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

  1. DoverBill says:

    Probably not, but don’t be surprised when they change executions from lethal injection to stoning.

  2. DoverBill says:

    Has the great state of Tennessee have, as a state bird, a Cuckoo?

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  4. Robert Manders says:

    Wow! This truly demonstrates the morality and IQ level of the people in Tennessee. They’re voting to have an immoral and mythical book to be their official book, I’m amazed at the ignorance.

  5. carp says:

    So are all the seafood restaurants going to have to close now?

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  7. labman57 says:

    Christian conservatives believe that the New Testament gave birth to the U.S. Constitution, and therefore proselytization of Christian dogma on the taxpayers’ dime takes precedence over adherence to fundamental constitutional tenets.

  8. Mark Moore says:

    “. . . you know that white and Christian in America is tough.”

    Yeah a lot tougher than being black, gay and atheist I bet. If there such a thing as group narcissism, Christians have it in spades.

  9. Indigo says:

    Local Florida bumper sticker: “If it ain’t King James, it ain’t Bible!”

  10. Indigo says:

    As I posted on Facebook, “Isn’t that special.”

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  12. TheOriginalLiz says:

    Clearly, none of those voting in favor have ever actually read the bible.

  13. FLL says:

    From the state that brought our country the Scopes trials in the 1920s.

  14. 2karmanot says:

    Well, it seems to me, in keeping with the spirit of the Bible that Christians should follow the example of Mr. Jesus and allow themselves to be crucified for the good of humanity. After all, Mr. God clearly was pleased with the torture, suffering and murder of his only, strangely begotten son.

  15. SkippyFlipjack says:

    I wonder if any of the TN state reps who voted “nay” had the cojones to suggest that because of the recent spate of non-fiction books that had turned out to have glaring factual errors, a committee be appointed that would seek to ascertain the veracity of this new “state book”. I mean, it would be embarrassing if the “state book” told the story of, say, a global flood that never even happened, right?

  16. Naja pallida says:

    If only they taught classics in school again. I imagine it was long gone even by the time most of the commentators on this blog were going through school.

  17. Naja pallida says:

    I’d just once like one of these Christians explain to me all the things they have been denied because of prejudice against Christians. Have they ever been fired from their job? Denied a marriage license? Questioned about which bathroom they’re allowed to use? Just one practical real-world thing that they have been refused because of their religious beliefs? And not being allowed to be a bigot isn’t a valid one.

  18. therling says:

    I’m perfectly happy with them adopting the Bible as the “state book,” if the Old Testament is in Hebrew and the New Testament in Greek, but only as long as it means the kids are required to learn those languages in school.

  19. Naja pallida says:

    The New International Version is the one that most evangelicals tend to lean towards. It’s the one that stretches the translation as far as possible to give them the message that supports their bigotry the best.

  20. Demosthenes says:

    Teh stoopid, it burns.

  21. gratuitous says:

    So, are they going to model Tennessee’s society on the Bible? I’d suggest they start with Acts 4:32-37:

    32 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had.

    33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all.

    34 There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales

    35 and put it at the apostles’ feet,and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.

    36 Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means Son of Encouragement),

    37 sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.

    Surely the good legislators in Tennessee will want to encourage the voters. Will they all be selling their lands and personal property and depositing the proceeds in the Tennessee Treasury to be shared amongst the citizens? God said they should; they don’t want to go against God, do they?

  22. therling says:

    Which version of the Bible? There are some 50 different English language ones.

    http://www.gotquestions.org/Bible-versions.html

  23. dcinsider says:

    They should select a non-fiction book next.

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