Could the Bible become the new "State Book" of Louisiana? - CBS 5 - KPHO

Could the Bible become the new "State Book" of Louisiana?

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SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) -

Is it a violation of religious freedom or a perfect representation of the state of Louisiana? 

Those are the questions being asked as a local legislator recommends a bill that would make the King James version of the Bible the official book of Louisiana.

"I really think it would be a good idea," says Shreveport resident Dawn Peloquin.

The topic has Louisiana residents talking, like Kristie Tucker. "It should be the official book for the whole world," Tucker says.

Shreveport District 6 Representative Thomas Carmody Jr. drafted the bill.  On April 10, the House Municipal, Parochial and Cultural Affairs Committee voted 8-5 to recommend the legislation to the full House.

During that session, the Baton Rouge Advocate reports, Carmody called the bible "the appropriate symbol."

Mehdi Efatian, who is Muslim, disagrees. Efatian says the bill is offensive to his religion.  He's not the only one against it.

Andrew Randall, Pastor of Abounding Faith Temple in Shreveport, says, "While the bible is my book, I understand that I live in a country that other people have the right to chose that it's not theirs."

Randall goes on to say, "I wouldn't want my personal liberties trampled on by the government.  That's my job as a pastor to help people do that. We don't need the legislator to help us with that."

Shreveport District 3 Representative Barbara Norton was one of the five legislators who voted against the bill.  She says, while she is a Christian, she was shocked by the idea.  "I feel that I am not personally worthy to vote on anything related to God's word."

Norton adds, "Who are we to make decisions related to someone else's religion?"

Efatian agrees. "Personal beliefs, it shouldn't in any way effect other people's lives."

"I want my state reps to be trying to make Louisiana the most economically viable and safe place it could be and I would prefer our pastors to be helping and encouraging people to have a relationship with Christ," says Randall.

Some representatives who oppose the bill say it may infringe on the first amendment regarding the separation of church and state, which could lead to a lawsuit.  The bill is set to go before the House floor on April 21.   

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