Tags: bible | tennessee | veto | official | book

Bible the Official Book of Tennessee? Not After Gov Vetoes Bill

Bible the Official Book of Tennessee? Not After Gov Vetoes Bill
(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 15 April 2016 08:28 AM

The Bible bill in Tennessee, which would have made the sacred tome the official state book, got vetoed Thursday by Gov. Bill Haslam, but state legislators have vowed to overrule his decision, Reuters reported.

In a letter notifying top state lawmakers of his intent to veto the legislation, Haslam, himself a Christian, said the proposal violated religious freedoms enshrined in both the U.S. Constitution and the Tennessee Constitution.

"My personal feeling is that this bill trivializes the Bible, which I believe is sacred text," Haslam, a Republican, wrote.

The veto comes a week after the state Senate voted to make the Bible the state's official book. That vote followed the state House's approval last year.

Haslam, who won re-election in 2014, faced mounting pressure from civil libertarian and non-theistic groups to stop the measure from becoming law.

Hedy Weinberg, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee, praised the decision, saying elected officials should not "use their official positions to favor one religious belief over another."

Had Haslam signed the bill, Tennessee would have become the first U.S. state to designate the Bible as its official state book.

The lawmakers who sponsored the measure vowed to hold a vote that would overrule Haslam's veto. A simple majority in each legislative chamber would overrule his decision.

"According to polling, 62 percent of all Tennesseans favor making the Holy Bible the state book in order to recognize its significance from a historical, economic and cultural standpoint," the House sponsor, Representative Jerry Sexton, said.

"Senator (Steve) Southerland and I are prepared to move forward with a veto override and we plan to do exactly that."

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TheWire
The Bible bill in Tennessee, which would have made the sacred tome the official state book, got vetoed Thursday by Gov. Bill Haslam, but state legislators have vowed to overrule his decision, Reuters reported.
bible, tennessee, veto, official, book
274
2016-28-15
Friday, 15 April 2016 08:28 AM
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