Friday, February 27, 2009
State Foots Bill for Religious Books
Good government advocates say they're riled by news that more than 13-thousand taxpayer dollars were spent on Bibles, Torahs and Qurans for swearing in ceremonies. According to a Philadelphia Inquirer report, 220 state representatives and senators were given personalized books, and taxpayers footed the bill. In all, the gifts cost 13-thousand-seven hundred dollars. Good government activist Gene Stilp says the purchase shows the General Assembly is out of touch. He says, “Two things wrong here. Taxpayer money for an item that families should provide, and two, taxpayer money for a religious item. There has to be a separation of church and state, simple as that.” Stilp says this is a clear issue that voters in Pennsylvania have been complaining about for years, “We're getting tired of saying this to the senators and representatives, but send the money back, ok? Or send the bibles back.” House Majority Leader Todd Eachus wasn't available for comment, and Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi's office didn't return calls on the topic. The Bibles, Torahs and Qurans ranged in price from $30 to $90, according to the Inquirer report.