Sen. Albert Robinson, R-London, was accused of "an offense against history" for comments in the Senate debate over the posting of the Ten Commandments as a historical document alongside the Mayflower Compact, the Declaration of Independence and the pledge of allegiance.
"When the boat came to these great shores, it did not have an atheist, a Buddhist, a Muslim, a Christian and a Jew," he said, according to The Kentucky Post. "Ninety-eight-plus percent of these people were Christians."
Robinson pushed a resolution to have the Kentucky Board of Education stop the "suppression and censorship of American history" as it relates to "Christianity's influence." The resolution was approved after it was amended to refer to "Judeo-Christianity," rather than "Christianity."
Robinson opposed the amendment, saying that "Judeo-Christianity" was a politically correct term that would continue "the suppression" of Christianity in the name of inclusion. He said that the change had "done Christians and the Christian history of this nation a terrible injustice."
His comments were criticized by American Jewish Congress executive director Phil Baum, who said that Robinson's move had been an offense not only for seeking to "aggrandize Christianity at the expense of other faiths," but also against history.
The original resolution sought to "bowdlerize history in furtherance of an attempt to create a historical Christian America, which could serve as a model for those who seek to reconstitute that mythical past today," he said. "Kentuckians of good will must act now to ensure that these dangerous trends do not fester and gain potency and that the illusion that [it] is possible to restore a 'Christian America' is recognized to be nothing more than an illusion, not as something to be enacted into law or taught in the schools."
Robinson was also taken to task in an editorial in the Post that said a large number of immigants of various backgrounds had come to American shores through the years.
"Not all of the immigrants have been Christian. Jews fleeing Russia and Eastern Europe. Boats filled with Chinese immigrants...They've come to the world's most pluralistic nation where diversity is to be celebrated and tolerance is to be honored."
Sen. Kathy Stein, D-Lexington, Kentucky's only Jewish legislator, said that Robinson's original resolution had been one of several thinly disguised attempts to promote Christianity. The debate over the Ten Commandments had produced "divisive and intolerant language" toward non-Christians, she said.
The approved resolution encourages schools to post the Ten Commandments under a 1992 law that permits them to display and teach from historic documents. Before last week's Senate debate, supporters of the campaign staged a rally outside the Capitol.
Several other states are considering legislation that would allow the Ten Commandments to be displayed in public schools, from where they have been banned since a 1980 Supreme Court ruling that their public posting in government buildings violated First Amendment protections against promoting religion.