Tennessee Lawmaker Wants to Make Bible the “Official State Book”

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1760_Cambridge_Edition_King_James_BibleJerry Sexton, a freshman lawmaker in the Tennessee House of Representatives has proposed legislation that would make the Bible the official book of the State of Tennessee.

Sexton, the Republican representative of the Volunteer State’s 35th District, was elected to the Tennessee General Assembly this past November.

Serving as a local minister and entrepreneur who employs over 200 workers, Sexton successfully defeated fellow Republican and two-decade incumbent Dennis Roach in a bitterly contested battle for the GOP nomination.

During the primary battle, Sexton says that Roach accused him of “wanting to use tax dollars to send Muslim kids to private schools.”

Sexton solidly rejected this claim, arguing that Roach “skips work” and “has other legislators clock him in and vote in his place.”

During his campaign for the seat, Sexton described himself as being “100% pro-Second Amendment, 100% pro-life and 100% pro-natural marriage.”

Making good on his campaign promise of being a true conservative, one of the Baptist pastor’s first act as a legislator was introducing House Bill – 615.

Filed yesterday, HB 0615 would designate “the Holy Bible as the official state book.”

The bill’s official text states:
“BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF TENNESSEE… The Holy Bible is hereby designated as the official state book.”

Sexton’s bill concludes by declaring “the public welfare requiring it.”

Detractors of the minister say that declaring the Holy Bible as the official state book would be against the state constitution which states that “No preference shall ever be given, by law, to any religious establishment or mode of worship.”

Those who favor the legislator’s proposal counter that making the Bible the state’s official book does not give preference to any one religion and is an act that can be done apart from religion.

“The reality is no book has had a greater impact on the residents of Tennessee than the Holy Bible – this is undeniable,” wrote one commenter who went on to state, “The Bible is a book. Making it the state’s official book merely recognizes the historical value its pages have had on the state’s history.”

The Tennessee House of Representatives is dominated by the Republican Party which holds 73 seats in the 99-seat body. The state’s Senate is even more lopsided, with 26 Republican senators out of a possible 33.

Sexton’s desire to make the Word of God his state’s official book does not place him in a category all to himself.

In Mississippi, two Democratic lawmakers introduced legislation this past month to make the Bible their state’s official book as well.

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