At least one Jewish lawmaker had some advice for Congressman Steve Palazzo (R-Mississippi) after Palazzo sent all of his House colleagues Bibles to improve their “decision-making.”
Congressman Brad Sherman’s (D-California) advice to Palazzo: Try scripture with a larger font size for the more elderly lawmakers.
“What Steve may not have focused on is many members of Congress are over age 60 and the ability of the bald caucus to read print this small is questionable,” Sherman told Business Insider.
Palazzo, a member of the House whip leadership team, recently sent the holy books to every member of Congress, Christian and non-Christian alike, according to Talking Points Memo, which first reported on the gesture Monday. He included a personal missive on official House letterhead.
“I find that the best advice comes through meditating on God’s Word. Please find a copy of the Holy Bible to help guide you in your decision-making,” Palazzo wrote.
Business Insider subsequently reached out to more than a half-dozen congressional offices headed by non-Christian members. Their reactions varied but they generally appeared to be amused by what they described as a genuine token of good will. Sherman was the only lawmaker who responded on record. He said it was “nice” to receive the book.
“I think there’s wisdom in many good books — both the New and the Old Testament — that have been quoted by many members, some eloquent,” Sherman remarked. “It’s always nice to have another copy of the holy scriptures, even the ones that my people don’t subscribe to.”
A senior staffer to another Jewish member of Congress also offered some more constructive criticism for Palazzo. The staffer said Palazzo should have invested in higher quality bibles. (Palazzo’s letter said the books were donated by a constituent.)
“I have to say for a member-to-member gift, it’s a low quality bible … not nearly as nice as the one you get in hotel rooms,” the staffer said. “For a member-to-member gift you expect a nice, hard-cover New Testament.”
Palazzo’s office did not respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.
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