Bill to make Bible official state book of Tennessee advances

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey says he opposes a measure to make the Bible the official state book of Tennessee.

The Blountville Republican spoke to reporters in Nashville Tuesday after the measure passed the Senate State and Local Government Committee.

Ramsey said the legislation “belittles the most holy book that’s ever been written.”

During the Senate committee meeting, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris of Collierville also expressed concern about the legislation and was one of two members who abstained from voting.

A formal legal opinion has been requested from the state’s attorney general.

Meanwhile, the legislation is headed for floor votes in the state Senate and House.

Similar proposals to make the Bible the state book failed in Mississippi earlier this year and in Louisiana last year.