A Shreveport lawmaker said Monday he's scrapping his proposal to name the Bible as Louisiana's official state book.
Republican Rep. Thomas Carmody told the House of Representatives that he wouldn't pursue the measure. He said lawmakers had told him they were worried the bill was becoming a distraction from more important debates, like on the state budget and education issues.
Carmody said he sponsored the proposal after a constituent made the request, and he told his colleagues that he notified the constituent about his plans to shelve the bill, which had been scheduled for floor debate Monday.
"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 said.
During committee debate earlier this month, Carmody insisted the bill wasn't designed to be a state-endorsement of Christianity or a specific religion.
But several lawmakers said it raised questions about whether Louisiana would be violating the separation of church and state, and they said it could land the Legislature in a costly lawsuit. Critics also said it could offend non-Christians who live in the state.
Rep. Ebony Woodruff, a Democrat and a lawyer by profession, was one of those planning to vote on the grounds it would not stand up in court, reports CBS affiliate WAFB in Baton Rouge reports.
Written By: CBS/AP
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