POLITICS

The Bible Won't Be Tennessee's Official State Book

The governor vetoed the Bible bill last week, saying he felt it “trivializes the Bible.”

The Tennessee House of Representatives failed Wednesday to override Gov. Bill Haslam's veto of a bill to make the Bible the official state book.

Haslam, a Republican, vetoed the Bible bill last week, saying he felt the bill “trivializes the Bible.” Fifty votes were needed Thursday to override the veto, and only 43 members voted to re-pass the bill.

On April 5, the state Senate voted 19-8 to approve a bill making the Bible the state book. The state’s House of Representatives passed a similar bill last year that ultimately stalled.

Several GOP leaders in the state have spoken out against making the Bible the official state book, saying it would be "sacrilegious."

“The Bible is undeniably a sacred text of the Christian faith,” Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery wrote in 2015. “Legislative designation of The Holy Bible as the official book ... must presumptively be understood as an endorsement of religion.”

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