If you happened to be watching C-SPAN last night you got to see a parade of conservative Republicans prattling on about House Resolution 284 (AKA National Year of the Bible) and related concerns. It’s gotten to the point that a showing of middle-aged and older conservative white guys from Texas, in all their doughy glory, has become a caricature of itself. You know what they’re going to say and you know it’s usually full-tilt crazy. But Texas isn’t alone and folks sometimes forget that. Take Ohio. Last night, representative Jim Jordan had the floor for a few minutes and spoke about his admiration for the Declaration of Independence. He said it was a great document, perhaps “the second greatest document” ever written. What is Jim Jordan’s greatest document? Why “Scripture” of course! And by “Scripture” it was very clear that he was referring to the Christian Bible. As an elected member of Congress, a writer of our nation’s laws, I would’ve thought, oh I don’t know, The Constitution perhaps? After all, it is the core document of this country and he did swear to defend it.
Now I don’t care how much comfort Congressman Jordan gets from the Bible in his personal life, but as a member of Congress I expect him to always remember that we are a nation of secular law and not a theocracy. I have no desire for the people who run our country to look for guidance in a text that says it’s perfectly OK and proper for children to suffer punishment for their parent’s transgressions, that we can’t eat shellfish or wear clothes made of two different kinds of thread, and that an acceptable means of punishing kids for taunting an elder’s baldness is to have two bears come out of the nearby woods and kill 42 of them.
Call me crazy.