By Tim Ghianni
Tennessee state legislators on Wednesday advanced a bill to make the Bible the official state book, a measure the state attorney general said would be unconstitutional and Republican Governor Bill Haslam has called disrespectful.
The Republican-controlled state House of Representatives voted 55-38 to approve the Bible as state book. A companion bill could be considered as soon as Thursday in the state Senate, where Republicans hold 28 seats to five for Democrats.
Representative Bud Hulsey, a Republican, told colleagues in support of the bill it is worth the fight “now more than ever.”
Other Republican representatives opposed the bill, citing concerns about how Tennessee might be perceived and the cost of defending it against legal challenges.
“The controversy will not end in this chamber,” Representative Martin Daniel said. “If we pass this, we’re going to be ridiculed.”
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