Legislators Want Bible to be State Book of Mississippi

A pair of state legislators, one Democrat and one Republican, are submitting a bill to make the Bible the official state book of Mississippi. Because it’s a good book of morals, dontchaknow, as long as you ignore all the incest and polygamy and genocide and all that.

Rep. Tom Miles of Forest says he and fellow Democratic Rep. Michael Evans of Preston are filing a bill, and they’ve already received bipartisan promises of support from more than 20 of their colleagues.

Miles says Mississippi has a state bird, a state flower and even a state toy, so it should have a state book.

He tells The Associated Press on Monday that he’s not trying to force religion – or even reading – on anyone, but he sees the Bible as a good guide for promoting kindness and compassion.

But the comments on the article absolutely crack me up:

I enjoy the idea you have but the Bible is God’s book and it is not fair to use it as your state book when it is read by millions in other states too. I read it and have read the Bible five times in the past five years. So I TOTALLY OBJECT to the fact that the state of MS. use it as there Bible because we all can name it our book also. You have no right to do this to other states also. I pity you for mking this suggestion also since it belongs to every state to use but is still God’s Bible.

And another:

Not fair to other states. Besides, the Bible is God’s book to mankind not just Mississippi. TOTALLY OBJECT !!!

Okay, that’s just funny. And wouldn’t you think the state book of Mississippi should be a book about that state? The obvious ones that come to mind are from William Faulkner, their native son. As I Lay Dying or Absolom, Absolom! come to mind. Or maybe Cat on a Hot Tin Roof by Tennessee Williams, which is set in that state as well.

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  • Jesper Both Pedersen

    Ed Brayton, you are a hypocrite of the highest order.

    And a traitor to your nation.

  • StevoR

    @ ^ JBP : Care to expand on that and explain why?

    Preferably with extraordinary evidence / reasons and an actual case to back up that extraordinary claim.

  • StevoR

    Also, back on topic, I gather Mississippi already has its own “official” song :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7ukfv3Zo-E

    TRIGGER WARNING : CONFRONTING IMAGES here.

  • StevoR

    PS. Bible Book? Singular?

    Shouldn’t that be plural?

    Also, is having a state book actually a thing now?

  • bourgect

    @3 I was expecting Nina Simone

  • colnago80

    Re StevoR

    Pedersen is a putz who blames the US support of Israel for the Charlie Hebdo affair. Here’s his comment on Hemat’s blog.

    Bravo, Greenwald, because surely this is the fault of US support of Israel and the Israeli occupation of Palestine. What a way to show your humanity and ability to put aside a personal agenda.

    After showing the satirical cartoons of jews, he lead with this: “Is it time for me to be celebrated for my brave and noble defense of free speech rights? Have I struck a potent blow for political liberty and demonstrated solidarity with free journalism by publishing blasphemous cartoons?”

    I’m guessing he wants us to say no.

    Or what was the point?

    http://goo.gl/DlkQ1z

  • StevoR

    PPS. I think Israel has called dibs!

    @ 5. bourgect : Also a good choice (& link) – yeah.

  • U Frood

    When the legislature has nothing important to do, they have to justify their existence by naming official state things.

    Please support my bill to name the Toilet Plunger as the State Household Tool of Mississippi.

  • cptdoom

    Yes, but which “bible” are they going to select? And wouldn’t they automatically run afoul of the First Amendment once they chose any specific version, because that would be prioritizing one sect above the others? Not that it would matter to these grandstanding legislators, but it seems like yet another recipe for unnecessary court costs.

  • eric

    When the legislature has nothing important to do, they have to justify their existence by naming official state things.

    Oh, they have an important job to do, and they’re doing it. You make the mistake in thinking that job might be “pass legislation” or maybe “improve the prospertiy of the state,” but in reality its “get reelected.”

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    Ed Brayton, you are a hypocrite of the highest order.

    Which order is that? Something created by the Queen?

    Pedersen is a putz who blames the US support of Israel for the Charlie Hebdo affair. Here’s his comment on Hemat’s blog…

    Truth be told, it’s kinda hard to tell what Pederson is saying there. His comments tend to be as incoherent as they are off-topic. I’m thinking he lost what little anchor he had when PZ kicked him off his blog. Someone needs to put him back to bed.

  • karmacat

    Shouldn’t they at least have better education before having a state book.

  • wreck

    Its Mississippi. They should start off with something easy like “The Cat In The Hat” and work their way up.

  • scienceavenger

    @4 Pedersen is a putz…

    From what I’ve seen of his comments, you could have stopped there.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    TYPICAL BIG GOVERNMENT JOBS PROGRAM!!! IF THEY GET A STATE BOOK THEYRE GOING TO “HAVE TO” HIRE A STATE LITERATE TOO!!! READING IS A JOB BETTER LEFT TO PRIVATE INDUSTRY!!!

  • colnago80

    Re scienceavenger @ #14

    Pedersen appears to be an equal opportunity troll as he is now infesting Jerry Coyne’s blog and Hemant’s blog in addition to Brayton’s.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    …they have to justify their existence by naming official state things.

    That sounds like something that an FTBer could make a regular feature, or at least a tumblr feed: “Official State Things.” Sort of like Kim Jong Il Looking At Things.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    Actually, Modus, the reason they declared the Bible their Official State Book is so they would NOT have to hire anyone to read anything they hadn’t already read (or at least skimmed and pretended they read).

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    ACTUALLY RAGING BEE IVE CHANGED MY MIND!!! I SAW THE BIBLE THEYRE CONSIDERING AND ITS ILLUSTRATED!!! “SEE MOSES!!! SEE MOSES CONQUER!!! CONQUER MOSES CONQUER!!!”!!!

  • matty1

    He doesn’t want to force reading on anyone. Not often you get a politician prepared to stand up for illiteracy.

  • Loqi

    Wisconsin can’t make cheese its state food because other places eat cheese too! Totally not fair!

  • Loqi

    IVE CHANGED MY MIND

    FLIP-FLOPPER! RINO!

  • Sastra

    Well, at least Mississippi is finally getting itself a book.

  • U Frood

    Maybe it’s not so bad. Maybe if the Bible is the state Book, Christians will actually have to read it!

  • raven

    It’s pretty incoherent.

    There isn’t just one bible!!!

    There are dozens at least. The Catholic bible has a bunch of books that Martin Luther threw out. There are many translations of the original languages and these vary a lot too, mostly deliberately. The older Eastern churches, Coptic and Armenian have their own versions.

    I’m sure they don’t care though. It’s just symbolic. Symbolic xians pissing on a fire hydrant to mark their territories. They claim we aren’t animals but they act exactly like a dog or cat out for a walk.

  • https://www.facebook.com/danny.lampley Danny Lampley

    I’ve been trying to tell them they aren’t thinking big enough. What we need is a state god. I’m fairly certain none of the other states have THAT.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    Not often you get a politician prepared to stand up for illiteracy.

    Are you kidding? Republicans and libertarians have been doing that — and sometimes nothing but that — a least since 1980.

  • Holms

    #9 cptdoom

    Yes, but which “bible” are they going to select? And wouldn’t they automatically run afoul of the First Amendment once they chose any specific version, because that would be prioritizing one sect above the others?

    The Bible itself runs afoul of the constitution even before choosing a version, as that alone is an endorsement of a particular religion over any other. Hell, even the choice of religion is irrelevant, as even the principle of having a religious text at all would be an endorsement of religion in general over non-religion.

  • StevoR

    @6. colnago80 : Ah, okay. Thanks for that.

    Hm, seeing as the bible is clearly out maybe they could make their official book John Grisham’s A Time To Kill instead? :

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Time_to_Kill_(Grisham_novel)

    Mississippi author, set in that state and already a powerful film with perhaps the best court scene ever in it! Ya reckon? Of course it arguably would require a trigger warning on the cover and not that suitable for children -but then the same would apply to the Bible too!

  • dingojack

    Well since Miles and Evans have stated that they’re against literacy, perhaps a film then: Mississippi Burning.

    Dingo

  • skinnercitycyclist

    Yes, and I suppose the state film of Mississippi would be Birth of a Nation.