Affirming the rich spiritual and religious history of our Nation's founding and subsequent history and expressing support for designation of the first week in May as `American Religious History Week' for the appreciation of and education on America's history of religious faith.
Whereas religious faith was not only important in official American life during the periods of discovery, exploration, colonization, and growth but has also been acknowledged and incorporated into all 3 branches of American Federal government from their very beginning;
Whereas the Supreme Court of the United States affirmed this self-evident fact in a unanimous ruling declaring `This is a religious people ... From the discovery of this continent to the present hour, there is a single voice making this affirmation';
Whereas political scientists have documented that the most frequently-cited source in the political period known as The Founding Era was the Bible;
Whereas the first act of America's first Congress in 1774 was to ask a minister to open with prayer and to lead Congress in the reading of 4 chapters of the Bible;
Whereas Congress regularly attended church and Divine service together en masse;
Whereas throughout the American Founding, Congress frequently appropriated money for missionaries and for religious instruction, a practice that Congress repeated for decades after the passage of the Constitution and the First Amendment;
Whereas in 1776, Congress approved the Declaration of Independence with its 4 direct religious acknowledgments referring to God as the Creator (`All people are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness'), the Lawgiver (`the laws of nature and nature's God'), the Judge (`appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world'), and the Protector (`with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence'); ...
And it resolves:
- That the United States House of Representatives----
- (1) affirms the rich spiritual and diverse religious history of our Nation's founding and subsequent history, including up to the current day;
- (2) recognizes that the religious foundations of faith on which America was built are critical underpinnings of our Nation's most valuable institutions and form the inseparable foundation for America's representative processes, legal systems, and societal structures;
- (3) rejects, in the strongest possible terms, any effort to remove, obscure, or purposely omit such history from our Nation's public buildings and educational resources; and
- (4) expresses support for designation of a `American Religious History Week' every year for the appreciation of and education on America's history of religious faith.