Tennessee governor vetoes law christening Bible as official book

Discussion in 'News / Current Events' started by Zaac, Apr 15, 2016.

  1. Zaac

    Zaac
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    While I wouldn't see a need to recognize the Bible as the State Book, I think the governor's reasoning is incorrect and if the people of Tennessee want it as the State Book, they should be able to designate it as such.

    It's just a recognition. It's not establishing anything anymore than the Spiritual being the state music of South Carolina or Western Swing being the state music of Texas. For goodness sake. We have a State POSSUM in Georgia. It ain't establishing an official state decree to worship possums.
     
  2. Jeremy Seth

    Jeremy Seth
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    The designation of the Bible as the state book would not violate the US Constitution, that's such a bizarre conclusion with very little textual support.
     
  3. Baptist Believer

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    It would be a state endorsement of a religious text. And what if the version of the Bible that was designated was one with the Apochrypha, would that bother you? What about one of the King James translations? Or the New World Translation (Jehovah's Witness corruption)? Or the Book of Mormon or Koran?

    I bet a bunch of Christians would get upset about some of those choices.
     
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  4. Jeremy Seth

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    Absolutely I would disapprove if it wasn't the 66 Canon books, but it's just not an honest interpretation of the US Constitution to say it is unconstitutional.
     
  5. Baptist Believer

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    Actually, I think it is. If I were the governor, I would do exactly the same thing for the same reason.

    The U.S. Government - including all of the state, county and municipal governments - are supposed to be neutral toward religion, neither promoting nor restricting it. Passed a resolution to provide official sanction to religious text undermines the sense that government is neutral to religion. If you were living in Utah and the state government made the Book of Mormon the official book of the state, would you think that you might have a diminished standing before the officials, the courts and laws of the state of Utah? I would. If I lived in Michigan and the City of Detroit made the Koran the official book of the city, would you think you have a diminished standing before the public servants, the courts and the laws of Detroit? I would.

    He's a question, why are states endorsing books anyway? Do you think a state that endorsed "Fifty Shades of Gray" was giving their approval to the book? It would seem so. Then why would we think that a state endorsing a religious text is somehow not giving approval to the contents of the text? Do you think for one moment that the legislators of the great state of Tennessee are endorsing the rape of Tamar as described in the Bible? I doubt it. What they are doing is endorsing the most popular and broad express of the religion that is derived from the Bible - not actually the book itself.

    That is an endorsement of religion, which Baptists have historically fought against in the United State and around the world. The First Amendment was written under the direct influence of Baptists, Methodists and other like-minded citizens to keep the government out of religious affairs. They believed - like many of us today - that the govenment harms when it means to help religion, and harms when it means to harm religion. Historically, very little if any good has come from state-sponsored religion, except for ancient Israel who was a unique case. We are not descendants of Abraham under the direct calling of God as a nation under the covenant that was completed in Christ.
     
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  6. Zaac

    Zaac
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    From a Constitutional standpoint, I think the Governor is dead wrong. I understand his reasoning. But I don't believe that making the Bible the official book of a state establishes a state religion any more again than naming a Pogo possum the State Possum of Georgia establishes possum worship.

    Like State Mottos and State Songs, this merely recognizes the desire of the people of a state to recognize certain things as popular in their state. It establishes nothing except popularity.

    I mean look at the things that Georgia recognizes as the State "something":

    • State Beef Barbecue Championship Cook-off- The Hawkinsville Civitan Club’s “Shoot the Bull” barbecue championship
    • State Bird- Brown thrasher (Toxostoma rufum)
    • State Botanical garden- The State Botanical Garden of Georgia
    • State Butterfly- Eastern tiger swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)
    • State Commemorative Plates- Georgia Historical Plates
    • State Creed- Georgian's Creed
    • State Crop- Peanut
    • State Fish- Largemouth bass
    • State Flag- Georgia State Flag
    • State Flower- Cherokee Rose (Rosa laevigata)
    • State Folk Dance- Square Dance
    • State Folk Festival- Georgia Folk Festival
    • State Folk Life Play- “Swamp Gravy”
    • State Fossil- Shark tooth
    • State Fruit- Peach
    • State Game Bird-Bobwhite quail
    • State Gem- Quartz
    • State Historic Drama- “The Reach of Song” presented on the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds near Hiawassee
    • State Insect- Honeybee
    • State Marine Mammal- North Atlantic Right Whale (Eubalaena glacialis)
    • State Mineral- Staurolite
    • State Motto- "Wisdom, Justice, Moderation"
    • State Musical Theatre- "Jekyll Island Musical Theatre Festival"
    • State Peanut Monument- Turner County on the west side of Interstate Highway 75 within the limits of the city of Ashburn
    • State Poet Laureate- Judson Mitcham
    • State Pork Cook-off- The Dooly County Chamber of Commerce’s “Slosheye Trail Big Pig Jig
    • State 'Possum- Pogo 'Possum
    • State Poultry- "The Poultry Capitol of the World"
    • State Prepared Food- Grits
    • State Railroad Museum- The Central of Georgia Railroad Shops Complex, Savannah
    • State Reptile- Gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus)
    • State School- Plains High School
    • State Seal- Great Seal of Georgia
    • State Seashell- Knobbed Whelk
    • State Song- Georgia on My Mind, lyrics by Stuart Gorrell and music by Hoagy Carmichael; the previous State Song "Georgia" was composed by Lollie Belle Wylie with words by Robert Loveman.
    • State Tartan- Georgia Tartan
    • State Theater- Springer Opera House, Columbus
    • State Tree- Southern Live Oak (Quercus virginiana)
    • State Transportation History Museum- Southeastern Railway Museum
    • State Vegetable- Vidalia sweet onion
    • State Waltz= "Our Georgia"
    • State Wildflower- Azalea
    I mean we have an official State Pork Cook-off. Does that establish that we don't like Muslims?Again, Spirituals are the State music of South Carolina. If that isn't establishing a state religion, how on earth does the Bible being recognized as the State book do so?O O
     
  7. Aaron

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    If there's enough support, they can override the veto. I think I would have vetoed the bill myself, merely to force it to to an override vote.
     
  8. Baptist Believer

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    For your argument to work, you would have to assert that the Bible is completely irrelevant to the religious faith and practice of more than an extremely small number of people in the United States - approximately the same number of people that worship cartoon possums.

    Your argument (although I don't think you intend this) is that the Bible's significance is trivial and the state's treatment of Bible is acceptably trivial.

    I'm coming from a position where I do not think the Bible is trivial at all and the state has no business commenting on it. I don't appreciate the state using God's word as a political prop, nor engaging in boosterism. The Bible does not need the government's help to be credible or meaningful.

    I'm really tired of local, state and federal governments playing these games instead of doing the hard work of governing and making a better life for the people of the United States.
     
  9. Zaac

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    I believe they have the votes for an override. Honestly, this would only be an issue if atheists with too much free time decide to make it one.

    If Ohio can have as a State motto, "With God all things are possible" as ruled by a Federal Appeals Court, then there shouldn't be any problem with the Bible as the State book.
     
  10. Zaac

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    No. What I would have to assert is that naming the Bible as the State book doesn't establish a state religion. It's a popularity contest.

    Nope. My argument is that recognizing the popularity of the Bible in Tennessee does not establish a religion.

    You're arguing something I didn't say.Biggrin

    Oh me too. But this is one that shouldn't have been an issue. The Governor could have passed it and sent it on. Now there's a big stank being made about a popularity designation that doesn't establish a religion.
     
  11. Jeremy Seth

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    There is no such policy outlined in the Constitution. I agree with the sentiment that it could be a detrimental policy, but it is incorrect to qualify the opposition as a constitutional objection.
     
  12. Baptist Believer

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    I am not a citizen of Tennessee, but I would make a stink if the Texas legislature tried to do the same here.

    You are repeating the lie that only atheists are interested in separation of church and state.
     
  13. Baptist Believer

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    Sure. It's in the First Amendment:

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...

    This principle, incorporated to the statements through the Fourteenth Amendment, applies to the states as well.

    As a religious text, it would be a violation of the spirit of the Amendment, especially knowing the environment in which it was created. And to address the natural response to this post, there are expressions of a civil faith that have made their way into the American public square with official sanction like, "In God We Trust," and the "...under God..." clause in the Pledge of Allegiance. The "In God We Trust" motto was mandated on U.S. money in 1957 and the Pledge modified in 1954 as a sign of the era's fight against atheistic communism. It was not part of the original intent.

    There are also numerous commentators who claim that prayer and Bible reading was consistently part of American public education throughout the nation until the 1960s. That is patently false. The practice, while widespread, was not uniform and stood in opposition to the principles of the First Amendment. FWIW, my parents did not have those practices in the public schools they attended from the early 1930s-mid 1950s.

    I don't have time to give a primer on constitutional law, but I have studied this issue for 25 years. I have read the source documents and reviewed the cases in graduate studies as well as personal study when combating the revisionist history of persons like David Barton that started spreading in the early 1990s.
     
  14. Zaac

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    I repeated no such thing. If atheists and non-atheists complain about this it's stupid as designating a State book doesn't establish a state religion anymore than Ohio's state motto establishes one or that designating Christmas as a federal holiday establishes one.

    So if no religion is being established, on what grounds is it unConstitutional?
     
  15. Zaac

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    From your 25 years of studying this, can you show how designating a State book establishes a religion?
     
  16. Baptist Believer

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    I've already done a high-level job of explaining this. I can't demonstrate anyone to someone who doesn't want to know.

    Let's take a different tack.

    Do you believe in the historic Baptist view of church/state separation (aka religious liberty)?

    If so, why?

    If not, why not?
     
  17. Zaac

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    No different tack is needed. Like the Governor and the other folks complaining, no one has shown an establishment of religion by designating the Bible as a State book because it doesn't do so.:)
     
  18. Baptist Believer

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    • Circular argument noted.
    • Refusal to engage a discussion which will establish the foundations of the issue noted.
    There's no point in trying to talk with you about it since you have already decided you are correct no matter what evidence can be provided.
     
  19. Alcott

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    The approach must be right on this one. If Missouri declared Huckleberry Finn its state book, that would mean everybody there worships Mark Twain, and anyone born there in1986 will be brainwashed into believing they're doomed with next appearance of Halley's Comet.
     
  20. Zaac

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    • Circular response noted.
    • Refusal to provide evidence that designating a State book establishes a religion noted.
    • Refusal to show evidence that designating the Bible as a State book is unconstitutional is also noted.

    Federal courts have already ruled that similar designations are not unconstitutional. So yes, there's no point in trying to talk with you about it either as you've decided you're right and the FULL 6th United States Circuit Court of Appeals has essentially decided that you're wrong.
     

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