According to the L.A. Times, a Tennessee lawmaker by the name of Jerry Sexton is attempting to convince the state legislature that the Bible should become the official state book. Although many experts knowledgeable in the laws of Tennessee doubt Mr. Sexton's ability to push the idea through, some maintain that simply posing the idea violates the separation of church and state.
Sexton isn't the first to present this idea to legislators, though this is the first time a lawmaker in Tennessee has pushed to make the Bible an official state book. As the Huffington Post reported earlier this year, representatives from Mississippi also encouraged the state government to add the Bible as the state's official book. While no one would be required to read it, "The Bible provides a good role model on how to treat people," Democratic Representative Tom Miles stated.
Whether Sexton is able to get peers on board with his idea or not, the notion of making the Bible an official state book is destined to displease those with atheistic views. As the Inquisitr previously discussed, passing the Bible out in schools has earned Christian organizations much flak from Americans opposing the presentation of religious material in public.
Prior to the end of 2014, Orange County, Florida, made headlines for the media scuffle that started when religious materials were found to be distributed within public schools. What followed was months of petitioning by the Satanic Temple, who insisted that distributing religious materials was beyond the scope of the public school system, as the Huffington Post reports.
Ultimately, the Satanic Temple published a Satanic coloring book designed for children, and threatened to distribute the materials if the Bible was not banned from distribution within the school system. Launched by the Satanic Temple-backed group, the Protect Children Project, the Satanic coloring book and campaign to end distribution of Christian materials in school was successful.
Unlike lawmakers in Mississippi, Jerry Sexton is thus far on his own with his idea to designate the Bible as Tennessee's state book. Most likely, Tennesseans are not taking the proposal seriously. In fact, Sexton told the Associated Press that the idea was spawned after a discussion with local constituents. It was not, as some assert, an agenda Sexton planned previously.
Sexton's sentiment toward the Bible was echoed by a Louisiana Representative, Thomas Carmody, in 2014. Like the efforts of lawmakers in Mississippi to elevate the Bible's state status to "official book," Carmody's campaign was rapidly discontinued once the bill was removed via vote, NPR reports.