Could the Bible become Tennessee's state book?

Posted at 9:32 AM, Apr 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-05 10:32:38-04

The Tennessee Senate passed a bill Monday that would make the Bible the state's official book. Now lawmakers are waiting to see if the governor will veto the legislation.

Opponents of the bill have argued it goes against separation of church and state mandated in both the state and federal constitutions.

One state senator told the Tennessean: "I understand that it's hard to vote against the Bible — no one wants to do that. We have an obligation to follow the Constitution."

Many of those who voted in favor of the bill argued the Bible was being recognized for its historical and cultural contributions instead of its religious influence.

About that — some lawmakers actually voted against the bill because they thought the "history book" declaration takes away from the Bible's real purpose — religious influence.

Gov. Bill Haslam has reportedly opposed the measure, but he's only vetoed three bills since taking office in 2011.

Lawmakers in Mississippi and Louisiana tried to make the Bible their states' official books last year, but legislation was voted down in both cases.

This video includes clips from Tennessee General Assembly and Governor Bill Haslam