Louisiana State Rep. Thomas Carmody (R) recently sponsored a bill that would make the Bible the official state book, but claims it's not an endorsement of Christianity or a specific religion.
"It's not to the exclusion of anyone else's sacred literature," Carmody told the Louisiana House municipal committee this week. "This is not about establishing an official religion of the state of Louisiana."
Originally, Carmody wanted the King James version of the Bible, which is a translation of the original text that was written in Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic, but dropped that demand.
The Louisiana House committee voted 8-5 for the bill yesterday. The bill now goes to the full Louisiana House for debate, notes the Associated Press.
"I think we're going to open ourselves up to a lawsuit," said State Rep. Wesley Bishop (D), who opposes the bill. "You can't adopt the Bible and not adopt Christianity."
Rep. Ebony Woodruff (D) also opposes the bill because it would be offensive to people who aren't Christian.
"You're OK with offending some of the citizens of this state?" Woodruff asked Carmody at the House municipal committee.
"It's not meant to be offensive," Carmody said. "There's no requirement that they would have to follow this particular text."
According to NOLA.com, when Woodruff proposed an amendment changing the bill to include "all books of faith" as the official state books of Louisiana, Carmody, who claims he opposes excluding anyone's else sacred literature, said "I would certainly be against that amendment."