Tennessee Moves To Make Bible The Official State Book

h35180px-Gideons_BibleDespite far more pressing problems, Tennessee Senate and House committees have been working to make the Bible the official book of Tennessee — adding the Bible with catfish (the state fish) as a symbol of the state. Of course, cat fish are not matters of faith (beyond the hope and prayer of every fisherman). The House sponsor, Rep. Jerry Sexton, R-Bean Station, added “talking points” to bill. Sexton was only elected in 2015 but is wasting no time in trying to rollback on the separation of church and state.

The bill was approved by the Senate State and Local Government Committee by a 7-0-2 vote. Only two abstained. Not a single opposing vote. The House State Government Committee approved the bill (HBO615) by a voice vote about an hour later.

11-13-12 Lamberth_William State RepRep. William Lamberth, R-Cottontown insists that it must be constitutional because “It doesn’t in any way, shape, form or fashion say that anyone has to read this book. It doesn’t mean anyone has to believe in the tenets of this book.”

Legislators could argue that they are associating the state with the generally accepted elements of the Bible such as the values expressed in the book. However, rabbis and clerics of other religious are objecting. The book also ascribes to one view of the Almighty. Moreover, the official designation will require some state action by employees in listing and featuring the book. It would raise an interesting and potentially expensive court case for the state. If the legislators tried to erect a monument to the Bible, there would be a credible challenge. What is the difference between a monument on the grounds and this designation?

Putting aside the question of the separation of powers, the claim of constitutionality does not make this the right thing to do. There are many citizens in Tennessee who follow other faiths or no faith. This is the majority forcing all citizens to associate with the religious book of one faith. If one truly believe in free exercise of religion, it should come with a respect for the faiths of others. The concept of tolerance and pluralism runs deeply in our values as a nation.

The fact that not a single member had the courage to oppose this bill on principle is a deeply sad reflection on our current politics. Imagine who people would feel is a bill passed making the Koran the official book or the Torah. It is not enough to say that you might be able to get away with dong something wrong — I learned that as a kid from the Bible.

Source: The Tennessean

227 thoughts on “Tennessee Moves To Make Bible The Official State Book”

  1. These problems of religions plurality started when we out of ignorance and compromise of our failth and belief separated The State from The Church.

    Today anyone can come from anywhere an tell us we are discriminating against their faith when we publishly n openly declare Christian Faith as a people.

    Go to Saudi Arabia, UAE and every Islamic Country; The State is tied to Islam firm and strong, other religions are not allowed and where they are minimally tolerated, they are subjected to worship on Fridays and operation without voice n noise.

    Political Correctness is the greatest challenge of America if not check……The founding fathers built America on Christian Faith, hence “In God (Jehovah Almighty) We Trust”

    Well Done Tennessee Government……Just go ahead in His Power n Might……in Jesus Name Amen!

  2. paul:


    So Josephus and Tacitus, who were born after the death of Jesus, can testify to the credibility of his existence. Seriously? Tacitus wrote about Jesus after the year 64 AD but he mainly talked about what Christians believed about Jesus, he was not testifying about his own certitude on the existence of Jesus. And Josephus wrote about Jesus around the year 93 AD. So the best you’ve got is hearsay. Neither of these men could testify to the certitude of the existence of Jesus. And the writings of Josephus are thought to have been embellished by later Christians in the year 400 or so.

    Back then books needed to be re-written by scribes every couple hundred years and in those rewritings who knows what was added or changed.

    So yet again, there has been a presentation of zero evidence for the existence of a Jesus that can serve as primary evidence. Only evidence written decades after he died. Sorry, you can believe all you want but there remains little verified data on his actual existence.

    What does it matter? The story of Jesus was ripped off from several other deities that predate his version by at least 1000 to 1500 years…

    1. Talis – I cannot speak to Tacitus but most historians accept Josephus.

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