Gov. Bill Haslam vetoed the controversial bill Thursday that would have made the Holy Bible the official state book of Tennessee. Haslam cited an opinion issued in 2015 by Attorney General Herbert Slatery that said the bill could violate the state and federal constitutions.

“In addition to the constitutional issues with the bill, my personal feeling is that this bill trivializes the Bible, which I believe is a sacred text,” Haslam wrote in a letter to House Speaker Beth Harwell, R-Nashville.

“If we believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God, then we shouldn’t be recognizing it only as a book of historical and economic significance,” the Republican governor said. “If we are recognizing the Bible as a sacred text, then we are violating the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Tennessee by designating it as the official state book.” READ MORE