Church and State: Pennsylvania House Resolution Honors God

"RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives recognize the tremendous work of the Lord," reads a document introduced by Rep. John Lawrence.

A resolution introduced yesterday by State Rep. John Lawrence, who represents the 13th legislative district, honors the Lord.

Okay, it’s not a resolution praising God for creating life and/or not flooding the world again. But it is a one that directly praises the Lord for His work though the Lighthouse Youth Center in Oxford, Chester County. Lighthouse was founded after community members in Oxford met in 1986 and decided the area needed a youth center. It officially opened on Super Bowl Sunday in 1988 (XXII, Washington beat Denver 42-10). It is “a para-church organization that reaches youth with the message of the Good News of Jesus Christ” and serves 9- to 18-year-olds.

btCheck-1The “noncontroversial resolution” was introduced yesterday, one of scores honoring community groups, sports teams and the like that get passed in the House every session. But the language of this resolution is especially interesting (and, well, cute and funny) because it also directly honors God:

Recognizing the tremendous work of the Lord through Lighthouse Youth Center in the lives of the youth of the greater Oxford community for the past 27 years

WHEREAS, With continued support from the local community and the hand of divine providence, the Lighthouse Youth Center grew remarkably over the years, eventually purchasing and extensively renovating the building it had rented for many years

RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives recognize the tremendous work of the Lord through the Lighthouse Youth Center in the lives of the youth of the greater Oxford community for the past 27 years

Rep. Lawrence was the previous cosponsor of a resolution declaring October 2012 Prayer Month in Pennsylvania. (“This event was not created for political reasons or to promote any other agenda except prayer,” that 2012 resolution noted.) Lawrence, who first won election to the state house in 2010, represents areas of Chester and Lancaster counties. He has sponsored or cosponsored a few dozen noncontroversial resolutions. He commemorated the 250th anniversary of Mason and Dixon’s survey as well as a resolution in 2011 “congratulating the Pennsylvania Dental Association for its efforts to improve access to dental care.” He’s also encouraged Pennsylvanians to seek out and “consume” mushrooms grown in this state.

Lawrence was also one of many cosponsors on a 2011 resolution declaring October 17th Interior Design Day in Pennsylvania. Additionally, Lawrence wants to drug test legislators — a bill less likely to pass than a resolution honoring the Lord’s divine intervention.

Some may scoff at the direct thanking of God through the state legislature, but I like it: If you’re going to honor a religious organization, why not thank the Lord for his help, too? The people who work at Lighthouse are inspired by the Lord, whether or not He exists, so it only makes sense to thank Him for proving said inspiration. Right?

The resolution passed 189-0, and January 30, 2015, is Lighthouse Youth Center Day in the commonwealth. It sure does seem to come earlier every year.

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