Mississippi is trying to set an example for other states to follow by honoring the Bible and the nation’s Christian roots.
Two bills have been introduced in the Mississippi legislature that would designate the Bible as the state book. Democratic Representative Tom Miles, sponsor of one of the bills, tells OneNewsNow the process began a couple of years ago after constituents contacted lawmakers.
“They were talking about the different things in the world and the way things have gotten so bad, and we as Christians sometimes just kind of stand back and don't do anything,” he explains.
“And so we thought this would be a symbolic gesture that if we were to make the Bible the state book of Mississippi, it would symbolize that is our book, and we'd also take a stand for our Christian rights as well.”
Miles is well aware of the harsh criticism the proposal is receiving, but he says establishing a state book violates no one's rights.
“We're not forcing anyone to read the Bible,” he says. “We're not forcing anyone to go out and buy a Bible. We have other state symbols and this would be a state symbol for a book. We proposed this bill last year and never got the opportunity to vote on the bill, and we hope that we'll have the opportunity to vote on it this year.”
The measure has to be voted out of committee by February 23 for the House to consider it. Miles notes that Tennessee has a similar piece of legislation introduced, and he would like to see other states honor the Bible as a way of demonstrating America's Christian identity.