Tennessee Lawmaker Looks To Make The Christian Bible His State’s Official Book

Screengrab/Tennessee Senate GOP/YouTube


A similar attempt to designate the Bible as Tennessee's official book was vetoed by Republican Gov. Bill Haslam in 2016.

Republican state Senator Mark Pody introduced a bill last week that, if passed, would legally designate the Holy Bible as Tennessee’s official state book, according to local CBS News affiliate WREG.

Pody’s legislation is paired with a state House bill seeking the same designation, introduced by Republican Rep. Jerry Sexton.

Tennessee lawmakers made a similar attempt in 2016, WREG reported, when Republican Sen. Steve Southerland argued that his bill was “aimed at recognizing the Bible for its historical and cultural contributions to the state, rather than as government endorsement of religion.”

That legislation was vetoed by then-Gov. Bill Haslam, a Republican, who explained in a letter to lawmakers that “designating the Holy Book as the Tennessee book would violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.”

The pair of bills before state lawmakers now is the first the issue has been raised again since 2016. It remains unclear how current Gov. Bill Lee, also a Republican, will approach the legislation.


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