Friday, April 15, 2016

Tennessee Governor Vetoes Bill Making Bible The State's Official Book

Yesterday Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam vetoed House Bill 615  that would have made the Holy Bible Tennessee's official book. In his veto message (full text), Haslam cited a state attorney general's opinion finding that the bill was unconstitutional, and added:
In addition to the constitutional issues with the bill, my personal feeling is that this bill trivializes the Bible, which I believe is a sacred text.  If we believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God, then we shouldn't be recognizing it only as a book of historical and economic significance.  If we are recognizing the Bible as a sacred text, then we are violating the Constitution....
According to The Tennessean,  legislative sponsors plan to seek a veto override which, in Tennessee, only requires a majority vote in both chambers of the legislature. [Thanks to Tom Rutledge for the lead.]