Separation Of Church And State?

The Holy Bible is making its way towards becoming Louisiana’s first official State Book.

The King James Holy Bible

Wait, what?

Currently, the King James Version of The Holy Bible is making its way through all the hoops and red tape required for it to become the first ever official book of the state of Louisiana. The official book system, and the system required for officiating a text, is a new invention of the Southern State, drawing understandable controversy, but why?

The issue lies not so much in the Bible becoming an official book, but if other religious texts will also become official? The plans currently: No. Sure, the religious history of the state could be called out as a reason, but I believe this is fundamentally a constitutional issue, as it sends a message.

Although the man who originally brought forth the bill currently being viewed by the Louisiana House of Representatives – Rep. Thomas Carmody – stated that he was not trying to establish an official state religion, that has become the chief concern of other legislators, especially as Carmody is also against opening the bill up to be inclusive of all faiths’ texts. Now, it is being said that the proposal is perhaps not broad enough, not only for excluding other religions, but other denominations of Christianity such as Catholicism – a major religion within Louisiana.

The question then remains whether or not this is a constitutional issue. I personally believe it is, as although “Separation of Church and State” refers to the nation-state that is the United States of America, as it is an understood concept within the first amendment, such an issue should have a trickle-down down affect and apply to the states themselves.

As a state issue then, important texts, such as religious texts, may well in fact be deserving of official status. Thus, while I disagree with only the King James version of the Bible being official, I personally see the value in all religious texts, and other important written works, being included.

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6 Responses to Separation Of Church And State?

  1. amkavana says:

    PLEASE NOTE: The current, updated version of this post is the version I attempted to post the first time, but for some reason only the link and image showed up, not anything that I had written below it. That has been corrected.

  2. lgallar1 says:

    This is very interesting. I truly believe there should be a separation of Church and state. Why? Because there are many religions in this country that should be respected. Why would you just follow one bible and not the rest, they as well are as important. As a state working for the betterment of the people, the state has to be connected with everyone not just people of a specific document. As well, I see religion as a private matter, “what you do in your time”. I consider myself religious, and I still believe in separation of Church and state. We have freedom of religion, because of that you must respect all religions not just one.

  3. cindylyon says:

    Wow, this is interesting I never heard about this in the news back when it was happening. I guess my initial question would be what does being an official book of the state entail? Is it supposed to mean that that book is the most popular book in Louisiana? Does the King James Bible represent the people of Louisiana better than any other book? Dubbing it an “official book of the state” is just confusing to me. From my understanding of state birds, for instance, they were/are chosen completely haphazardly. They are rarely the most popular bird in an area, and their characteristics don’t represent some deeper meaning (i.e. the demographics of the people in a particular state). So if official books followed along those lines, I feel like we wouldn’t have a problem. If some representative went through all the trouble of getting it approved and then the next state over approves “Green Eggs & Ham” as their official state book, I say no harm done. As long as people consider these silly and insignificant, of course.

  4. mbstanton says:

    I really appreciate that this issue was brought to light on a public form not regulated by the media. Religious freedom and religious tolerance is a commonly discussed issue in today’s society as it seems to influence many current controversial issues such as gay marriage. For a state official who is obligated to represent the population which it stands for, it is rather inappropriate to declare a state book without proper consideration of other religious practices of the state. Very interesting article. Thank you.

  5. nicksalute says:

    Wow, this is a truly invigorating post that presents a topic that definitely needs to be addressed. I personally had no idea that any legislative action was being taken in order to implement the bible as an “Official State Book.” To begin, I feel that you are correct in your assessment that “…this is a fundamentally constitutional issue, as it sends a message.” As an avid supporter of the separation of church and state, it is clear that this political movement will evoke some significant controversy among many individuals. Although the religious history of the state has prompted this proposal, and it is near-impossible to argue that the constitution itself was not built on the foundation of some religious convictions, we must take into account the current era and societal mindset surrounding this issue.
    As religion has made its decline in the culture of the United States, the necessity for the church-state separation has become much more powerful. Taking into account the vast diversity in beliefs, religious motivations simply cannot make their way into the political sphere. Even if it is argued that the “State Book” bears miniscule political significance, it is the principle that must be abided by.
    In addition, if we allow only the King James Version of the Bible into this position, we are not accurately or fairly representing the diversity of inhabitants of a state. This will surely cause severe political outrage and backlash.
    I am not sure how far this proposal traveled through congress, but I cannot see it holding authority for very long. The separation of church and state ensures that no subjective motivations or biases enter political decisions, and we must follow this system to maintain stability, and a avoid a theocratic system. Great job on the post!

  6. legomez5 says:

    Good post, I believe there would be a big dilemma in allowing the bible to be the state book. allowing this would open the doors to possibly other books of religious importance to the status of state book. Also this would bring up the idea of the srpteation of church and state.

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