NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Tennessee lawmaker has introduced a bill that would make the Holy Bible the official state book.
Rep. Jerry Sexton, a Baptist, proposed the addition Tuesday.
“Tennessee is, you know, referred to as part of the Bible Belt and there are a lot of Christians in Tennessee,” Sexton told News 2.
Sexton went on to say this wasn’t his original idea. He said a fellow legislator’s docket was full and he asked him to take a look at it.
That’s when Sexton decided this was an important issue.
News 2 reached out to the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee for their response.
Hedy Weinburg, the executive director, released the following statement:
“Religious texts should not be used as political footballs. This resolution clearly violates both the United States and Tennessee constitutions, which prohibit government promotion of one religion over other religions. While the Bible is an important book to many state residents, Tennesseans come from a wide range of diverse faiths-privileging one religion over another is not only unconstitutional, it sends the wrong message, marginalizing the thousands of Tennesseans who choose to practice other religions or not to practice religion.”
Both Mississippi and Louisiana tried to pass similar measures, but they were voted down.