Bill to make the Bible the official book of Tennessee is back

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(RNS) If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

That’s not a biblical proverb, but Tennessee lawmakers still seem to have taken it to heart.

The state’s Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday (March 29) gave the green light to a bill that would make the Bible the official book of Tennessee, The Tennessean reports.


RELATED: Tennessee House approves bill to make Bible official book


It comes a year after the measure won approval in the Tennessee House but was then held up when the Senate sent it to committee.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has said the bill is not respectful, and Attorney General Herbert Slatery said it violates the state and federal constitutions. But state Sen. Steve Southerland, the bill’s sponsor, pointed to a 2005 Supreme Court case that ruled displaying the Ten Commandments on government facilities was constitutional.

“What we’re doing is using the Supreme Court case as the guideline to make sure it’s historical and not religious,” The Tennessean quoted Sutherland as saying.

Similar bills have failed in Mississippi and Louisiana, it noted.

(Emily McFarlan Miller is a national reporter for RNS)

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  • Daniel Berry NYC

    I say let ’em do it. Tennessee can’t make it self look much more idiotic than it already does.

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  • G Key

    Not that “official” counts as “establishment” or anything…

  • Fran

    The Bible has always been my official book, and I don’t need a government to make it so.

  • Neon Genesis

    Yet Tennessee voted for Donald Trump, a loon who threatens violence at protesters and covers up for his violent aids. Some Christian state.

  • G Key

    Nice one, Fran — perfectly pointed!

  • Bad move Southerland. You just made it a bauble.

  • Re: “‘What we’re doing is using the Supreme Court case as the guideline to make sure it’s historical and not religious,’ The Tennessean quoted Sutherland as saying.”

    Actually, what they’re doing is trying to build a “test case” they can take to the Supreme Court to use to promote their religiofascism. They couldn’t possibly care less about “history.” All they want is to use government to promote their religion … period.

  • samuel johnston

    Just another bunch of mean, ignorant rednecks living in the Southern Appalachian Mountains. They all know the real Jesus was a white boy with red hair! Seen a pitcher of him, they have.

  • CarrotCakeMan

    Do they say which version of the Bible will be their “state bok”? I can’t find that information anywhere.

  • George Nixon Shuler

    The political manipulators would like people to think such a measure honors the Bible, but it does precisely the opposite – it subordinates the Bible to the approval of politicians. They need to keep their laws off my religion and also out of women’s reproductive systems.

  • Fran

    It is the official book of “truth,” which no doubt will be vindicated as such in due time.

  • Everett

    Whatever. What do most states have? An official flower, and official cookie, cake, pie, cat, dog?