It’s the beginning of a new legislative term in Tennessee and the theocrats are coming out of the woodwork. One lawmaker wants the Bible to be the official state book and another, Rep. James VanHuss, wants to add Christian language to the state constitution:
House Joint Resolution 71, proposed by state Rep. James VanHuss (R-Jonesborough), would add the language, “We recognize that our liberties do not come from governments, but from Almighty God, our Creator and Savior” to Article I of the Constitution of Tennessee.
The Tennessean included the legislation in its list of “bizarre” new bills. “That reference to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness in the U.S. Constitution isn’t enough for” VanHuss, the paper joked.
The new language could clash with Article I, Section 3 of the Tennessee constitution, which declares “no preference shall ever be given, by law, to any religious establishment or mode of worship.”
Actually, the paper correctly identified the Declaration of Independence as the source of the phrase “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” not the Constitution (unless they had it wrong in an earlier version, but there’s no correction listed). This language is similar to lots of “Christian nation” amendments that have been offered to the U.S. Constitution beginning with the ratification conventions, all of which failed.