Iowa Governor Terry Branstad signed a proclamation “encouraging all Iowans to join in the historical Iowa 99 County Bible Reading Marathon to take place in front of all 100 courthouses, beginning June 30th at 8:00 am and ending July 3rd, 2016 at approximately 4:00 pm.” He is also encouraging families to read the Bible on a daily basis.
Governor Branstad says, “We will unite in honoring God’s Holy Word and celebrating our First Amendment freedoms. We will unify the body of Christ around the Holy Bible, We will reestablish the reading of the Word in every home so that we may hear His Word, know His Word, and be doers of His Word! Let His Word be read and the Transformation and Awakening begin in Iowa…the state that carries the heartbeat for this Nation!”
Since the announcement of the proclamation, three atheist groups have attacked the Governor: the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), and the Iowa Atheists and Freethinkers. The ACLU and FFRF said, “They are considering legal action if the proclamation is not revoked. They claim the proclamation violates the Establishment Clause of the Constitution which says that the government should not make a law ‘respecting the establishment of religion.”’