An original copy of the Aitken Bible
Is making the Bible the state a book a separation of church and state violation?

Tennessee’s state bird is the mockingbird. Their state flower is the iris. And now, thanks to a new bill just signed into law by Governor Bill Lee, their state book is the Bible, making Tennessee the first state to make a religious holy text their official state book.

A Long Time Coming

The Tennessee state legislature has long attempted to make the Holy Bible the state's official book – despite what critics describe as obvious constitutional violations.

In 2016, the state legislature passed a similar bill, but it was vetoed by then-Governor Bill Haslam, who was worried about “constitutional issues” with the state formally adopting any holy text as the state book. But Haslam also said propping up the Bible as Tennessee's official book actually “trivializes” the Bible.

Governor Bill Lee apparently has no such hangups. He signed the bill designating the Holy Bible as the state book into law earlier this month.

But if constitutional issues plagued Tennessee's efforts in the past, how did they pull it off this time?

Put It On the List

The trick? The Bible isn’t the state’s only new state book. Lawmakers introduced a list of texts that will all be become official books of Tennessee, with the Bible among them. 

Nor is it just any old mass-produced copy of Christianity’s holy text: it’s a specific edition called the Aitken Bible.

The Aitken Bible joins the following collection as Tennessee’s new official state books: 

  • "Farewell Address to the American People," George Washington (1796)
  • "Democracy in America," Alexis de Tocqueville (1835 and 1840)
  • Aitken Bible (1782)
  • Papers of President Andrew Jackson 
  • "Roots," Alex Haley (1977)
  • "A Death in the Family," James Agee (1958)
  • "All the King’s Men," Robert Penn Warren (1947) 
  • "American Lion," Jon Meacham (2009)
  • "The Civil War: A Narrative," Shelby Foote (1958-1974)
  • "Coat of Many Colors," Dolly Parton (2016)

“Together, these works help Tennesseans understand American identity, politics and culture,” explained State Sen. Paul Rose, who sponsored the bill.

In many ways, the list is pretty standard. It includes books about famous Tennesseeans, books by famous Tennesseeans… except for the Aitken Bible, that is, which has no discernible connection to the state. 

An original copy of the Aitken Bible
An original Aitken Bible, circa 1782 (Source: Library of Congress)
An original copy of the Aitken Bible
Robert Aitken (1734-1802)

The Aitken Bible was the first Bible printed in the United States, created by printer Robert Aitken.

Prior to the Revolutionary War, Britain demanded colonists import Bibles from Britain. But in 1781, Aitken petitioned congress to print the first Bibles on American soil, which they permitted.

Upon its printing, the Aitken Bible became a remarkable symbol of American independence.

Cheating the System?

The designation of the Aitken Bible as a state book will almost certainly draw legal challenges from secular activists, and the Freedom From Religion Foundation has already vowed to “oppose these sorts of laws that trample on the rights of non-Christians in Tennessee and in every state.”

For critics, making the Bible one of many co-state books, or making the state book a historically significant Bible, amounts to strategic trickery on the part of the bill’s authors to sidestep constitutional challenges.

They argue the state book list is a Trojan Horse, a farcical exercise compiled with the sole purpose of establishing the Bible as an official book of Tennessee. 

As proof of their claims, critics point to Tennessee’s history of trying to promote Christianity at the state level – including numerous bills to erect the Ten Commandments outside courthouses, and attempts to teach the Bible in public schools.

There’s even a bill making its way through the state legislature right now which would add Brenda Lee’s “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” to the list of official state songs of Tennessee. 

However, supporters counter that the Bible is just one book in a list of texts that are all vital to understanding the American story. Americans at the time of the Revolution were largely Christian, and this Aitken edition Bible simply reflects that historical reality. 

Where do you stand?

Is this Tennessee’s “separation of church and state advocates hate this one simple trick!” moment, or is it perfectly viable to choose a book with significant historical value – which just so happens to be a religious text – as an official state book? 

127 comments

  1. Lawrence A. Benson's Avatar Lawrence A. Benson

    Obviously Gov. Lee and his fellow Republicans haven't read the Bill of Rights or the Constitution.

    1. Dr. Zerpersande, NSC's Avatar Dr. Zerpersande, NSC

      I get your point, but they know exactly what they’re doing. And they know it’s an opposition to the constitution. They’re just giving the bird to anybody that disagrees with them, including the founding fathers.

      1. Michael Dwayne Cooper's Avatar Michael Dwayne Cooper

        How is freedom of speech against the Constitution?

        1. Amber Fry's Avatar Amber Fry

          How does purposefully creating laws and bi-laws that go directly against the constitution considered freedom of speech? Speech is just that. You get to speech your truth without fear of jail time. Deciding the state has a religious book is directly in violation against declaring no religion over any others.That is very specific in the constitution. You are not stopped from reading it yourself, believing in whatever religion you want but government declaring a holy book is crossing a line.

          1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

            Amber, do you feel the same way about Muslim countries which hold the Koran as their book?

          2. Allison Caroline Texture's Avatar Allison Caroline Texture

            Yaass kween!!!!!

            SPEECH; I NEED HER TED TALK yasses hotly

            slaythedayaway

            P.s. did you know that Anakin and Padme are smoking hot

        2. Martin L Stigleman's Avatar Martin L Stigleman

          Michael Dwayne Cooper, "Freedom of Speech" means that you have the freedom to SAY something. This is, in no way, even similar. The Constitution guarantees a number of freedoms to citizens. Among those are Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion. These rights are for all people. A State passing a Law that overrides those rights for ANYONE is a violation of those rights for EVERYONE. If you don't feel there is anything wrong with a law of this kind, how about we add a few other things? The Church of Satan was the first officially recognized Church of Satanism in the world, and it was founded right here in the U.S. Shouldn't it be made official in some way? How about the date of its founding be a Federal Holiday? Iowa had the first Muslim temple founded in America. How about the burka be named as the State attire? Are you good with all those?...or only the things forcing Christianity on the citizens?

        3. James Hage's Avatar James Hage

          The other countries have their own constitutions and laws. Here in the U.S.A., our constitutions says there is to be separation of church and state. Which I am sure you knew when you asked your antagonistic question.

    2. John T. Watson's Avatar John T. Watson

      It is apparant that you have not read the Constitution or the Bill of Rights. No where does it state using the words seperation of church and state. What it does state is The state will not establish a state controlled religion, that all religions are free to worship as they see fit. I suggest you get a copy of "The Federalist Papers" and read what the founders meant by each article in the Constitutions wording. You have been mis-lead by your teachers from elementary education through college with nothing more than divisive markist propaganda thaRepublic that our founders established. Remember The United States of America is a REPUBLIC not a democracy!

      1. Amber Fry's Avatar Amber Fry

        And you clearly don't understand the meaning of not being able to declare one religion over any others. Choosing a book specific to one religion is doing just that. It isn't about the exact words. It's about reading the entire article discussing that separation. Reading comprehension is your friend.

      2. Howard Randall Bechler's Avatar Howard Randall Bechler

        It is a democratic republic. Our representatives are elected by the people democratically then make decisions as representatives of the people. Be care with the Federalist Papers. Authentic are those 85 articles written as an interpretation of the decisions made at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia by Madison, Adams and Jay(They called it Publius) and not the current one presented by a conservative group that has absconded with the name

      3. Alexander George Andraski's Avatar Alexander George Andraski

        Well said, They did not make Christianity the state religion, but put a book (The Aitken Bible) on a list with many other books that Tennessee recognizes for it's historical value.

  1. Bridget Kielas-Fecyk's Avatar Bridget Kielas-Fecyk

    This is worrying. These MAGAs are pushing, HARD, to make the United States an Evangelical Theocracy. If they get their way, the United States will be as religiously rigid, and as brutal, as Afghanistan.

    1. Michael Dwayne Cooper's Avatar Michael Dwayne Cooper

      How so when God is a merciful God.

      1. William Lewis Vass's Avatar William Lewis Vass

        🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣god is a merciful god. Obviously you have never read the old testament. Take a read and then you'll be more qualified to make a statement.

      2. Amber Fry's Avatar Amber Fry

        What is merciful about wiping out the world on a number of occasions? Who is left to actually experience that mercy? Do you even read the bible?

        1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

          Amber, to say that God wiped out the world on a number of occasions would mean that you believe the Bible is true. Believing the Bible is true would then lead you to follow its teachings and morals. Do you believe the Bible is true? If so, then follow it. If you don't believe it's true, then you can't believe that God wiped out the world on a number of occasions. Which is it?.

          1. Michael Hunt's Avatar Michael Hunt

            Amber's point is that if you believe that the Bible is real, you can't also believe that God is merciful. They don't need to believe that the Bible is truth to be critical of someone's stated belief.

            1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

              Michael, thanks for the response. The Bible has physicality so it is real, not a specter. The Bible's truth claims can be understood on different levels: literally, morally, allegorically, and analogically. Ancient societies often concretized ideas. This is true for the story of Adam, Eve, and the Garden of Eden. This leads me to join with you in asking, can we believe the various types of truth claims in the Bible and still believe in a merciful and just God? The claims made in the time of the Hebrews were their efforts to understand God given their history. Their response was to believe God only punished them in order to bring them back to him and righteousness. I cannot judge that based on my understanding 2,000 years later. Did God wipe out all life save Noah and company? Unlikely, but that is a story shared in more places than just the Bible. So it does seem that something catastrophic happened a long time ago. To them it might have seemed like the whole world was wiped out but it wasn't. Too often we want to blame God for something someone else did or for natural disasters because we don't like what happened and believe it to be unfair. But the truth is on the whole we reap what we sow. People are responsible for their actions. And nature is a blind force of matter and energy that neither punishes or rewards. That seems to me to be a just and merciful way of creating our reality as a realm where we can learn from our mistakes and improve as spiritual beings having a human experience.

      3. Mitch's Avatar Mitch

        God's not the problem, Christian nationalism is the problem.

        1. Rev Ned's Avatar Rev Ned

          I call them Christian Taliban.

    2. Christopher L Hill's Avatar Christopher L Hill

      Is it really MAGA's doing this? I do not remember hearing about them in history class when talking about the founding of America, the country choosing to use the phrase "In God We Trust" on it's currency, why it is "one nation under God", and why use a bible when holding up one's hand to "Swear to God" in a court of law (which was brought about mostly by politicians who aligned themselves with what we call today "democrats"). I could keep going as America was actually founded with strong religious beliefs in mind, and what everyone refuses to read in the Federalist Papers is that the states shall not appoint one religion above another and infringe on an individual's freedom of worshipping in what ever manner they see fit without condemnation. Very little to do with MAGA or any other political agenda groups one might want to align themselves with and quite a bit to do with actually reading up and doing a little research instead of ignorantly going with the crowd. Yes, they made a Bible a state book, but it is also national history being preserved in a world that has willingly destroyed countless pieces of history in the past few years to accommodate people would rather forget and let history repeat itself than keep it to learn from past mistakes. It seems the people that are complaining about it the most are the ones that banned bibles being allowed in schools and replaced it with same sex rape books on the required reading curriculum for your kids and any that see something wrong with this ideology "must be MAGA"...if only there was a book somewhere that talks about this sort of thing occurring throughout history, that could be used to warn us and guide us through life.

      God is a merciful God, but also a jealous God, and God's law outweighs the laws of man.

      1. Rev Ned's Avatar Rev Ned

        The “In God we trust” and “Under God” stuff comes from the 1950s when we were in a Cold War with the godless commies.

        1. Tecla Caryl Loup's Avatar Tecla Caryl Loup

          Yes, I am old enough to remember the change in the wording of the pledge of allegiance. It bothered me because I was finishing the pledge before the classmates who more readily adapted to the new words. I was in parochial school, and the good sisters were all a-twitter with delight at the new addition, praising the Knights of Columbus for their efforts on behalf of the alteration.

    3. Alexander George Andraski's Avatar Alexander George Andraski

      You are completely nuts!!

    4. ServantOfJudgement's Avatar ServantOfJudgement

      Bridget,

      I was listening to the radio today where the host went through some Christian nationalists leaders philosophy. Don't remember the guys name though. Wow! Definitely not the MAGA crowd talking points but terrifying none the less. Very terrifying. Very antichrist. Every Christian I personally know would oppose that sort of madness.

  1. Bishop William Dusenberry, DD's Avatar Bishop William Dusenberry, DD

    If any bible (all of which, deal with one mythology, or other) is to e used, at all, it should be the Thomas Jefferson Bible, because it contains the least mythology. And, it’s available from the ULC minister’s store.

    1. Donald J Rothschild Jr's Avatar Donald J Rothschild Jr

      Right on target!!

      1. Michael Dwayne Cooper's Avatar Michael Dwayne Cooper

        But God is a merciful God.

        1. Rev Ned's Avatar Rev Ned

          Tell that to the Palistinians.

          1. ServantOfJudgement's Avatar ServantOfJudgement

            Ned, i might be wrong but I don't think God extends mercy to a people that chant "Rape is resistance".

            Did you know that the blood thirst baby butchering Hamas psychos fill their ranks with Palestinians?

            Now the Israelites know why God told them in the old testament to put all the baby burners down once and for all. They didn't so they're back to raping, head chopping and baby killing.

            Like in the movies, sometimes the evil guy gets away to kill another day, bigger and better.

    2. John T. Watson's Avatar John T. Watson

      If you believe the Holy Bible is mythology then what do you believe in? Is Jesus Christ mythology to you? If so then I tell you that you will be destined for the lake of fire on Judgement Day! We all must stand before our maker and give account for what we did with our lives and what we believe. Jesus said, "I am the Truth, the Life, and the Way, no man comes to the Father but by Me"! There is NO other Way. I suggest you repent of your faithlessness and ask Jesus for His forgiveness and get right with God.

      1. Amber Fry's Avatar Amber Fry

        I think you missed the point trying to be taught there. He's talking about walking the walk, doing as he does, following his teachings on how to behave and treat others. THAT is the meaning behind the truth and the way.

      2. Nigel Andrew Gunn's Avatar Nigel Andrew Gunn

        That's only true if you believe in Judgement Day and the rest of the twaddle spouted by the religious fanatics.

      3. Don Carlo Battaglia's Avatar Don Carlo Battaglia

        "lake of fire" "judgment day" Mythology at its finest.

      4. Bishop William Dusenberry, DD's Avatar Bishop William Dusenberry, DD

        Nietzsche gave the best advice (at least that I’m aware of) to those ULC ministers who’ve seriously studied the non-religious history of the Bible, and found it comparable to the Illiad and the Odessy and the Trials a d tribulations of Romulous and Remus, and hence Roman mythology.

        Nietzsche opined: “Why speak when nobody has my ears?” In other words, to try to reason with biblical literalists, is akin to spitting into the wind.

        1. ServantOfJudgement's Avatar ServantOfJudgement

          Hitler found Nietzsche's drivel very useful. It did lead to the destruction of Europe and his cowardly suicide though.

      5. Mary Diane Johnson's Avatar Mary Diane Johnson

        Amen

  1. Rev. Rory's Avatar Rev. Rory

    This is what politicians do when they don't know how to or refuse to tackle the real problems facing their population. They throw out the religion card and declare their own holiness. It means nothing.

  1. Clay Serenbetz's Avatar Clay Serenbetz

    This designation is abhorrent to our Founding Principles and to all non-Christians in Tennessee and throughout the USA. It's a myth that our Founding Father's were all Christian.

    1. Michael Dwayne Cooper's Avatar Michael Dwayne Cooper

      But Ben Franklin said, " ...you almost persuade me to become a Christian...".

      1. Amber Fry's Avatar Amber Fry

        Exactly. Meaning he wasn't. The founding fathers of the time were mostly deists. That means they knew the bible and understand Christianity, they believed in some higher power but didn't believe it directly meddled in people's lives. They generally believed we made our own choices and lived our own consequences. We in this country forgot that somewhere along the line.

  1. Joe Stutler's Avatar Joe Stutler

    They've diminished both their mythology/religion and their state with such a silly move.

  1. Colleen McAllister's Avatar Colleen McAllister

    This is an historically important book and as such should be recognized. HOWEVER it has no true connection to Tennessee. As such it should not be adopted by Tennessee as their own.

    As to Rockin Around the Christmas Tree, it is a secular song with strong ties to Tennessee. It should be acceptable.

  1. David Arthur Lewis's Avatar David Arthur Lewis

    I can't help but wonder if ANY of those legislators has ever actually read the book. I seriously doubt it.

  1. James Grainger's Avatar James Grainger

    So much for separation of church and state. Be careful we don't become like the Muslim countries where religion rules

  1. Michael Burton's Avatar Michael Burton

    Tennessee marches one more step back to the 19th Century...

  1. Rev. BH's Avatar Rev. BH

    "The British government had long regulated the publication of English Bibles, forcing colonists to import them from Britain or Europe. The war subsequently created a shortage in the colonies. Congress endorsed Aitken’s Bible when it was completed in 1782". - Museum of the Bible.

    "Among Protestants, adherents to Anglicanism, Methodism, the Baptist Church, Congregationalism, Presbyterianism, Lutheranism, Quakerism, Mennonite and the Moravian Church were the first to settle in the US, spreading their faith in the new country." Wiki.

    And of course, the original native American inhabitants with a multitude of of non-Christian nature religions, despite cries to the contrary.

  1. Merlin's Avatar Merlin

    This type of tyranny is what caused the Revolutionary War against England.

  1. Rev. Donut's Avatar Rev. Donut

    There are lots of state books in Tennessee and the bible is one of them now.

    It is not "The" state book.

    It is one of many state books that Tennesseans feel they want to recognize.

  1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

    As the first Bible to be printed in the United States, with Congress's permission, is historical. I didn't know these two facts. I'm grateful for the article. Yes, it should be allowed for the aforementioned reasons and it also shows how steeped in Christianity our new nation was despite cries to the contrary.

    1. Danny D. Maynard's Avatar Danny D. Maynard

      Christianity was an imported mythology! I am sure the Native Americans will not agree with your evaluation!

      1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

        Danny, the new nation of which I wrote was created by the thirteen New England colonies, not by the existant Indian tribes. These thirteen colonies were very much steeped in Christianity. Therefore, my statement that the Aitken Bible reflected the pervasiveness of Christianity in our new nation was accurate to the facts and true.

        1. Amber Fry's Avatar Amber Fry

          Yes, but those 13 were of the old world and pre-US succession. They also have nothing to do with the constitution or creation of the country. The tyranny of forcing one single religion of the old country onto the new world is part of why the US fought for independence.

          1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

            Amber, how can you say that? The 13 colonies were the states that met and ratified the constitution as represented by our original flag that had 13 stars and still has only 13 stripes. Your reasoning alludes me.

    2. shiningwolf9's Avatar shiningwolf9

      Though one post, above, mentioned many "sects" of christianism, which it is hard for me to believe that their "lord" would have approved, since there is no such sects of his teachings in their book, it has so curiously (ha) that the hosts of christianisms followers disavowed many hindu, buddhist, those from the orient (there were many), etc., living among them also. It is as if only christianism's dissected "faith" are the only early settlers/colonists. So sad, they still, today, will not acknowledge any other people, or belief system but their own. Harassment, torture, punishment,..., all in the name of their lord of love, forgiveness, peace teaching. Again, how sad.

      1. shiningwolf9's Avatar shiningwolf9

        Forgive the glitch in above post.

    3. Joe Stutler's Avatar Joe Stutler

      There's more to the story. And no, this action merely diminishes their religion and their state.

  1. John Heaven Concepcion's Avatar John Heaven Concepcion

    They called him Relic. A man from a forgotten Earth, his arrival on our bio-engineered utopia, Elysium, shattered centuries of tranquility. He was a walking anomaly, a living embodiment of a lost reality. They studied him, analyzed him, but I was captivated. His eyes held not the sterile perfection of our engineered minds, but a raw, untamed fire.

    One day, he requested a forbidden text: a dusty philosophy book on something called the "correspondence theory of truth." Intrigued, I joined him. He spoke of a world where truth wasn't preordained, but a reflection of our experiences with reality. Our world, with its perfect weather, pre-programmed emotions, seemed absurd to him. Yet, for me, his chaos was a spark of individuality I craved.

    We spent stolen hours deciphering the book, his voice, rough from disuse, weaving tales of a world painted by sunsets and storms, of love fueled by passion and heartbreak. His truth, so different from my programmed existence, ignited a yearning in my soul. He taught me to question, to see the world not as a pre-rendered simulation, but as a canvas waiting to be painted with experience.

    Our meetings became a dance on the edge of a cliff. Love blossomed, forbidden and exhilarating. But whispers turned to accusations. His presence, a disruption in our perfect system, was deemed a threat. They threatened to exile him, to erase him, and with him, the truth he carried.

    That night, under a sky programmed to shimmer with a million artificial stars, I made a choice. I helped him escape. We fled to an abandoned sector, a wasteland untouched by utopia's control. It was harsh, unforgiving, a stark contrast to what I knew. But as I held his hand, watching a real sunrise paint the horizon with streaks of gold and crimson, I understood. This raw, untamed truth, reflected in the reality we shared, was more beautiful than any programmed perfection.

    The correspondence theory of truth, once just words on a page, became the foundation of our love story. In the chaos we found solace, in the untamed reality, we found love. And perhaps, in challenging the perfect world, we found our own imperfect truth.

    1. Rev. BH's Avatar Rev. BH

      A pleasant short sci-fi tale, but what has it to do with Tennessee's list of state books?

      1. John Heaven Concepcion's Avatar John Heaven Concepcion

        They just want to give a message, which they can't even interpret. You heard about Carl Jung's written works?

        1. Dr. Zerpersande, NSC's Avatar Dr. Zerpersande, NSC

          But how does it apply to a bunch of religiously delusional mountain folk that don’t understand that the Constitution says ‘No’ to their little idea?.

  1. Cliff D Downing's Avatar Cliff D Downing

    lol.... the majority of people in America at the time of the Revolutionary War might have been Christians but they sure were adamant about separating church and state. There's no doubt in my mind the would also revolt against making any religious text a "Official State book". Wonder what we have to do to get people to start using their brains. We have a real shortage of intelligent thought in the world today.

    1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

      Cliff, I think you miss some important ideas. The people's of the various states were Christians, just from different denominations. I asked Google if the early states had state religions. It replied, "Yes, many states had established churches before the First Amendment was ratified in 1791. Establishment meant that the government directly supported the church, and many early state constitutions required office holders to take an oath that supported the established faith." So, not allowing the federal government to establish a church that all must be members of was a way, it seems, to ensure that the various states could continue to do so. Here's a quote from an article published by an organization from Middle Tennessee State University, "Although the establishment clause of the First Amendment clearly prohibits the creation of a national church, when the amendment was ratified in 1791 it did not eliminate established churches in those states where they still existed; indeed, it would have encountered opposition in those states if it had sought to do so ..." https://firstamendment.mtsu.edu/article/established-churches-in-early-america/#:~:text=Although%20the%20establishment%20clause%20of,had%20sought%20to%20do%20so

      So your belief that the early Christians would have been adamant about a separation of church and state seems unlikely. They would have opposed such efforts. But they might have supported keeping the federal government out of their churches.

  1. Tim Williams's Avatar Tim Williams

    It’s no one business but ours what we do in Tennessee, we are predominantly a Christian state and we can have the Bible as our official book if we so choose. The world would be a better place if everyone would do the same

  1. Robert E. Polston's Avatar Robert E. Polston

    Greetings Friends,

    I am sad to say that I find a great deal of bifurcation which provides paths from ignorance, pride, intolerance, and hate in forced acceptance or promotion of the bible by the Tennessee government. It is unquestionably a violation of our United States Constitution and is disrespectful to citizen freedom and civil rights.

    Jesus bid his followers to; Matt. 28 Verses 19 to 20 “[19] Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, [20] teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age."

    Making disciples implies that people take up a cause or belief with a free will and an open heart, not that they are harassed and forced to submit. Jesus offered himself as an example, a teacher, a student, and a Master who was gentle, loving, and forgiving. He provided us not with a browbeating of the ten commandments, but with only two commands for us to follow in his name.

    Matthew 22:37-40 “Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and mind and soul.’ This is the most important. But there is a second like it: ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.”

    The Separation of Church and State does not stand against religious freedom, for secularism, nor does it seek to restrain freedom of faith. Separation of church and state is designed to promote and defend the freedom of each citizen to believe as they see fit without intimidation or obligation inculcated in an authority like a government or social contract.

    If you believe that God is all powerful, then you must reason that if God wanted us to believe in him in a certain way that we could be made to submit by the All-Powerful Master of the Universe. However, if you experience the same reality that I experience we are given freedom to live, love, and have faith in life as we choose. This freedom is a gift in life and is celebrated in our declaration of independence,

    Declaration Of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

    Making disciples of all nations seems to be a guiding principle of the Christian faith that deserves to be accomplished as Jesus would inspire us. The Separation of Church and State seems to be God’s own way of letting everyone make a free choice. The two commandments from Jesue seem to be the best way to promote Christianity, by example, not force.

    Best Wishes to you all. Rev. Bob

    1. ServantOfJudgement's Avatar ServantOfJudgement

      Read the declaration of Independence. You'll quickly find a glaring paradox with what you've said.

      If we may not have God in our government, how can we identify God as the source of our authority and put it in print declaring were creating our own government? God is(was)integral with USA as written in our founding documents.

      The Constitution does not permit the federal government to establish a religion. Not Christianity , not Islam, not paganism, not wokism, not climbing changism.

      Tennessee did not establish a government. They highlighted a book printed in America when independence from a dictator was achieved.

      1. Robert E. Polston's Avatar Robert E. Polston

        In the face of intolerant stubborn ignornace there is no need to respond as you see things as you wish rather than in a larger spectrum. Good luck with that and AMEN to you too.

        1. Robert E. Polston's Avatar Robert E. Polston

          One more very important fact is that our Declaration of Independence is NOT the forming of a government but our reason for forming ourown government. Our constitution is our formal government and it is also a living document to which we made additions, corrections, and interpretations as we move forward. Most of the founding fathers were not pius men or men of the Christian fath. Get your facts straight and try to open your mind if you have a small can opener to accomplish such a task.

          1. ServantOfJudgement's Avatar ServantOfJudgement

            Not sure why you need to insult Robert, we basically agree. You're not alone, people like to insult me. I don't mind it really, I know it's just chest thumping. Kinda amusing.

            If I sign a document and send it to a dictator who will put a target on me and everyone I know, I'd better buy into what that document says. Those 58 delegates either bought into a God or their constituents did. Period. You don't sign your own death warrant to be cute and get votes. You send something like that because you mean business, you mean what you've said. By the way it turned out, we all know they meant business.

            For a fun mental exercise read the time stamped 10th amendment. Study it. Then find all the illegal amendments we've added that violate the tenth.

            Study your living document that's also etched in stone, just like the Bible is. Inspired by God no doubt.

            FYI, can openers are universal but thanks for the suggestion just the same.

      2. Dr. Zerpersande, NSC's Avatar Dr. Zerpersande, NSC

        You personally can ‘identify god, or a door knob, as whatever source you wish. You can’t make an official religion.

    2. Mary Diane Johnson's Avatar Mary Diane Johnson

      Amen and 100% facts in all areas. This sums it all up. Answers to all questions in life can be found In the Holy Bible.

    3. Rev. Roe's Avatar Rev. Roe

      Amen

  1. Walter J. Holbrook's Avatar Walter J. Holbrook

    Good morning all. We must remember in this world of who and whom we are looking at. The word of God is being twisted and turned. False interpretations are being narrated in our churches. The word of God has never changed. Only the people who profess it.

  1. John J Albers's Avatar John J Albers

    The decision to designate the Bible as a state book involves balancing constitutional principles, historical accuracy, and cultural significance.

    The first concern lies in the potential violation of the First Amendment, which prohibits the government from establishing or endorsing any particular religion.

    The First Amendment ensures both the right to worship freely and the prohibition of government favoritism toward any religious establishment.

    While the Bible holds immense religious and cultural significance, treating it as a historical document raises valid questions about its accuracy and objectivity.

    These components include contemporary first-hand accounts, external corroborating evidence, and a critical analysis methodology.

    The Bible is not merely a rulebook or an encyclopedia of disjointed stories. Instead, it is a relational book that tells us about the God who creates and redeems a people for Himself. It emphasizes a personal relationship with God rather than a rigid set of rules.

    Lastly, we already see the consequences of conservative book bans in some states. The issue that will impact the Bible itself, and will lead to complex debates:

    • About literature and the Word of God (which goes against the Constitution).
    • Some passages have multiple layers of meaning, leading to diverse interpretations across different traditions and cultures. — The Bible emerged from ancient Near Eastern cultures. — While we prioritize Scripture over culture, we must also recognize that applying biblical principles today involves considering the epochal, cultural, and personal differences between original audiences and modern readers.
    1. Understanding its context—social, political, and religious—is crucial.
    2. Consider the parable of the Prodigal Son. North American readers often overlook the famine the prodigal experiences away from home because most Americans haven’t faced severe famine. In contrast, Russian readers, with their cultural history of World War II famine, readily recognize this aspect of the story.

    - Some biblical stories involve morally complex situations; such as hatred against foreign peoples, killing, and let’s not forget the sexual appropriateness implied or talked about - is it really appropriate for all ages? — Just look at two examples: abortion and LGBTQ issues! - Some writers (religious persons) misused biblical themes to justify harmful ideologies or oppressive structures. - Who wrote the Bible? Was it divinely inspired? How was it really transmitted—human or divinely? - No translation captures the full richness of the original text. Interpretive choices impact meaning and which one will become the excepted version. — What happens to those who don’t accept that choice?

  1. Valerie Van Haltern's Avatar Valerie Van Haltern

    Becoming unquestionable that there are states that are no longer safe for human habitation-- what they do to others they do to themselves

  1. Dennis Horvitz's Avatar Dennis Horvitz

    When proselytizing by example is an obvious pathetic failure the last, desperate resort is to have the government prop up their religion.. Of course, this isn't really about religion, this is about power.

  1. The Marriage Minister's Avatar The Marriage Minister

    So much of this is driven by White nationalism. AKA The MAGA horde. Those that follow a yellow haired fraud. The morons that bend a knee to false prophet. They plan to demolish the separation of church and state.

  1. DAVID LEONARD VEGA's Avatar DAVID LEONARD VEGA

    The Critical Need for Church-State Separation and All Related Trappings in Tennessee

    In Tennessee, the imperative to uphold a strict separation between Church and State has never been more critical. Christian nationalism and other forms of theocratic extremism are gaining alarming momentum, driven by white supremacists and extremist factions. These movements not only undermine Tennessee's commitment to democracy but also assault the foundational values of diversity, inclusion, and equity.

    The state's recent move to declare the Christian Bible as its official book is a stark violation of the principle of religious neutrality. This decision overtly marginalizes non-Christian citizens and symbolizes a dangerous merging of religious doctrine with state governance. Such actions threaten the civil liberties of all Tennesseans, laying the groundwork for a biased and oppressive government.

    This merger between religious extremism and state power is fostering a highly divisive and discriminatory agenda. It is causing social alienation and promoting narratives that target minority communities. These actions place minorities under the yoke of laws and social practices that are imbued with bigotry and disproportionate power dynamics.

    Furthermore, Tennessee's nostalgic fixation on its antebellum past is driving these regressive ideologies forward. This troubling trend is manifesting a desire for a racially segregated society, which is deeply concerning. The state's actions are in direct opposition to the principles of fairness and inclusivity, which are essential for a just and equitable society.

    The rise of religious intolerance in Tennessee is paving the way for a fusion of racist Christian ideologies with American governance. This dangerous trend threatens to permanently alter the nation's identity, fostering exclusion based on religion and race. It could potentially lead to autocratic and theocratic governance, undermining the democratic fabric of the country.

    The support that this movement could potentially receive from global authoritarian figures like Putin, Xi, Kim, and Khamenei is alarming. Their interest in exploiting these vulnerabilities could significantly compromise the United States' stance on the global stage. This presents a severe international threat that must be addressed.

    The historical irony observed by America’s native communities must be acknowledged. They see white colonizers imposing racially motivated superiority and authoritarianism over other groups, which is starkly hypocritical. This underscores the need for immediate and substantial reform in Tennessee's political landscape.

    Civic leaders, activists, and concerned citizens across Tennessee must stand firm in their commitment to defending the separation of Church and State. They must advocate fervently for a society that upholds and protects fairness, respect, and equality. This advocacy is crucial not just for countering the current extremist agendas but also for safeguarding Tennessee's democratic values and justice.

    The need for immediate action cannot be overstated. Without it, Tennessee risks becoming a stronghold of extremism that could disrupt the foundational principles of American democracy. The transformation of conservative terminology into synonyms for racism, authoritarianism, and despotism signals a severe crisis.

    Tennessee is at a pivotal crossroads, and the decisions made now will determine the state's future. It can either reclaim its role as a beacon of justice and equity or descend into a dystopian state dominated by theocratic and autocratic rule. The ongoing struggle against these divisive forces is critical for the survival and integrity of democracy not just in Tennessee, but across the nation.

  1. Takaya Kovani Sweeney's Avatar Takaya Kovani Sweeney

    Why can’t everyone just mind their own fg lives?

    Why force your shxt on someone else. If people want to read something, then they can fg read it…BY THEMSELVES.

    Same with the book bans…take out what others want to cram this bullshxt in.

    I’m so sick of all of these cherry picking hypocrites trying so hard to be self righteous that they’re trampling others to do it…oh, the irony.

  1. Parson Golden's Avatar Parson Golden

    Keeping it on a list of books is really not a problem based on his historical context. Referring to it however it will be another story altogether.

    1. shiningwolf9's Avatar shiningwolf9

      That's the problem, the book list was a way to put it out there in public's face, using the history of printing it on this land (was not the United States yet) as a way to do it.

    2. Dr. Zerpersande, NSC's Avatar Dr. Zerpersande, NSC

      Yes, it is the problem. Because it makes it’ official’ book. And since the book involves a religion….

  1. Nicholas J Page's Avatar Nicholas J Page

    I personally can't comment as I'm an English Man and I don't understand Americas constitution.

    1. Chris's Avatar Chris

      Don't feel left out. For too many Americans, the bible and the Constitution are very similar in that they constantly wave them around and refer to them without actually understanding them.

  1. Marion Alma Nelson's Avatar Marion Alma Nelson

    I think its viable to make the Aiken Bible a State book with such history connected to it.

    1. Donald J Rothschild Jr's Avatar Donald J Rothschild Jr

      That bible has NO connection to Tennessee. It was first published in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. However, it is the only edition of the Bible authorized by Congress.

  1. Rolando Couce's Avatar Rolando Couce

    Awesome simply awesome now let's follow the rules

    1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

      No I don’t think so. I’ve never been one for stoning people to death, and owning slaves, which that particular God obviously condoned, but if that’s what you’d like, Sir Roland, I’m sure your God will be pleased with you.

      🦁❤️

  1. ServantOfJudgement's Avatar ServantOfJudgement

    It's an historical document integral with our independence. It's not state sponsored religion. It's a good thing.

    The Declaration of Independence specifically identifies God as the source of our authority to declare independence from England.

    This debate is a dead debate. Our future is plain to see. We created this nation under God. When we move from God, which we're free to do and are doing, expect judgement, which is happening right now.

    To those who are watchmen or wise, store enough food and water so you can form a plan with clarity of mind when anarchy comes. You won't want to do that on while you're parched, starving and on the run.

    1. Chris's Avatar Chris

      The Declaration refers to Nature's God, which as many Pagans can tell you is not the same as the Judeo-Christian god. It goes on to refer to a Creator. Most Native Americans will tell you this is not necessarily the Judeo-Christian God. Claiming yours is the only true god and the one specified in the Declaration, is arrogant. It was worded in such a way to allow each person their own freedom of religion to determine their own deity, their own creation belief.

      The only judgement I see coming is that of the evangelical extremists who are demanding we all follow the religion they claim even though they can't do so themselves. And has been evidenced lately on college campuses around the country, those in positions of authority are using their extremists views to silence any dissent by force. It's begun. The question now is, will you be on the side of those killing in the name of love, or those calling for peace?

      1. ServantOfJudgement's Avatar ServantOfJudgement

        Chris,

        No need to split hairs on what god the Christians were referring to, just God is fair enough for my argument. God is the source of our authority, he's in our founding documents, the nation was founded on that principle, that we have a creator.

        As far as our imminent biblical judgement(yep, were repeating the old testament judgements right now), if you see nothing disastrous coming for the USA then simply ignore what I've said and leave your cupboards with enough food and water for tomorrow. Worry about it when you've got none. That warning wasn't for you if that's your stance.

        For what it's worth, what you said about judgement due to Christians not being Christian, ya got that right. I can't disagree one single bit. The nation is just about to get a cosmic spanking, it's already started.

        1. Michael Hunt's Avatar Michael Hunt

          I'm looking forward to that "cosmic spanking" coming any day now. Why don't you just hide out in your bunker while the rest of us face impending judgement. Do yourself a favor and lock yourself away from the rest of the sane world.

          1. Dr. Zerpersande, NSC's Avatar Dr. Zerpersande, NSC

            Nope, they have to do the equivalent to making a sign and ranting/raving on the streets. Equally as smart as a sack of hammers.

            1. ServantOfJudgement's Avatar ServantOfJudgement

              Dr Z, im surprised you make such light about national destruction. It wasn't that long ago God judged Japan and convinced them to stop the very naughty practice of worshipping their emperor as God. I'll bet that event emptied the shelves at the grocery rather quickly.

              They were the last people on earth to worship their governmental leader as God.

              Bad emperor! Bad!

              1. Dr. Zerpersande, NSC's Avatar Dr. Zerpersande, NSC

                The potential destruction that needs addressing has zero to do with religion. The criminal courts are currently in the process of judging the source of this danger. Worry about that.

                God didn’t judge Japan. A group of SCIENTISTS made a contraption that resulted in surrender. God had zilch to do with it.

          2. ServantOfJudgement's Avatar ServantOfJudgement

            Young Michael,

            Lol, I'm not talking about judgement day. I'm talking about the USA falling. As I said, you don't think it's getting hot outside then just keep enough food in the cupboard for tomorrows breakfast and laugh till your heart's content. Trust the tap water will always be there when you flip the lever.

            1. Michael Hunt's Avatar Michael Hunt

              If the USA is failing it's because of the extremist policies and denial of scientific study by the conservative right, of which you are clearly a supporter.

        2. Deborah Lynn Strafuss's Avatar Deborah Lynn Strafuss

          Y'now, the Bible was not referring to storing up food and water for a crisis, it was referring to being spiritually prepared for living by storing up spiritual strength and resiliency for times of trial and conflict, learning discernment and spiritual wisdom to see through deception and obfusication, and developing a pure heart - filled with forgiveness for ourselves, our fellow humans and with compassion for all creatures, expressing adoration and gratitude for the gifts of beauty and life and love found in this amazing experience of being alive.

          If we cannot bring biblical lessons, which are about the nature of the human heart in living its life, into relevence in our present lives, it is a dead book followed by deadened spirits. No the bible is not about Jesus. It is about us, recording our horrific history, trying to explain the cruelty of our hearts from the first murder of the innocent to the last. Able to Jesus. It is our own dreadful, sad story that we see still being lived out over and over again today. And it features human hope and the triumph of the human spirit - those strengths of love we are told to nurture and develop through adversity and spiritual practice. End of sermon.

          On the topic, a historical bible that was printed as an act of significant independance from England's tyranny during our formative history, whether native to TN or not, is that. Historical. What they do with that next is what remains to be seen. (My opinion on that one - certainly see how controversial this can be especially if it triggers an emotional/fear response. TN is our sister/brother state and as such is part of all of us - compassion.)

          1. ServantOfJudgement's Avatar ServantOfJudgement

            Wise things Deborah, thanks.

            I was meaning literally store provisions enough to get you through an actual national crisis. Enough provisions to last until you can form a plan of action.

            My father endured the great depression and my great grandfather endured the civil war. My warnings come from experience, realism and current events that coincide flawlessly with destroyed civilizations of the past. Does not history repeat itself?

            Just trying to warn people, that's all. I'm expressing compassion and concern, even for those that loathe me.

            Stay safe.

    2. Dr. Zerpersande, NSC's Avatar Dr. Zerpersande, NSC

      Yeah, but we don’t rule by the declaration of independence we ruleby the constitution. And I would argue that nature God is the same thing as Spinoza’s God. Espinoza God was the universe. Spinoza was an atheist. He was attempting to avoid criticism by the religiously delusional of his time.

    3. Tecla Caryl Loup's Avatar Tecla Caryl Loup

      BS

  1. Dr. Zerpersande, NSC's Avatar Dr. Zerpersande, NSC

    This is just another example of the religiously delusional to bring religion into government. The founding fathers wanted to prevent a theocracy, these whackjobs want a xtian version of the type of government the US tried, and failed miserably, to prevent near the birthplace of the Bronze Age Abrahamic religions.

  1. Jannetje Eleanore Van Went's Avatar Jannetje Eleanore Van Went

    I'm just going to say it like this, leaders are followed not forced. The other state leaders, did not make this choice because they were staying open to economic gains. If we go back to when faiths were held by each country of origin, then no one of another faith is welcome, this hinders economic growth. Today it will seem a forced perspective, so no other people of faith will feel comfortable and welcome in Tennessee. The other part is Christianity is a beautiful faith, those who are lost find hope in it, what if this closes the door to the always understood logic that Christianity was something people found so much hope, love and faith in that they live to share what they have learned from this faith, what if this decision causes others to not feel comfortable to go to this state and the Christian faith is crippled because it forces leadership and does not keep its doors open to all, so they see its beauty in those who live the Christian life so whole heartedly. People of other faiths have even become Christian because they saw the beauty in others beliefs, if they do not feel welcome in a state that sees forcing perspectives instead of inviting the love of the perspective in, the economy is also lowered, even good Christians won't see this as a way, you may loose new perspectives but also those who are true followers. Who will fill the needs of your state, if you are not followed.

    1. Dr. Zerpersande, NSC's Avatar Dr. Zerpersande, NSC

      Really? Not having the Goat Herders Guide to Life as a State book is going to cause souls to lose hope and decrease the State’s tourism revenue?

      This was just a poorly written ‘sermon’ with a working title of ‘Visit Tennessee to save your soul and marry your cousin!’

  1. Dr. Zerpersande, NSC's Avatar Dr. Zerpersande, NSC

    Ahhh, I found it. This sums up the Tennessee situation rather well.

    https://youtu.be/QFgcqB8-AxE?si=UUayR7toZK64U0gF

  1. Merlin's Avatar Merlin

    They must be willing to accept the questionable( ie. Ezekiel 23:20) as well as the spiritual. I wager that they have no idea.

  1. Jimmy Moon's Avatar Jimmy Moon

    There is no separation of state and church. That's just liberal bull to get GOD out of America. IF it were true, then why did a lot of major colleges start out as Christian? Answer that, Satan worshipers.

    1. Dr. Zerpersande, NSC's Avatar Dr. Zerpersande, NSC

      Just woke up. Thanks for starting my day off with a chuckle,

  1. Robin Anne Hannon's Avatar Robin Anne Hannon

    It is my understanding that when America was founded, the idea was to keep it from being under the boot of the Church of England. The idea was to avoid a religious theocracy in which tyranny reigned in the form of religion. We are slowly headed back to that tyranny which has nothing to do with Christianity, and everything to do with unlimited power in the name of faith. In terms of taking scriptures out of context in both old and New Testament, stop drinking the cool aid. Educate yourselves more. We can always piece scriptures together, but then it becomes inane. Classic example used to be a joke, now it's just reality when it comes to scripture and cherry picking it. "Jesus went and hung himself, go ye and do likewise." We have to be careful not to add or subtract to scriptures.

  1. Ari Joseph Bertine's Avatar Ari Joseph Bertine

    As reactive as I usually am to any genuine Constitutional challenges, this one does not alarm me. It's an "Official State Book". They also have Official State Bird, Official State Flower, and Official State Insect. Those designations do not elevate those species of organisms over others in the state, nor do they affect any legislation. They do send a message about the state's preferences, and that could be both beneficial and problematic; knowing that one of Tennessee's official state books is a Christian bible could both attract new residents to TN as well as deterring new residents that don't want to live in a state that so boldly proclaims a religious preference like that. It does nothing legally but it does a lot socially. If I lived in TN, I would be annoyed at it, but the specific Aitken bible listed is a historical book because of its printing circumstance. Yes, they are trying to move the line toward establishing government religion, but it's not like they are doing it secretly or even sneakily because everyone knows they are trying to move the line. It's just another sketchy thing done by an already sketchy state that people are keeping an eye on.

    That said, there are other worse problems affecting those who live in Tennessee and my heart goes out to anyone stuck there. It's not a friendly place, but many of its people still have good hearts. I can only hope that this will win out over the more sinister faction of its state government.

    1. Dr. Zerpersande, NSC's Avatar Dr. Zerpersande, NSC

      It may not alarm you but it is a foot in the door , the proverbial inch and just an overall moronic idea. The State (a part of the US government, wants to officially acknowledge the importance of the very source of Bronze Age Abrahamic religions. Inch and a mile.

  1. Don Carlo Battaglia's Avatar Don Carlo Battaglia

    "Lake of Fire." "Judgment Day." Mythology at its finest.

  1. Daniel Tressler's Avatar Daniel Tressler

    The "Separation of Church and State" actually had nothing to do with religion. It was whether an Educational System followed the Educational Guidelines. The fact that the Educational System happened to be Catholic was NOT the deciding factor. They refused to follow the Educational Guidelines!

    This misstating the rule is as the 2nd Amendment. It does NOT allow "We the People" to bear arms. It states that the Government CAN NOT TAKE OUR GUNS AWAY.

    Our guns are to be used to keep a Government by the people, as they were used in 1860 when the Democrat SLAVE Masters Party Government tried to take over.

    The reason is so that we NEVER end up with the Government in charge, as when the British ruled America!

    1. Dr. Zerpersande, NSC's Avatar Dr. Zerpersande, NSC

      The separation if church and State is exactly what it says. It wasn’t originally meant to be so broad. The founding fathers originally wanted “ The separation of church and State in so far as any attempt being made to allow the wearing funny hats of any kind.” Many thought that idiots of the future would try to make end runs around this by challenging and questioning the concept of ‘funny’ so they just lopped it off, feeling that the such clear and concise wording of the remaining part would cut the industrious nitwits off at the pass. Oh, but man evolves. Let ‘em have guns and now they need silenced automatic assault, grenades and tanks.

  1. Julio Dumano's Avatar Julio Dumano

    I 'm very excited to read that, one of state of USA put the Bible first, how can I say? Is God really first in everything there?

    let's me know; I really want to see that nowadays; one community has respect for the Bible and has Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, That amazing, wonderful.

    what about the public and private schools have some Bibles's teachers in? we want to encourage that and continue to keep the bible first. respect and obey God in everything you do.

    wooow God is good all the time. may the holly spirits keep your ways for ever.

    Kind Regards! Reverend Julio Dumano.

    1. Dr. Zerpersande, NSC's Avatar Dr. Zerpersande, NSC

      Don’t know about the spirits inhabiting holly bushes, but your post is the EXACT reason that the bible should not be a part of any government facility. You start off with yourvexcitement on the bible thing and quickly come to the conclusion you need Bible’s teachers(sic) in PUBLIC schools.

  1. Cynthia B. Adwell's Avatar Cynthia B. Adwell

    Am I misunderstanding the article, in some way? It was my understanding that the Aitken Bible is included not because it is a Christian text, or Christian Bible, but because it was the first Bible put together by Aitken and printed in Tennessee. Am I correct? As such, to those non-Christian, I do not understand the upheaval. It is included because of its historical value. No one is saying you have to read it. Or you have to become a Christian just because one of the several books chosen to be the state book happens to be a Christian text. My grandfather would have stated, ‘Get your panties untwisted!’ If I were a stranger, and simply fell onto this site, I would be appalled at how this forum reads! Instead of coming together, and discussing it calmly, and really listening to one another, some of you are attempting to pour damnation and hell fire on the first person who says something you don’t like to hear! I am a Christian, proudly, and have been for 54 years! Am I glad to see it included in the list of state books for Tennessee? Of course I am. In an ideal world (as I would see it), this act would bring Christianity to the masses, and we would end up in the world’s largest revival because of it! Instead, I would not, however, as much as it pains me to say this, would not have included it in the list. Simply because, those who endorse its inclusion are not behaving as a Christian should. When all we can do is condemn those who disagree with the book, then we are setting ourselves up for a fall. Jesus, is the Christ, yet He Himself did not condemn. Remember that He regularly dined with the sinners. Included them as His friends. He did not win others to follow Him by telling them they were going to Hell, but by loving them. And serving them. Why are Christians so lax in showing that side of our belief?

    1. DAVID LEONARD VEGA's Avatar DAVID LEONARD VEGA

      Religious texts, Bible, et.al., can not be an official work of a state of the union.

  1. KendraCrows's Avatar KendraCrows

    Please do not harm or send harm to each other over a state accepting a popular belief, for it becomes a precedent to then accept others. The bible as we know it now, is simplified for the public. The original history if even documented correctly may have been translated incorrectly, and the most redacted book of stories in the history of humanity to rule the majority of believers. We are taught to accept all beliefs, whether true, untrue, or redacted, to offer the light and heal the lost. Fighting only shows fear and not knowledge. Blessings to those who understand without blame, for if we knew everything, we would not be petty here.

  1. Victor Allen Hawthorne's Avatar Victor Allen Hawthorne

    Y'all are dancing around the true answer with your arrogance, and all knowing emotionally driven opinions. I don't believe Tennessee is attempting to create a State Church, or offend non-believers in any sect. The Bible has affected millions of people of all faiths. Its influence has transformed a way of life for generations for over three thousand years. Some say it is foolish story full of myth. Yet, this world would be entirely different without it. The Bible is an important text that cannot be denied. I think it is worthy of the honor bestowed as a State Book.

  1. Edward D Torres's Avatar Edward D Torres

    How impotent you have become bowing to separation from God in Government. Every State in the United States established the Religion in the Almighty God of the Bible. Public school started in the Churches with the Bible as a book of Literature and History. We need to stand and defend our Nation under God and not cower and retreat with people who are anti Christ The son of God

  1. Edward D Torres's Avatar Edward D Torres

    Jesus is history and how you worship him is your religion. We are trying to bring Creationism and Intelligent Design. The irreducible complexity of the cell debunks evolution. RNA and DNA 21st Century Science proves our Intelligent Design. Have you no fear of God suffering the children to come into the knowledge of God our Creator who so loved the world He sent Jesus the Christ.

  1. Michelle Kitz's Avatar Michelle Kitz

    Politicians need to stop getting their religion all over my government. This country is made up of people of many religions and beliefs. Having one religion's book given a higher position over others is against everything this country was founded on. Freedom of religion is one of our most basic tenets. Some people are conveniently forgetting that to push their own agendas with Christianity as their weapon.

  1. Joseph Edward McCroskey's Avatar Joseph Edward McCroskey

    Must everything and every opinion be w divisive line? Lets come together in Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion. Divide and Conquer is an old saying that seems to me very applicable today. We must come together as a nation, view our opinions without the negativity.

  1. Evone Payton Banks (Minister non denominational)'s Avatar Evone Payton Banks (Minister non denominational)

    This has so many legalities. First to make it a state book, you'd have to say the entire state is a Christian state. Second you'd literally have to have the entire state on board with such a bill that wanted to be passed. There's more to this story. I need more info to give a better informed opinion

  1. Peter Senderowitz's Avatar Peter Senderowitz

    There is no real separation of Church and State in the U.S. Freedom to Worship does not equal such a separation. Make churches, synagogues, mosques, whatever, pay taxes like everyone else! Let's let Tennessee secede from the Union, but they must leave their whiskey to us.Rev. Peter S.

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