Lawmaker Says Proposal Would Recognize Bible’s Unique Place in Tennessee | Nashville Public Radio

Lawmaker Says Proposal Would Recognize Bible’s Unique Place in Tennessee

Feb 18, 2015

The state lawmaker behind an effort to make the Bible the official book of Tennessee doesn’t think the proposal is unconstitutional.

But first-term Rep. Jerry Sexton (R-Bean Station) believes Tennesseans should recognize the Bible’s unique place in the state’s history.

Critics of Sexton’s proposal, House Bill 615, argue it violates both the Tennessee Constitution and the federal Bill of Rights. But the East Tennessee Republican says his bill simply promotes the Bible’s historical significance and its importance to the Founding Fathers.

“It’s just a recognition of a book. It, in no way, is establishing any kind of a religion. … You know, if I was in Utah, then I think you could make a case for the Book of Mormon, because they certainly have a lot of history there.”

Similar legislation was filed last year in Louisiana and earlier this year in Mississippi. But Sexton says he was unaware of those efforts.