It will be the “Year of the Bible” for the second year in a row in Kentucky.
Republican Gov. Matt Bevin in December signed a proclamation recognizing 2017 as the “Year of the Bible.”
“Whereas, 2017 marks the 2nd year Kentucky has led the nation in celebrating the Bible’s significant impact on Kentucky and American institutions and culture by leaders in each county taking shifts to read through the entire Bible in Kentucky’s Bible Reading Marathon beginning January 1, 2017,” the proclamation begins.
The proclamation was issued in support of the “Kentucky 120 United” Bible-reading marathon that took place Jan. 1-4. An organizer told Louisville’s Courier-Journal that Democratic state Rep. Tom Riner, whose term ended in January after losing his re-election bid last year, had written the proclamation and asked the governor to sign it.
Bevin also had named 2016 the year of the Bible. A former governor made a similar declaration in 2004.
Amber Duke, communications director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky, told the Courier-Journal Bevin’s proclamation was “disappointing” and noted the governor was “once again using his official position to promote his personal religious beliefs.”
This isn’t the first time Bevin has used his office to promote religion. Last year Bevin ended a lawsuit and effectively approved an $18 million tax break for the Ark Encounter – a replica of Noah’s Ark – which was built by Australian creationist Ken Ham.
Bevin also issued an executive order in late 2015 removing county clerks’ names from marriage licenses – a boon for the embattled Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, who had refused to sign marriage licenses for same-sex couples.