DAVENPORT, Iowa — Iowans are set to join Gov. Terry Branstad’s Iowa 99-County Bible Reading Marathon.

The Scott County event is scheduled to begin just after sunrise Thursday and run through July 3, The Quad-City Times reported.

Connie Johnson with the Bettendorf Baptist Church is leading efforts to find up to 300 people to read the Bible in 15-minute increments.

Johnson said sign-ups for the event have been light so far, but she hopes that family groups will get together to read the Bible aloud.

The event has gotten much attention online, and Branstad faces threats of lawsuits from the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa in Des Moines.

Locally, some faith leaders have taken issue with the idea.

Rabbi Henry Karp of Temple Emanuel in Davenport said the governor should keep events like this “religious neutral.” Karp suggested that it would be better to promote reading of other religious texts as well.

But Joe Gauthier, a practicing Buddhist from Davenport, said he has no problem with the event.

“I am glad that people want to bring spirituality to different spheres of life,” Gauthier said. “I don’t feel threatened or left out at all. And if people want to explore Buddhism, they are invited to visit.”

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.