NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – An hour of passionate religious debate was not enough for Tennessee House members Tuesday. They will return Wednesday to consider a bill to make the Bible the official state book.
The issue has proven to be the most divisive bill of the year because party rank or label has little to do with support.
Some conservative Republicans are for it, some are not. Some Democrats are for it, while others are not.
House sponsor Jerry Sexton, a Republican from Grainger County, stood in front of his fellow lawmakers asking for their vote on the book that he says has carried so much Tennessee history and means so much to its people.
Sexton found support from lawmakers such as Matthew Hill who asked, “If we don’t make the Bible the official state book, what would it be?”
Another conservative Republican, Rep. Jeremy Faison, countered “Nowhere in our founding documents does it bring up the Bible.”
Others brought up an opinion from the Tennessee attorney general that said the Bible being the state book might violate the constitutional separation of church and state.
Similar arguments and more passion are expected when the bill is considered again Wednesday morning.