Louisiana legislators last week advanced a bill to make the Bible the official state book, according to the Advocate.
The bill passed in the Municipal, Parochial and Cultural Affairs Committee in an 8-5 vote, and the full state house will vote on the measure later this week, according to KTAL.
State Rep. Thomas Carmody (R), who sponsored the bill, told the Advocate that the bill was “appropriate” for Louisiana because of the state’s religious ties.
However, state Rep. Wesley Bishop (D) said he felt the bill was a bad idea, warning that it could lead to litigation.
“You cannot separate Christianity from the Bible,” he said. “If you adopt the Bible as the official state book, you also adopt Christianity as the state religion.”
Carmody defended the bill, noting that the Louisiana could have more than one state book, just as it has multiple official jellies.
“This is not about establishing an official religion,” he told the Times-Picayune.
Some lawmakers took issue with Carmody’s decision to make the official book the King James Bible, rather than all versions of the text.
“Why not put all versions of the Bible? If there’s one, what are we saying about the rest of the people?” Rep. Robert Billiot (D) told the Advocate.
Rep. Ebony Woodruff (D) proposed an amendment to include “all books of faith,” but the proposal, which Carmody opposed, failed in committee, according to the Times-Picayune.