In the June 7 article “Governor defends Bible proclamation,” Gov. Terry Branstad states that the Bible is a source of prayer. I agree that it is, yet I want to remind the governor, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Freedom From Religion Foundation it is so much more, in the history of Western Civilization and can be an asset for the education of all readers, regardless of their chosen religion.
According to Jean-Pierre Isbouts, professor of culture and media studies, who writes from Fielding Graduate University, Santa Barbara, Calif., “No book has been of greater influence on the development of Western Civilization than the Bible. It is the foundational text of Judaism, Christianity and is accepted as divinely inspired scripture by Islam. But the Bible is also a superbly geographical narrative. Its stories take place across the full breadth of the ancient Near East ...”
This information was obtained from Professor Isbouts’s book “The Biblical World: An Illustrated Atlas,” which contains a foreword by Bruce Chilton, Bernard Iddings Bell Professor of Religion at Bard College, Annandale-on-the-Hudson, N.Y.
The Rev. Beverly J. Birtcher