Tennessee votes to make Bible its official book


Tennessee has reinforced its reputation as a Bible Belt state by voting to make the Bible its "official" book.

It comes after the Senate in Tennessee already voted to make a sniper gun the official state rifle.

The Bible vote could still be vetoed by the governor as unconstitutional, however, because the Tennessee constitution states that "no preference shall ever be given, by law, to any religious establishment or mode of worship," Associated Press reported.

The state Senate voted 19-8 for the bill. 

The move was picked up worldwide on Twitter:

State Governor Bill Haslam, who has power of veto, opposes the bill, which is the first of its kind in the US.

Its backers say the bill should not be seen as endorsing religion, but merely recognising the Bible for its historical and cultural contribution.

The state already has an official tree, the tulip poplar, two official flowers, the purple passion flower and the iris, an official fruit, the tomato, and two official birds, the mockingbird and the partridge.