Background by JewsOnFirst, January 9, 2008
House Republicans have introduced a resolution asserting a religious foundation for the United States and designating the first week in May as "American Religious History Week."
House Resolution 888's "whereases" read like a rant on a Christian right website -- a recitation of officeholders' every chance use of the word "God" from colonial times onward. These quotoids supposedly add up to justification for the resolved part of the measure: "affirming" the United States' "religious history, including up to the current day," recognizing the "religious foundations" of "America's representative processes, legal systems, and societal structures," and supporting the designation of "American Religious History Week’’ for a yearly "appreciation of and education on America’s history of religious faith." You can read the text of the measure here (in PDF format).
It could not be an accident that this proposed week falls at the same time as the "National Day of Prayer," declared by President Truman and recently hijacked by Focus on the Family and other Christian right groups (more here).
The resolution has been referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
Last month the House of Representatives passed House Resolution 847, which "acknowledges and supports the role played by Christians and Christianity in the founding of the United States." (See our report.) As with that resolution, H. Res. 888 will allow the religious right to brag that Congress endorses the mischievous revisionist notion that the United States was established as a Christian nation.