This fall, the Congressional Prayer Caucus has brought H.R. 3477 to the floor of the House of Representatives. It’s called the CHURCH Act of 2009, and if that isn’t enough to tip you off, consider the acronym when the word CHURCH in the title is all spelled out: the full name of the legislation is the Congressional Hope for Uniform Recognition of Christian Heritage Act of 2009. You read that right: “Uniform.” The bill would mandate a plaque to be erected in Capitol Hill’s Statuary Hall declaring that there is “no problem with having nondenominational Christian services in government buildings,” that the U.S. Government should favor Christianity and a return to preaching of “Christian doctrine in this Chamber” and only restrain itself to “not choose an official Christian denomination.” This is just the latest episode in the Prayer Caucus’ continuing bid to assert the nature of America as a “Christian Nation” (or, when members are feeling generous, a “Judeo Christian Nation”) with unique privileges for Christianity in government.
H.R. 3477 stands in opposition to the First Amendment clause against the use of government to establish religion. It also highlights the reason that government shouldn’t open itself to use as an instrument for proselytization: when that happens, leaders of religious groups inevitably try to use the occasion to secure the instrument of government for their religion alone.
The following are listed as official supporters of the CHURCH Act of 2009. If you find the name of your member of Congress on that list, make a call and remind him or her to that in America, it’s not politicians’ job to try and make recognition of Christianity “Uniform.” Let’s keep the CHURCH business where it belongs: in church.
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX, District 1), District Office Phone Number: 866-535-6302 — principal sponsor
Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL, District 4), District Office Phone Number: 256-546-0201
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN, District 6), District Office Phone Number: 320-253-5931
Rep. John Boozman (R-AR, District 3), District Office Phone Number: 479-782-7787
Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA, District 10), District Office Phone Number: 706-447-3857
Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN, District 5), District Office Phone Number: 765-662-6770
Rep. Michael Conaway (R-TX, District 11), District Office Phone Number: 325-659-4010
Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA, District 4), District Office Phone Number: 434-634-5575
Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ, District 2), District Office Phone Number: 623-776-7911
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH, District 4), District Office Phone Number: 419-522-5757
Rep. Steve King (R-IA, District 5), District Office Phone Number: 712-732-4197
Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO, District 5), District Office Phone Number: 719-520-0055
Rep. Donald Manzullo (R-IL, District 16), District Office Phone Number: 815-394-1231
Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL, District 1), District Office Phone Number: 850-664-1266
Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN, District 6), District Office Phone Number: 765-962-2883