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Tennessee State Rep Proposes “Bible Of The Revolution” As One Of Ten State Books

Image Credit: Museum of the Bible / Facebook

The Tennessee Conservative Staff –

Legislators are looking again at making the Bible the state book of Tennessee.

State Representative Gino Bulso (R-Brentwood-District 61) has introduced House Bill 1828 (HB1828) which would make the Aitken Bible, along with several other written works, an official state book in Tennessee.

The Aitken Bible is the first edition of the Bible that was printed in the United States during the time of the Revolutionary War. If the bill passes, the Bible would be one of ten written pieces that “helped shape Tennessee” or that “Tennessee’s sons and daughters have written that have helped to shape a nation.”

The following works are proposed as state books:

·      A Death in the Family by James Agee (1958)

·      Aitken Bible (1782)

·      All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren (1947)

·      American Lion by Jon Meacham (2009)

·      The Civil War: A Narrative by Shelby Foote (1958-1974)

·      Coat of Many Colors by Dolly Parton (2016)

·      Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville (1835 and 1840)

·      George Washington’s Farewell Address to the American People (1796)

·      Papers of Andrew Jackson

·      Roots by Alex Haley (1977)

While Bulso argues that Tennessee is home to three of the five existing Aitken Bibles that are privately owned, it is expected that his proposed legislation will receive pushback that is similar to arguments raised against former Representative Jerry Sexton who pushed for similar legislation each year.

In the past, other lawmakers have argued that both Tennessee’s constitution and that of the federal government restrict the establishment of religion by the government.

The bill addresses that, however, saying, “Tocqueville explains why George Washington was correct when he described religion and morality as the ‘indispensable supports’ of our political prosperity. Indeed, de Tocqueville wrote that religion ‘should be considered the first’ of America’s ‘political institutions.’”

Tennessee already has several official state symbols, such as the state horse (Tennessee Walking Horse), the state rifle (Barrett .50-caliber), and a state reptile (Eastern Box Turtle).

Another proposal from Senator Adam Lowe (R-Calhoun-District 1) seeks to make hot slaw the official state food of Tennessee and to make Cleveland the “hot slaw capital” or the state. Representative Jason Powell (D-Nashville-District 53) has introduced a bill that would make “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” by Brenda Lee the state’s official holiday song.

Some representatives want to limit the number of state symbols, but, to date, proposals to do so have failed.

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