U.S. House Committee Chair Invites Members to Read Bible in a Year
Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), Chairwoman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, distributed Bibles and invited fellow committee members to read through it in 2023 at the committee’s first meeting on January 31. McMorris Rodgers said the Bible “changed my life” when she read it through for the first time, so she encouraged “everyone to read this book in their lifetime.”
“Finally, I wanted to give you a book,” said McMorris Rodgers, and “invite all of us to read through it together in 2023. It’s an all-time best-seller. I read through it for the first time a few years ago, and it changed my life. My encouragement is for everyone to read this book in their lifetime. So, why not now, in 2023?”
“In America and on this committee, there [are] many faiths, beliefs that are represented. We cherish religious freedom and religious tolerance,” McMorris Rodgers continued.
The 52-member Energy and Commerce Committee features a moderate range of religious diversity, including members who espouse 12 flavors of Christian or Christian-adjacent beliefs, plus Judaism. In a report on the religious beliefs of members of the 118th Congress, Pew Research counted 14 “unspecified” Protestants, five Baptists, five Methodists, four Lutherans, three Presbyterians, one Episcopalian, and one nondenominational Protestant among the members appointed to the Energy and Commerce Committee. There are also 14 Catholics and two Orthodox members of the committee. Finally, there are one Adventist, one Restorationist, one Mormon, and two Jewish members on the committee.
McMorris Rodgers appeared to gift the other members a Bible structured as a daily devotional. “This Bible is structured to be 15 minutes a day, a little Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs,” she explained. Her description closely resembles that of The One Year ® Bible plan.
“And I pray that it will be a blessing,” concluded McMorris Rodgers in a note of harmony. The new chairwoman also gave members a free coffee mug and encouraged them to get coffee with a colleague from the opposite party. In the same meeting, Rep. Anna Eschoo (D-Calif.) handed McMorris Rodgers a bouquet of flowers in recognition of her being the first woman to chair the committee.
“As Christians, we know that Scripture is not merely a good source for ethics or morality but is the source of all true knowledge and wisdom. It contains the very words of God,” David Closson, director of FRC’s Center for Biblical Worldview, told The Washington Stand. “Through Scripture, we learn God’s wonderous plan of salvation. We also learn guidance for everyday life including government, politics, and living together in community.”
Closson explained that the Bible’s universal wisdom “is one of the reasons why FRC, a public policy organization, has been encouraging supporters to participate in our two-year Bible reading plan. We want as many people as possible in this country reading and ordering their lives according to the principles taught in Scripture.”
FRC’s two-year Bible reading plan, Stand on the Word, takes readers through the entire Bible in chronological order. It includes a calendar, a daily devotional, and daily reflection questions to help readers interpret the scriptures and apply to their lives. Readers can access it for free at frc.org/bible.
Joshua Arnold is a staff writer at The Washington Stand.