The Tennessee legislature is considering a bill to name the Bible the State book. A similar bill was passed and vetoed in 2016 by the prior Governor, who was one of the worst Governors in history. Why is this such an outstanding idea? First, it is clearly the will of a majority of Tennesseans which alone is sufficient for such a proclamation. However, like an iceberg, the mass of justification is below the surface of common knowledge.
The Bible is the best selling book today and for all time. It was first translated into language understood by the common man by Martin Luther (German) and subsequently William Tyndall (English) who was killed for doing so in 1536. Together with the invention of the printing press it transformed education, literacy and brought a light of understanding that transformed and elevated all open societies and cultures. The Bible is not only the best history book of ancient times, but transformed history through literacy, language, and wisdom. No other book has had a greater positive impact on mankind.
In order to measure the magnitude of its blessing simply contrast the results of it’s prohibition. The Communist USSR outlawed it’s distribution, killed millions of innocent people and those who remained became vile subjects of government tyranny that tormented and threatened the free world for over fifty years. In Communist China the cultural revolution resulted in the murder of millions and subjected it’s people to tyranny, darkness, and a culture that was oppressive. These nations along with North Korea and much of the Muslim world have reverted their cultures and society to that which existed in ancient times. Only recently has China opened up and joined the modern world. The USSR collapsed as an example of what secular humanistic socialism yields. It may be argued that other causes had significant impact on these events, but outlawing the Bible is a stark factor that runs parallel with all others opposed to freedom and uprightness.
Those who object suggesting that the Bible is merely a religious book are ignorant, fear-filled, blind to the facts and or have a hidden agenda. The Bible is foundational for two of the world’s great religions, Judism and Christianity, but this does not prohibit or eliminate it’s inherent wisdom, artistic poetry, drama, and history that demands no faith to enjoy or appreciate. The Bible as literature stands preeminent in it’s influence on language, art, morality, law, history and citizenship which can not be denied or understated. There is no legal or constitutional prohibition on designating the best selling, most widely read and referenced book in American history as a State book. Doing so does not violate the establishment clause, though it very likely rebuts “political correctness” which has no weight and is contrary to free speech. Numerous “Bible as literature” classes are taught in many State Universities as evidence against any frivolous legal challenge.
Finally, when in 1964 the Bible was removed as a tool and text for learning in government supported schools, there began a noticeable decline in public education. Moreover, the same decline was experienced in the secular society that had argued for its removal from school. Crime, lawlessness, immorality and vice has replaced the blessings of wisdom contained in the Bible. The message of encouragement, perseverance, courage, responsibility, tolerance, dilligence, forgiveness, acceptance and love for all found in the Bible is a blessing of the highest worth and value to any people. Naming the Bible the State Book of Tennessee is an outstanding idea and one that every citizen and politician should support.