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Days before Congress adjourned for its August recess, Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.) sent a copy of the Bible to all 535 members of Congress, calling on lawmakers to reflect on “God’s word” when deciding on “policy decisions that impact America’s future.”
Although no congresspeople spoke out against the gesture (in fact, the first elected Muslim member of Congress Rep. Keith Ellison even wrote a thank-you note), others are notably displeased.
Barry Lynn, executive director of organization Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, responded:
"When a politician calls for using the Bible as the basis for public policy, what he or she is really saying is, 'Let's use the Bible as I interpret it as the basis for public policy,'" Lynn said in response to Palazzo's letter. "When it comes to religion, our nation is pluralistic and diverse. Rather than look to the Bible or any other religious book to craft our nation's public policy, we would do well to examine another source instead, one that was actually created to guide governance. It's called the Constitution."
TPM also published the accompanying letter that arrived with the Bibles: