Wisconsin’s legislature has overwhelmingly passed a resolution declaring the week of Thanksgiving to be “National Bible Week.”
The Wisconsin Assembly voted on Tuesday to approve Assembly Resolution 16, which called for the observing of “National Bible Week.”
“Bible reading has been a great encouragement and comfort for many people throughout our state's history and has contributed to the molding of the spiritual, moral, and social fiber of our citizenry,” read the resolution in part.
“President Franklin Delano Roosevelt first declared National Bible Week in 1941 [and] the nation continues to observe Sunday to Sunday of the week of Thanksgiving as National Bible Week.”
The final vote was 86 ayes, 9 noes, and 4 abstentions. While the ayes were bipartisan, all 9 legislators who voted against the resolution were Democrats.
Representative Paul Tittl, the Republican legislator who sponsored the resolution, said in comments reported by the Associated Press that while he was a “born-again Christian” the resolution was “not just pumping out Christianity.”
The Madison-based atheist group the Freedom From Religion Foundation denounced the resolution in a statement released before the vote was taken.
“Imagine the uproar were the Legislature to promote ‘National Quran Week in Wisconsin.’ It is equally wrong for legislators to promote their own religion’s so-called sacred text,” stated the FFRF.
“Dedicating a week to the Bible directly endorses Christianity over other religions, thereby telling non-Christian citizens we are second-class citizens for being the ‘wrong’ religion.”
“National Bible Week” is promoted by the National Bible Association, an interfaith group of Christians and Jews founded in 1940 who seek to encourage the reading of the Bible.
“Today, the strength of National Bible continues as an association of dedicated members who encourage Bible reading locally, through events and special projects, and nationally, through media campaigns,” explained the group on their website.
The state legislature also voted 64 to 30 on Tuesday to call the evergreen tree at the capitol a “Christmas tree” in response to Governor Tony Evers’ decision to name it a “holiday tree.”
“This resolution is about inclusion of the Christian holiday,” stated Christmas tree resolution sponsor Representative Scott Krug, as reported by the AP.