Most states have official flowers, birds, even foods, but it's a rare state that goes so far as to declare an official state book. Perhaps its for that reason, the oddity of the thing, that lawmakers in one southern state are facing a conundrum regarding a recently appointed "official state book."

Tennessee's state Senators just voted into law an official state referendum declaring that The Bible is now Tennessee's official state book.

That is, if Tennessee's conservative governor will sign the law.

Governor Bill Haslam has been presented with the bill declaring that The Bible is Tennessee's official book but the governor has some hesitations about signing the bill.

"The Bible is the most important book in my life, and I think in the world, but that's very different than being the state's official book," Haslam told reporters who were congregated to discuss the recent vote from the state's senators.

The vote passed with a deciding majority of 19-8, but some Democratic senators echo the governor's hesitation to make The Bible such an official part of the state.

"My constituents tell me that they want us to respect the diversity of faith traditions in the state of Tennessee, not just a single view or a single religious tradition. And I think they're right about the diversity of faith traditions in our state. One in five Tennesseans are not Christians," said a Democratic Senator, Lee Harris.

But Tennessee is different than most states in the United States because it has a very different relationship with The Bible than do most.

Three of the largest publishers who regularly publish Bibles reside in Tennessee and that does make The Bible a part of the state's economy. Gideon's International, Thomas Nelson, and United Methodists Publishing House all reside in the state.

And there are the thousands and thousands of Christians as well. It may be odd, but it seems The Bible finally has an official home.

h/t: America News



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