(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.
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)