NASHVILLE (WATE) – Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam has vetoed a bill that would have designated the Holy Bible as the official state book.
The bill passed both chambers of the General Assembly despite warnings from state Attorney General Herbert Slatery that it would violate both the U.S. and Tennessee constitutions.
In a letter to House Speaker Beth Harwell, Haslam said his feeling is “that this bill trivializes the Bible, which I believe is a sacred text.”
“If we believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God, then we shouldn’t be recognizing it only as a book of historical and economic significance. If we are recognizing the Bible as a sacred text, then we are violating the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of State of Tennessee by designating it as the official book,” Gov. Haslam goes on to say.Click here to read his full letter.
Sponsors said the bill is meant to honor the historical significance of the Bible in Tennessee and not represent a state endorsement of religion. Haslam said earlier this week he would not wait the full 10 days to decide whether to sign or veto the bill.Previous story: Gov. Haslam to decide on Bible bill by end of this week
Supporters could still try to override the veto, which would only require simple majorities in both chambers.