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Holy Bible close to becoming official book of Louisiana

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Louisiana lawmakers are moving ahead with a proposal to name the Bible as the official state book, despite concerns the bill would land the Legislature in court.

A House municipal committee advanced HB 503 on Thursday with an 8-5 vote.

State Rep. Thomas Carmody, R-Shreveport, said he sponsored the proposal after a constituent made the request. However, Carmody insisted the bill wasn't designed to be a state-endorsement of Christianity or a specific religion.

Lawmakers who voted against the measure said it raises questions about whether Louisiana would be violating the separation of church and state.

State Rep. Wesley Bishop, D-New Orleans, opposed the bill. He said as a preacher's son, he loved the concept. However, he added as a lawyer, he thinks it would open the state to lawsuits.

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(c) Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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