Just a day after the Tennessee House of Representatives voted to make the Bible the state’s official book, Tennessee’s Senate killed the measure. From The Tennessean: “The Senate voted 22-9 to send the Bible to committee, effectively killing the bill.” The state’s governor was a vocal opponent of the idea and Tennessee’s Attorney General thought it would be a violation of the separation of church and state. The critics didn’t deter House lawmakers, though; they voted 55-38 to get the measure passed. Supporter Sen. Steve Southerland argued that “the Bible has great historical and cultural significance in the state of Tennessee.”

Along with legal concerns, opponents of the measure said that making the Bible an official state symbol trivialized it by putting scripture along with objects like the official state amphibian (the Tennessee cave salamander), the official state horse (the Tennessee walking horse) and the official state folk dance (the square dance). Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, who helped defeat the measure told The Tennessean, “All I know is that I hear Satan snickering. He loves this kind of mischief. You just dumb the good book down far enough to make it whatever it takes to make it a state symbol, and you’re on your way to where he wants you.” …