In what can only be viewed as the heralding of the upcoming apocalypse and “Rapture,” Kentucky Governor, Matt Bevin, has declared that 2017 be “The Year of the Bible.”
This isn’t new considering that he proclaimed the same for 2016. And as every good shyster and tyrant can tell you, repetition is key and certainly this is so with oppression and the Bible.
Bevin signed the proclamation on Dec. 19, saying that 2017 “marks the second year Kentucky has led the nation in celebrating the Bible’s significant impact on Kentucky and American institutions and culture by leaders in each county taking shifts to read through the entire Bible in Kentucky’s Bible Reading Marathon beginning Jan. 1, 2017.”
Pastor Mark Harrell of Victory Christian Fellowship church in Somerset who founded the event describes it as such:
“At midnight Jan. 1, someone in a county will read from the Bible for 15 minutes and then someone else and then someone else and so on until the entire Bible is read aloud.”
That’s right…3 1/2 days of straight through Bible reading. Sounds exciting, right?
Among the readers in the marathon will be government officials, students and jail inmates, and apparently, the Governor.
So far, 72 counties have agreed to participate in Bevin’s officially proclaimed venture. Oddly, the religious group that started the marathon (Harrell with aid from a group of clergy known as the Kentucky Prayer Focus) hadn’t planned to do consecutive “Year of the Bible” marathons, but Bevin requested it and who were they to refuse the Governor’s request?
After all, Governor Matt Bevin’s believes that he’s been “mandated,” much like Trump, as a speaker for the people. This despite Bevin winning the Governorship with 17% of votes by the 30% of voters who managed to show up that fate-less day. The “mandate” seems to have emboldened him to do whatever he wants despite the FACT that the Constitution of Kentucky contains protection against religious preference:
“No preference shall ever be given by law to any religious sect, society or denomination; nor to any particular creed, mode of worship or system of ecclesiastical polity; nor shall any person be compelled to attend any place of worship, to contribute to the erection or maintenance of any such place, or to the salary or support of any minister of religion; nor shall any man be compelled to send his child to any school to which he may be conscientiously opposed; and the civil rights, privileges or capacities of no person shall be taken away, or in anywise diminished or enlarged, on account of his belief or disbelief of any religious tenet, dogma or teaching. No human authority shall, in any case whatever, control or interfere with the rights of conscience.” – Kentucky Constitution
Proclamations don’t carry the force of the law behind them the way legislation does, but it is received as Bevin using his official position to promote his personal religious beliefs. This also isn’t new. Recently, Bevin illegally abolished the existing board members of the University of Louisville Board of Trustees, only to appoint several new members who also happen to attend his church, Southeast Christian Church.
Surprise, surprise! But really, what were you expecting?
In response to the repeated proclamation, a board member of Louisville Atheists and Freethinkers, Frank Lovell Jr., said he is “disappointed but not surprised” by the Governor’s action. “He can believe whatever he wants to but I just don’t think an agent of the government should be signing such a proclamation.”
Matt Bevin and other’s like him seem to be inserting religion into every aspect of their time in office; using it to discriminate and bully by trying to use religion to justify those actions.
The Founding Fathers of this nation and of the states were very specific that freedom to pursue whatever religion (or lack thereof) was each citizen right to do what was suitable for themselves. That was the order of the day–not imposing a specific religion on citizens. Not that I would call whatever “religion” they are pushing a religion unless discrimination and tyranny are now a religion.
We cannot normalize the continued lack of separation of church and state. We have allowed it to happen without pushing back for too long. We allowed religion into courthouses, our anthem, our legislation and our schools. Even President-elect Donald Trump said we would all be saying “Merry Christmas” if he became president. It won’t matter if it was your belief or not.
Being bullied into conforming is not what this country was founded on. That is not freedom. That is oppression and we must fight it tooth and nail as all good American’s and humans should. Make no mistake…tyranny is here now and it has a name–The Religious Right–and it’s all wrong.