol Building in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to make the announcement. State Representative Babette Josephs attended the February 13, 2012 press conference. Josephs apologized for voting in favor of HR 535, acknowledging that "she made a mistake."
Concerns about the crumbling wall of separation of government and religion due to the passage of HR 535 were expressed by leaders of the Pennsylvania Council of Churches, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Freedom From Religion Foundation. Sign this petition to add your voice to theirs.
Of particular concern are HR 535 statements that declare the Bible is "the word of God" and people should “study and apply the teachings of the holy scriptures.” HR 535 is "noncontroversial," no more.
While the specifically Christian wording of HR 535 is more symbolic than it is binding, passage of the formal resolution highlights how easy it is for House Bills that endorse, support and promote religion can slip though unnoticed until it is too late. Sign this petition now to add your voice of concern that legislators must protect all citizens from supporting, endorsing and promoting ANY religion and/or religious activity. The majority should not tyrannize the minority and HR 535 violates a citizen's duty to conscience on many levels.