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The Bible is Mississippi's New State Book?

News Staff : Feb 19, 2016  CBN News

The proposed bill is reportedly an effort to combat the sobering events taking place around the world.

(Jackson, MS)—[CBN News] Two Mississippi Democratic lawmakers want to make the Bible the official book of the state. (Photo via CBN News)

Mississippi State Reps. Michael Evans, D-Preston, and Tom Miles, D-Forest, proposed a bill in January that would make the Bible the official state book.

Evans told Alabama Local News the idea originated from a conversation he had had with his colleagues about how to combat the sobering events taking place around the world.

"The bill doesn't force anyone to read it," Evans, who is a Christian said. He and Rep. Miles said instead it would only encourage residents to read the Bible.

"We're not requiring anyone to go out and buy the Bible. We're not requiring anyone to read the Bible," Miles told The Christian Post.

Miles also added the bill would "not be considered controversial given the legislature voted a couple years ago to add 'In God We Trust' to its state seal."

The bill making the Bible a state book, also known as HB 840, has faced opposition. Similar measures was previously introduced to Mississippi, Tennessee, and Louisiana but were never passed.

However, the American Civil Liberties Union in Mississippi charges that the effort violates the First Amendment.

"It fails to recognize the diversity of Mississippi residents. Lawmakers should not be promoting policies that divide Mississippians along religious lines," ACLU director of communications Zaklya Summers-Harlee said.

The group plans to challenge the bill if it makes progress.

But not all Christians are on board with the idea either. President of the Southern Evangelical Seminary Dr. Richard Land told The Christian Post he opposes the bill for a different reason.

For those who are Christians, one can't be neutral about the Bible. The Bible, for many Americans, is sacred text. It is the Holy Scripture. If you try to approach it as just a historical book. That is not neutral. To me, that degrades the status of Scripture," Land said.

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