Thursday, April 16, 2015

say mister, I love the way you wear that hat...,


RT |  The Tennessee House of Representatives has voted to make the Bible the official state book. Legislators backed the measure despite questions raised by the state’s attorney general about the bill’s constitutionality and the governor’s stated disapproval.

Republican state Rep. Jerry Sexton, a pastor for 25 years before being elected in November, sponsored the bill to make the Bible a state symbol. 

“History's going to tell us where we stand on this. I'm grateful to have the opportunity to have the side that I'm on,” Sexton said after the vote. “It may be kind to me in the future and it may not be kind, and that's OK. I made a decision for today and I feel good about it.”
 
The House was initially set to vote on the bill on Tuesday, but waited until Wednesday after receiving the state attorney general’s legal opinion on the issue, as requested by state Rep. Bill Sanderson (R). The legislation passed 55-38 over the legal objections of Tennessee Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III. 

“Yes, designating The Holy Bible as the official state book of Tennessee would violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the federal Constitution and Article I, § 3, of the Tennessee Constitution, which provides ‘that no preference shall ever be given, by law, to any religious establishment or mode of worship,’” Slatery wrote in his legal opinion.
 
“When the legislature chooses an official state symbol, it is in effect saying that the symbol, whether it be a poem, a flag, a rock, or a glass of milk, stands for and represents the State and its values in a positive way,” Slatery wrote. “Thus, these designations of ‘official state symbols’ inherently carry the imprimatur and endorsement of the government.”
 
Rep. Marc Gravitt (R) said the attorney general's legal opinion made it clear Tennessee could spend millions of dollars in a losing effort to defend the measure if it becomes law, Reuters reported.