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Tennessee Lawmakers Smooch Bible; Kick US Constitution

The Attorney General of Tennessee admonishes against this clear violation of the Establishment Clause
Tennessee Lawmakers Smooch Bible; Kick US Constitution
Image from: AP

It's not terribly surprising that Tennessee lawmakers hold the Christian Bible in higher esteem than the very Constitution that governs their own state and country. HB0615, proposed by Tennessee's Republican State Legislature, designates the Bible as the official state book.

The Volunteer State’s legislature overwhelmingly approved a bill on Monday that would name the Bible as the state book and sent it to Gov. Bill Haslam. It is not yet known if the two-term Republican will veto the bill, though his attorney general has said it would violate the separation of church and state.

There's always an ulterior motive for this sort of legislation.

In solidly Republican Tennessee, heavy doses of God and guns are considered reliable election-year politics.The Bible bill came to a vote just days before the candidate filing deadline, giving lawmakers pause about being portrayed by political rivals as being as opposed to the Bible if they voted against the bill.

Republican bill sponsor Steve Southerland said that the Family Action Council of Tennessee (FACT) would defend his state’s measure against likely legal challenges, according to the Tennessean.

FACT is headed by pro-forced birth proponent and homophobe Richard Fowler. Fowler was among many Republicans who endorsed a measure to outlaw homosexuality and label gay sex as criminal behavior AND domestic terrorism.

Of course, many have voiced their opposition to the theocratic measure sponsored by Tennessee's religious fundamentalists.

On Monday, the American Civil Liberties Union’s Tennessee Chapter put out a statement slamming the back and forth on the bill.

“Today Tennessee politicians have voted to reduce what is to many a sacred religious text to a political football.”

Hedy Weinberg, the executive director of the ACLU of Tennessee, called on Haslam to veto the Bible bill. he called it a "thinly veiled effort to promote one religion over other religions clearly violates both the United States and Tennessee Constitutions."

We will watch Tennessee very closely because the passage of such a bill would clearly establish a state-run Theocracy, making the state essentially ruled by Christian Sharia doctrine.

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