Republican Files Bill to Make the Bible Louisiana’s Official State Book

Louisiana has a state motto, state bird, and state flower.

Now, Rep. Thomas Carmody (above) wants to suggest a state book.

Guess what it is.

Guess!

I’ll give you a hint: Carmody is a Republican.

If you guessed the Bible, you win! (And we all lose.)

Rep. Thomas Carmody… filed House Bill 503 this session. It would make a specific bible, the oldest copy owned by the state, to become the official state book.

If the bill passes, Louisiana will join Alabama as the only states to have a holy book as the State Book.

Forget whether or not this is legal for a moment. There’s really a simple test to see if this is a good idea: If an old Koran sat in a state museum, would anyone consider making it the State Book? If the answer’s no, then you don’t get to do it for the Bible either.

The state symbols are supposed to represent the culture of the state, something that can be shared by all of its residents. The Bible simply doesn’t belong in any collection meant for everyone. Are there no local authors worth considering? Robert Penn Warren‘s All the Kings Men is one of the great American novels, written while the author was a professor at Louisiana State University with the main character modeled after a former Louisiana governor. Is that not an option?

This bill has a long way to go — it’s not even on the agenda yet — but if you live in the state, let your representatives know to vote against the idea. There are better books out there. Certainly, there are better books with closer ties to the state.

(Thanks to Scott for the link)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.


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