COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho — Republicans in Idaho have voted to drop a proposed resolution that would have declared Idaho as being a “Christian state.”
The 70-member Kootenai County Republican Central Committee agreed by a majority vote on Tuesday to shelve its statement out of concerns that its passage might be considered divisive.
“Whereas the Declaration of Independence, the founding legal document that created the United States of America, attributes all authority and power to ‘God,’ the ‘Creator’ and divine ‘Providence,'” it begins. “Whereas the preamble to the Constitution of the State of Idaho expresses gratitude to ‘Almighty God’ and whereas the Christian faith has come under increasingly more strident attack in and by public institutions, resulting in its ejection in word and physical symbols from schools, curricula, sporting event and public discourse…”
“[It is] resolved that the state of Idaho is formally and specifically declared a Christian state,” the resolution continues in part. “This is to be understood as a preservation of the Judeo-Christian bedrock of the founding of the United States and is not to be interpreted as restricting the free exercise of any other religion.”
The resolution was introduced by committee member Hans Neumann, who stood before a standing-room-only crowd on Tuesday.
“We’re a Christian community in a Christian state, and the Republican Party is a Christian Party,” fellow committee member Jeff Tyler told reporters. “It’s important that Christians stand up and be unashamed to say they’re Christians.”
He opined that it the measure was imperative in a day and age where Christianity is being removed from public life and where biblical morality is degraded.
“It’s my belief that the trouble with our country is that God is being taken out of our government, our schools, our communities, and we are losing our moral compass,” Tyler said.
But during the meeting, member Bjorn Handeen made a motion to shelve the resolution, and two-thirds agreed. He told reporters that he did not wish to see Christianity defined by the government.
“I was worried the issue would be divisive, and it was,” he said to Reuters. “And I know there have been some statements of hard feelings and the claim that this was somehow a vote against Christians. Nothing could be further from the truth.”
“Ultimately, I’m not in favor of dividing us by religion; I’m in favor of uniting us by freedom,” he stated.
A similar proposal may be introduced at another time.
As previously reported, officials in Winfield, Ala. passed a resolution in December declaring the municipality a “city under God.”
The measure was agreed upon at the prompting of Mayor Randy Price, who urged city council to make the statement and take a stand for Christ.
“I feel like we need to stand up for what is right,” he told AL.com. “Our forefathers said ‘One nation under God’ and we went so far away from that. There are not enough godly people involved in day-to-day decisions.”
“Whereas we acknowledge God is the owner of the City of Winfield and that it is a City under God. We acknowledge that at all times, He is in control,” the resolution reads. “Whereas, we acknowledge that through His leadership, the mayor and city council will seek his wisdom and knowledge to be good stewards of the city.”
“Whereas, we acknowledge that though prayer, with His guidance and presence, that we will be able to trust that no problem will be too large or too small to overcome,” it continues. “Whereas, we acknowledge that the City of Winfield is where it is today because of God’s grace and mercy. Whereas, we acknowledge that at all times and in all circumstances, His will shall be done. Whereas, we acknowledge that to God be the glory.”