In 1983 the late Dr. Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade, suggested that 1983 be declared “The Year of the Bible.” The idea caught on and Congress passed a resolution in October of 1982 in which it declared the Bible to be “The Word of God,” and in which it designated 1983 as “The Year of the Bible.”
President Ronald Reagan implemented the resolution on February 3, 1983 at the annual National Prayer Breakfast. He read a proclamation that stated, in part: “Of the many influences that have shaped the United States of America into a distinctive nation and people, none may be said to be more fundamental and enduring than the Bible.”
The proclamation proceeded to state that “the Bible and its teachings helped form the basis for the Founding Fathers’ abiding belief in the inalienable rights of the individual, rights which they found implicit in the Bible’s teachings of the inherent worth and dignity of each individual. In his informal remarks, the President said, “Can we resolve to reach, learn and try to heed the greatest message ever written, God’s Word, and the Holy Bible? Inside its pages lie all the answers to all the problems that man has ever known.”
Dr. Bill Bright followed up the President’s proclamation by forming a national committee of the nation’s top religious leaders representing the Catholic, Jewish and Protestant faiths. This committee, plus regional, state, and city directors influenced scores of governors and mayors to sign their own “1983 Year of the Bible Proclamations.” Through everyone’s efforts millions of Bibles were distributed and read nationwide that year, and the country was greatly impacted spiritually and morally.
That was 27 years ago.
In 2008 Congressman Paul Broun (R-Ga) proposed once again declaring a “Year of the Bible.” He introduced a resolution to give that designation to the year 2009. It would be an understatement to say that “all Hell broke loose.” It produced a push-back of biblical proportion in the blogosphere, with critics dismissing it as either unconstitutional or a waste of time. Jews in Congress and atheist activists condemned the resolution, while none of the many Democrats in Congress who were Christian would agree to sign on as co-sponsors.
Barney Frank, the homosexual Congressman from Massachusetts, mocked the resolution by asking, “Does that mean 2009 is not the year of the Bible? And what is 2012 the year of? The Quran?” Another Congressman, Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) said, “That’s an endorsement of religion by the federal government, and we shouldn’t be doing that.
“What a difference just a few years makes when a society is sliding toward Sodom and Gomorrah.