Louisiana Lawmakers Pushing Bill to Make Bible Official State Book

bible-5When it comes to the topic of religion and government I don’t get why this is still a debate.  The First Amendment couldn’t be anymore clear.  We’re a nation that, in no way, will base our government (any government) on religious principles.

Freedom of religion means that citizens, in private, can practice any religion they want as much as they want.  Again, in private.  

For some reason conservatives just seem unable to grasp this concept.  To them, “freedom of religion” gives them the right to force their religion onto other people.  You know, the opposite of “freedom of religion” for those who do not agree with whatever religion is trying to be forced upon them.

Well, a bill in Louisiana seeks to do two things.  First it would make the Bible Louisiana’s official state book.  And second it will waste a lot of taxpayer money, as this bill (if passed) will ultimately be deemed unconstitutional when all is said and done.

Conservatives seem to believe that the Tenth Amendment allows states to do whatever they want.  It’s the infamous “states’ rights” amendment.  The very amendment bigots and racists have used forever to defend things like slavery, segregation, bans on interracial marriage and more recently opposition to same-sex marriage.

And it’s true, the Tenth Amendment does give states certain rights – as long as those rights don’t violate the Constitution.  Declaring a religious text like the Bible the “official state book” would do just that.

For those who would say this isn’t a violation of the First Amendment, how exactly can a state adopt the religious book from one religion without adopting the entire religion?  Making the Bible the official state book would essentially make Christianity the official religion of Louisiana.

The most maddening part of this entire thing is the fact that if the bill passes, there’s no way it holds up in court.  So if this bill eventually becomes law all it will do is waste time, money and accomplish absolutely nothing because it will be struck down by some court that actually follows our Constitution.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • Eddie Krebbs

    Dumb Question: what would happen if Utah declared the Book of Mormon the state book and required it to be read in the classroom ?

    • Ryan G.

      The same thing — it would be shot down.

    • moe/larry & curly keys

      Christians would throw a fit

  • Preacher son

    The zealots are everywhere and are determined to bring “America” back into the Christian fold. What they can not grasp is that we never were a Christian nation. This term, IN GOD WE TRUST, was never part of the national dialogue until the Commie witch hunt in the 50’s. Regardless of the cost and waste of time they will march on insisting that they are on a holy mission to bring God’s will to us all. Their interpretation of the First Amendment is far from what you and I read and understand it to say. I can’t count the number of times that I have heard, “where in the Constitution does it say that there is a separation of Church and State?” – the First Amendment dummy.

  • wallygator60

    Oh its going to replace the Sears catalog.

    • MrLightRail

      And us older folks remember what the Sears Catalog was best for!!

      • freethinker666

        LOL

    • moe/larry & curly keys

      sears stock went up a ton today!!
      ================================
      maybe they are selling bibles in Louisiana??

  • Sunny Ray

    Stupid fanatics who like to play with people’s money.

  • John

    Imagine the conservative uproar should Vermont adopt the Koran as its official state book.

  • Gary Menten

    Any law passed in the United States, in order to pass the constitutional test regarding separation of church and state, must:

    A. Serve a clear and secular purpose.
    B. May not promote one religion over any other.
    C. May not promote religion over non-religion.

    This proposed law would violate all three of the above and therefore be immediately struck down by the federal courts. It would never even reach the Supreme Court. It is therefore the essence of stupidity to even propose it.

    • moe/larry & curly keys

      ” there U go again,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,”
      ———— annoying regressives with facts!
      =====================================

  • J-Way

    Technically, as originally written and interpreted by the courts, the US constitution only applied to the Federal government. This included the entirety of the Bill of Rights. It was perfectly constitutional for states to make laws “respecting an establishment of religion”, to restrict gun ownership, and to take property without compensation.

    It wasn’t until the 14th amendment was used (belatedly) to incorporate the Bill of Rights back on the States in the early 20th century that the states started having to adhere to the Rights. Specifically, Everson v Board of Education in 1947 was the SCOTUS case that incorporated the establishment clause of the 1st on the states. The most recent use of incorporation involved the 2nd amendment in McDonald v. Chicago in 2010. Up until just 4 years ago it was constitutional for a State to outlaw guns. Now it isn’t.

    For what it’s worth, even now not all Rights have been incorporated on the states.

    But back on topic, your premise that the “The First Amendment couldn’t be anymore clear” isn’t true. It asserts that “Congress” can’t establish an official religion, but it takes other amendments and centuries of case law before we got to the point where States can’t establish an official religion.

  • freethinker666

    Who is going to read it to them?

    • moe/larry & curly keys

      rand paul and sarah palin and michelle bachman as they soon will not have jobs& need the income