Bill making Bible official state book stalls

Published: Apr. 22, 2014 at 2:28 AM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A bill that would make the Bible the official book of Louisiana was returned to the calendar Monday evening and the author of the measure says he has no intentions of bringing it back to the House floor. Representative Thomas Carmody of Shreveport addressed his fellow lawmakers and decided not to put the bill to a vote.

"There was a lot of concern about whether or not this was a distraction away from really what should warrant our attention trying to balance the budget, make sure we are providing for education for the children of this state and so as I told him I was going to go ahead and return the bill to the calendar today and concentrate our efforts on those things that are much more important," Carmody told the House.

Outside the Capitol, Debra Reid says she fully supports a measure seeking to make the Bible the official state book.

"I think as many adults we need to start taking a stand on what we believe in and show our children the values we were raised on," said Reid.

Across the Capitol lawn others fear what passing the bill could mean for those who are not Christians.

"It really comes down to freedom of religion. You do what you want to do and study what you want to do but the state can't be like you need to study this book. You need to look at this book because it's not fair to everybody else," said Aaron Alexis.

Representative Ebony Woodruff, a lawyer by profession, was one of those planning to vote on the grounds it would not stand up in court.

"I thought it would exclude and maybe alienate as you said some of our non-Christian members who are citizens of Louisiana and as you said tax payers. I know in my district I have a large Vietnamese population, some are Christian but some are not and I just felt I couldn't vote for the bill as it was because I didn't want to leave those members out," said Woodruff.

Representative Carmody declined WAFB's request for an on camera interview.

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