Tennessee house, boldly standing up for persecuted Christians, votes to make Bible official state book

If you’ve been paying attention recently, you know that white and Christian in America is tough.

You can’t have your creation myths taught in public schools anymore. Well, you can, but you have to call them something else to work around the whole “First Amendment” business. People pay attention to that now.

You don’t get to say what kind of birth control your employees can and can’t use. Well, you can, but only if you pinky swear that you really really believe, for serious, that you’d be sent directly to Hell if you didn’t.

You can’t fire people for being gay anymore, or even refuse to sell them things. Well, you totally can, but people might be upset with you. And, in keeping with their role as part of the super spooky grand liberal conspiracy, the ACLU won’t step in to denounce this obvious discrimination.

You might even be forced to overhear someone say “Happy Holidays” in November. And we all know that every time a Christian hears “Happy Holidays” an angel loses its wings.

It’s “open season” on you. Just ask Bill O’Reilly: Christians are being killed in the streets. Well, not actually killed, just “verbally” killed, but you never know what could happen tomorrow. So it’s best to assume that the gays and womyns and atheists and Muslims are coming to get you.

But in the event that things do in fact go from bad to worse, O’Reilly and his compatriots can take heart in knowing that they have a friend in Tennessee’s House of Representatives, which told the rest of America exactly what to do with our Festivus Poles yesterday by voting to make the Bible its official state book. Constitution be damned.

As Republican State Rep. Andy Hold said, in a flash of alliterative brilliance that may have exaggerated Tennessee’s warmaking abilities, “Markets, money and military are meaningless without morals. I think it’s time for our body to make a stand.”

Republican Rep. Bud Hulsey agreed, noting that Tennessee needed to plant their flag on the side of all that was good and just and holy “now more than ever,” in an apparent reference to all of those “verbal killings” O’Reilly’s been warning us about.

The bill sailed through Tennessee’s lower chamber 55-38, but don’t let those nay votes fool you. Tennessee’s state House is way more than 60% pro-Bible. A solid chunk of those no votes came from God-fearing Republicans who are so Christian that they don’t think the Bible is trivial enough to make the state book. Tennessee has an official state salamander, tree and beverage — what kind of message would they be sending if they put the Bible on par with the tulip poplar?

Said Republican Rep. Patsy Hazlewood, quoted by the Associated Press, “Pilgrim’s Progress is a book, To Kill a Mockingbird is a book. The Bible is the word God, it’s a whole a whole different level.”

The Bible, via Pixabay

The Bible, via Pixabay

And still more no votes came from Republicans who think that making the Bible the official state book would be totally kosher were it not for the fact that doing so is obviously illegal, and would tie the state up in millions of dollars worth of lawsuits that they would most certainly lose. The response from the rest of the caucus? Totally worth it.

Now, the fight to stand up for Tennessee’s embattled Christians marches on to the state senate, where it could face stiff opposition. Not from those atheist, Muslim, crypto-commie Democrats, mind you — there are only five members of team blue in Tennessee’s state senate — but from some of the chamber’s devout Republicans who are worried that the push to make the Bible the state’s official book is the literal work of Lucifer himself.

Said Republican Majority Leader Rob Norris, quoted by the AP, “All I know is that I hear Satan snickering, he loves this kind of mischief. You just dumb the good book down far enough to make it whatever it takes to make it a state symbol, and you’re on your way to where he wants you.”

Couldn’t have said it better, myself.


Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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