NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Senate passed a bill that would make the Holy Bible the state of Tennessee’s official book in a 19-8 vote Monday evening.
It passed the full House last April and will now head to Governor Bill Haslam’s desk where he can either approve, veto, or do nothing with it.
The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Steve Sutherland of Morristown in east Tennessee, said he found a lawyer who would represent the state for free should a lawsuit come their way upon the bill’s passing.
Some supporters say the bill is not intended to endorse a religion but to honor the Bible’s historic past.
Some opponents claim naming the Bible the state’s official book trivializes its meaning, while others feel it conflicts with a provision in the Tennessee Constitution that says “no preference shall ever be given, by law, to any religious establishment or mode of worship.”
News 2 reached out to the governor’s office for comment. Dave Smith, Director of Communications, said, As you know, the governor has constitutional questions and personal reservations about this legislation. As is his practice, he’s currently reviewing it before taking any action on it.”