Home Political Breaking: Tennessee Passes Bill to make Bible Official State Book

Breaking: Tennessee Passes Bill to make Bible Official State Book


When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished.  If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property. (Exodus 21:20-21 NAB)

It’s hard to imagine that in 2016, state law makers are passing a bill to make the Bible the official state book in Tennessee, but that’s exactly what’s happening.

Tennessee might be the first state to establish the Bible as its official book, after the state Senate approved a measure to do so on Monday in a 19-8 vote.

Tennessee State Sen. Kerry Roberts, R-Springfield, who voted in favor of the bill, believes he has a tough fight on his hands, according to reports by The Tennessean. However, he noted that George Washington’s inauguration contained many religious references.

“The very founding of our nation — the very form of government that we have today — was put forth by men of faith, based on their faith, based on what they read in Holy Scripture,” he said.

Of course the bill has opponents. Executive Director of ACLU-Tennessee Hedy Weinberg stated on Monday that the bill uses the Bible as a “political football” and demands that the governor veto’s the bill when it hits his table:

“While the Bible is an important book to many state residents, Tennesseans come from a rich diversity of faiths,” Weinberg said. “Privileging one religion over another not only tramples on the Constitution, it marginalizes the tens of thousands of Tennesseans who choose to practice other religions or not to practice religion at all.”

The comical aspect of this whole kerfuffle is that most Tennesseans, much like most American’s, don’t know what is actually in the bible.  As reported by Religion News:

“More than half of Americans think the Bible has too little influence on a culture they see in moral decline, yet only one in five Americans read the Bible on a regular basis, according to a new survey… If they do read it, the majority (57 percent) only read their Bibles four times a year or less.”

If they did read the bible, and believed that the government should use the bible for their ethical framework, then I don’t believe we’d have any moral basis for getting rid of slavery.

When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are.  If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again.  But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her.  And if the slave girl’s owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter.  If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife.  If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment. (Exodus 21:7-11 NLT)

When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished.  If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property. (Exodus 21:20-21 NAB)

Now the first response to this, and the many statements in the Old Testament that defend slavery, is that Jesus spoke out against these laws. In fact, that’s not the case:

Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear.  Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ. (Ephesians 6:5 NLT)

Christians who are slaves should give their masters full respect so that the name of God and his teaching will not be shamed.  If your master is a Christian, that is no excuse for being disrespectful.  You should work all the harder because you are helping another believer by your efforts.  Teach these truths, Timothy, and encourage everyone to obey them. (1 Timothy 6:1-2 NLT)

In the following parable, Jesus clearly approves of beating slaves even if they didn’t know they were doing anything wrong.

The servant will be severely punished, for though he knew his duty, he refused to do it.  “But people who are not aware that they are doing wrong will be punished only lightly.  Much is required from those to whom much is given, and much more is required from those to whom much more is given.” (Luke 12:47-48 NLT)

Thankfully, most Christians cast these statements aside and only pay attention to the “love your neighbor” hippy dippy parts of the bible. If that’s the case though, that you have to use your own moral compass to reject whole swaths of the bible, then why claim that you need the bible at all? Moreover, if you admit that the bible is filled with unethical principles, how on earth can you consider it divine?

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  1. I see this argument almost exclusively in the United States, due mostly to the abysmal ignorance of Americans, especially when it comes to languages and history.
    The world you ignorantly accept as “slave” without bothering to investigate comes from the Koine Greek word douloß, or “doulos.” This word is derived from “dou,” meaning to bind, and it does not ever refer to the sort of brutal slavery practices of the colonial period. Instead, it refers to a person who is unable to pay a debt with money or property, so instead he pays a personal debt with servitude, becoming a bond-servant. This exact idea of entering bonded servitude in response to an unpayable debt IS THE ENTIRE BASIS OF CHRISTIANITY: “For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as YOUR BOND-SERVANTS (doulos) for Jesus’ sake.” 2 Corinthians 4:5
    Let me emphasize this again, because it cannot be said enough to morons like you: You are ignorant. You had no idea what the original Greek language of the Bible actually said, but you are more than willing to stupidly copy-and-paste as if you had any understanding. Sadly, you are also an American, which means not only will evidence of your own stupidity on a topic dissuade you from acting as an expert, your ego and obnoxious belief that an opinion is equal to a fact will cause you to double-down on your stupidity.