Mississippi Legislators Want to Make the Bible the Official State Book (Again)

Last year, two Mississippi legislators set out to make the Bible the official State Book with House Bill 386:

Mississippi

Rep. Tom Miles of Forest and fellow Democratic Rep. Michael Evans of Preston are spearheading the bill which was proposed last week, according to Evans.

Evans told AL.com that the idea came about while he was speaking with constituents.

“Me and my constituents, we were talking about it and one of them made a comment that people ought to start reading the Bible,” said Evans.

He said that they discussed “all the things going wrong in the world” and someone suggested making the Bible the state book.

Evans, in his fourth year as a representative, is Baptist. “I believe in the Bible,” he said.

The legislators added that no one would be forced to read the Bible, as if that should give them a pass from church/state separation advocates, but it’s not like they would ever suggest the Qur’an for the same honor.

The legislation would have made “The Holy Bible” the official State Book on July 1. Though we knew that all of the world’s problems would still be there on July 2.

It never came to pass, though. The bill died in committee before it could ever come up for a full vote.

Now, Rep. Miles and Rep. Evans are trying again. They’ve introduced House Bill 840, once again declaring the Holy Bible as “the official state book of Mississippi.”

Let’s hope it meets the same fate as its predecessor.

You may recall that Louisiana tried to do something similar in 2014 when Rep. Thomas Carmody wanted to make “a specific bible, the oldest copy owned by the state… the official state book.” A month later, he pulled his own bill before it could go up for a vote because it “had become a distraction.”

Alabama is currently the only state to treat a Bible as an official state symbol. Not exactly a state worth emulating.

(Thanks to Niamh for the link. Large portions of this article were published earlier.)

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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