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article imageNo, Tennessee, the Bible can't be the 'State Book'

By Karen Graham     Apr 14, 2015 in World
Nashville - A number of Tennessee's lawmakers think it would be really nice if the Holy Bible was the "official" state book, When the measure that would make it so was previewed by the state attorney general, he said "no."
Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery issued his opinion Monday, saying the bill violated the separation of church and state provisions in the Tennessee Constitution and the federal Constitution. The full House was to vote on the measure Tuesday, sponsored by Republican Rep. Jerry Sexton of Bean Station.
In Slatery's opinion, according to The Times news, he wrote: “The Bible is undeniably a sacred text of the Christian faith. Legislative designation of The Holy Bible as the official book ... must presumptively be understood as an endorsement of religion."
Slatery also cited the Tennessee Constitution, and the clause that says, “no preference shall ever be given, by law, to any religion establishment or mode of worship.” That clause carries a lot more weight than even the U.S. Constitution's clause that keeps Congress from establishing a religion, he said.
Sen. Steve Southerland, R-Morristown, another sponsor of the measure said he was going to go ahead with the measure anyway, saying of Slatery, “That’s his opinion. I’ve got a different one.” Just because the attorney general didn't approve of the bill and gave his legal interpretation of it, this doesn't mean the legislation won't go forward, believe it or not.
If the measure should go on to become law, the attorney general can then recuse himself from any litigation that may arise from the law. Slatery says that like other state symbols, such as milk, the state drink, or the tomato, the state fruit, they "inherently carry the imprimatur and endorsement of the government.”
More about Bible, Tennessee, state book, Attorney general, separation of church and state
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