Louisiana lawmaker pushing to make the bible the state’s official book cancels that campaign.

Louisiana lawmaker pushing to make the bible the state’s official book cancels that campaign. April 22, 2014

Good news out of Louisiana (boy, have I waited a long time to say that)!  The state congressman who was pushing to have the bible adopted as the state book (Thomas Carmody, Republica, surprise, surprise…) is scrapping those plans:

A Shreveport lawmaker said Monday he’s scrapping his proposal to name the Bible as Louisiana’s official state book.

Republican Rep. Thomas Carmody told the House of Representatives that he wouldn’t pursue the measure. He said lawmakers had told him they were worried the bill was becoming a distraction from more important debates, like on the state budget and education issues.

More important for the flourishing of society or more important in the minds of the religious right?  And did it not occur to Carmody that there might be more important things with regard to the maintenance of society in Louisiana than using the state to proselytize?

Other lawmakers in Louisiana rightly pointed out how divisive such a bill would be:

Rep. Ebony Woodruff, a Democrat and a lawyer by profession, was one of those planning to vote on the grounds it would not stand up in court, reports CBS affiliate WAFB in Baton Rouge reports.

“I know in my district I have a large Vietnamese population, some are Christian but some are not and I just felt I couldn’t vote for the bill as it was because I didn’t want to leave those members out,” Woodruff said.

When the state is elevating one religious book over others, that seems awfully…not neutral.  Woodruff was right that passing the measure would result in a lawsuit and probably right that the state would lose.  That won’t matter to most of the population of Louisiana (who likely pride themselves as members of the party of “fiscal responsibility”), so it’s a good thing the state reps got their shit together.

The bill was even starting to be divisive among Christians:

As Carmody originally proposed the measure, the official state book would have been a specific version of the Holy Bible, a version from the 1500s that was the oldest edition in the Louisiana State Museum system.

Catholic lawmakers objected to the specific version of the Bible that Carmody sought to designate, so that language was stripped from the bill before the proposal was advanced to the House floor.

This is why, when politicians say they want to put “In God We Trust” on a school or in any other way insert their religion into the government under the flimsy excuse of “unifying Americans” I get offended.  Who would be so stupid as to believe that when there are non-Christians all around us?  This paints a picture of unity by everybody else kowtowing to your particular set of nonsensical beliefs.  It makes about as much sense as passing a bill making occasional punches to the face of strangers mandatory in the interest of promoting harmony.

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