West Virginia Lawmaker Introduces Bill to Make Bible State Book

Photo Credit: Wong Mei Teng

CHARLESTON, W.V. — A lawmaker in West Virginia has introduced a bill that would make the Bible the state book.

H.B. 2568 was presented by Jeff Eldridge, D-Lincoln, who serves in the state House of Delegates. It amends the Code of West Virginia to add a new section that recognizes the Bible as the state book.

“That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new 2 section, designated §2-2-14, to read as follows: §2-2-14. Official state book. The Holy Bible is hereby designated as the official state book of West Virginia,” it reads.

The bill has 10 co-sponsors, including Del. Ken Hicks, D-Wayne.

“I think a lot of the biblical principles are the same principles that the state was founded on,” he told the Herald-Dispatch. “The Bible is a book that’s been around for thousands of years. A lot of principles from the Bible are what modern-day and contemporary law is based on.”

However, when asked if the bill would constitute endorsing one religion over another, Hicks, who identifies as a Christian, stated that those who disagree with the measure should make their opinions known to their representatives.

“Not everybody believes in the same religion, and I think you should pursue the religion you’re comfortable with,” he told the outlet. “Not everybody has to read [the Bible]. It’s not forcing it on anybody. People do elect legislators to pass certain bills and laws that they want, and if they find something that’s offensive to them, they need to tell their delegate.”

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While the bear has been recognized as the state animal, the apple as the state fruit and “Take Me Home Country Roads” by John Denver as being one of the state songs, no publication has yet been regarded as the state book. The measure is currently in the House Judiciary Committee.

As previously reported, in 2012, lawmakers in Pennsylvania unanimously passed a resolution that declared a “Year of the Bible.” The resolution stated that not only has the Bible been an important part of America’s history, but that in difficult times such as the present, there is a “national need to study and apply the teachings of the Holy Scriptures.”

In 1983, President Ronald Reagan declared a national “Year of the Bible.”

“Many of our greatest national leaders—among them Presidents Washington, Jackson, Lincoln, and Wilson—have recognized the influence of the Bible on our country’s development,” he stated. “The plainspoken Andrew Jackson referred to the Bible as no less than ‘the rock on which our Republic rests.’”

“Today our beloved America and, indeed, the world, is facing a decade of enormous challenge,” Reagan continued. “There could be no more fitting moment than now to reflect with gratitude, humility, and urgency upon the wisdom revealed to us in the writing that Abraham Lincoln called ‘the best gift God has ever given to man . . . But for [without] it we could not know right from wrong.”’


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  • InTheChurch

    What other book provides more than the Bible?

    • Bob Johnson

      The Analects

      • InTheChurch

        a book of poems and sayings? are you kidding me

    • Bezukhov

      The Kamasutra?

      • InTheChurch

        LOL, yes it does but not what I’m looking for. LOL

    • Tangent002

      Tao te Ching.

      • InTheChurch

        Nice try, not even close.

    • LeftRight

      Any old comic book

      • InTheChurch

        I have my collection of old comics, they are entertaining. But, not even close.

    • Chris

      “What other book provides more than the Bible?”

      In vividness of stories? The Iliad and Odyssey. In philosophical insight? The Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. In poetry? The Ballad of Reading Goal by Oscar Wilde. Would you like me to continue?

      • InTheChurch

        Not one of those books can match up to the Bible.

        • Chris

          Have you read them?

  • Trilemma

    Which Holy Bible? The one with 66 books or the one with 73 books or the one with 78 books?

    • Amos Moses

      it does not matter ……….

    • johndoe

      Everyone agrees on the 66 books, bozo.

      There are 27 books in the New Testament – ALL Christians agree on that.

      Do you have any hobbies besides hating Christians? Obviously not.

      • FHRITP

        “Bozo?” You stated before, “I don’t insult anyone,” yet here you are doing it again. Why? Did you learn that behavior from Jesus?

    • Bob Johnson

      And the law does not say which language. Original Greek or some British English translation?

  • RWH

    Once one gets past the idea that the Orthodox and Catholic Bibles number the books and even the chapters in the Book of Psalms differently–plus the inclusion of the Deuterocanonical books, the fact remains that the Jews as well as all of the others will take offense that one religion is privileged and the others are not.

    • FHRITP

      As written your comment is not true. To make it true, change “one gets” to “I get” and “the fact remains” to “my opinion is.”

      • RWH

        Before you commented, did you even bother to look up an Orthodox or a Catholic Bible? A simple search on the Internet should reveal a listing of books. The 66 books may be agreed upon by Protestants, but the numbering and the order is different in the Bible produced by the Orthodox Church as well as by the Catholic Church. The original 1611 KJV contained the Deuterocanonical Books. It was only in the eighteenth century when the more Protestant churches abandoned the Geneva Bible for the KJV that these books disappeared.

        • FHRITP

          Now you use the strawman fallacy! Please always refrain from using the strawman fallacy.

          • RWH

            Do you even know what a fallacy is? Have you actually consulted bibles printed by Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches? Or are you simply running your mouth off?

  • james blue

    I do not seek Caesar’s blessing nor his encouragement to follow my savior. If these lawmakers have enough time to do things like this perhaps they need their hours cut and salary reduced.

  • Grace Kim Kwon

    The Holy Bible has been always the State Book of the entire United States. USA was created to spread the Christian faith into all the world, which she did. USA got corrupted after having everything from God like the ancient Israel did. God punishes every nation that becomes bad. USA should repent of her sins to regain life. Christian Americans are the only hope in the land.

    • RWH

      The Bible has never been the State Book in the United States.

      • Grace Kim Kwon

        It has been always. No Christianity = No USA. Today’s Americans are being ungrateful and that’s all.

        • Jim Tully

          Kinda tired of you telling Americans what’s right and what’s wrong when you aren’t one. Fix your own country, we’ll take care of America from here.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            The Holy Bible is always right. USA forces Sodomy and infanticide upon poor nations. America must hear the calls for repentance for-ever until it stops forcing and funding the evil upon the nations. USA needs the Holy Bible.

      • getstryker

        Of course . . . but those of us who are called Christians readily understand her reference to a ‘State Book’ as the Bible and recognize the context she intended in her comment. I, for one, whole-heartedly agree with Ms. Kwon.

        • RWH

          The problem is that we have never recognized a “State Book.” The minute that you privilege one group at the expense of another, you have a quasi state church. Roman Catholics hold the majority of believers in the Northeast United States as well as a lot of other northern states, states that have a much greater population than those of the Bible Belt. Would you want your children reciting the Rosary in school? That’s what will happen if you let a particular group get its foot in the door.

          • getstryker

            I am aware of what you are saying and yet, every preamble of every State in the Union references Almighty God, by one Name or another, for protection, help, guidance and the liberty to freely establish their government. SEARCH:
            “The Preambles Of All 50 States Of The United States” – Every student has a right to Freedom of Religion – as you well know, there is no ‘separation of church and state’ in the Constitution. Limitations are upon the creation of a single national church by the federal government. I agree with you that there is a ‘time and place’ for religion, IN-school during instruction hours is not that place – however, there should be no prohibition on religious clubs before or after hours. It’s too bad that the general hindrances that attend Christianity do not seem to also attend Islam.

          • RWH

            Congress passed legislation back in the 1980s that mandated that all groups have equal access in the schools. Of course, the schools still have the right to set policies as to who can sponsor these groups and a system for determining what outsiders can come in as long as the rules are applied fairly. The sticking point now is the idea of equal access. The law was designed to help Christian groups, but schools cannot practice viewpoint discrimination, so atheist groups and gay groups now have access as well as long as they adhere to school policies, which must be administered fairly across the board.

            The problem is, of course, when religious stuff is presented in such a way that it is enforced on people. Years ago, I marched in a graduation line where the invocation was offered by a Hindu priest. I was extremely uncomfortable even standing there respectfully because I felt that I was being coerced into participating in something addressed to a false god, a demon. After that experience, a lot of people must have complained because prayer was dropped altogether, and I felt relieved in my continued participation.

          • getstryker

            I absolutely agree that ‘equal access’ by religious/non-religious clubs in schools should be permitted. There is a movement to allow ‘After-School Satan Clubs’ and I am OK with that as well. The usual problem for Christians is that they are, in many cases, simply NOT prepared by their local churches spiritually or are they prepared to defend their faith (a process called ‘apologetics’) That is an issue that local churches and school club leadership should begin to fully address. The fact that diverse beliefs and world-views are in proximity to each other is not a reason for conflict but rather should be a learning experience for all. As far as your experience at graduation and the invocation . . . you and others may not have liked it but you have no Constitutional right to be ‘sheltered from things that may offend you’. Had it been a Christion prayer, I’m sure some ‘snowflake’ would have melted all over the nice clean floors at that too.

          • RWH

            I have to disagree with you here. It is one thing to sit in a classroom and listen to a teacher, who is not a Hindu, explain the concept of gods and the types of prayers and offerings that worshipers make in order to please the gods. This makes for good understanding and a degree of empathy for someone who is different. Standing reverently in a setting where a Hindu priest is leading everyone in a prayer is something different. The first situation allows me to remain as an outsider looking in. The second situation makes me an active participant just by the fact that I am standing there and not being able to actively resist. It’s like sitting in the dentist chair. I may not be moving or participating, but something is being done to me, and I cannot resist without causing problems.

          • getstryker

            I would agree that a situation as you have described may be personally uncomfortable, however, there are many situations in life that create that same sense of palpable uneasiness. However, I would also remind you that the prayer, given by someone that advocates another faith, is quite common at graduations, city council meetings and other venues. Fairness and equal opportunity among those offering invocations denies any practice or claim of ‘viewpoint discrimination’. Any and every faith or non-faith can be represented. If I were ‘king of the world’ – all invocations would be Christian, creation only would be taught in schools and competing world-views would be banished . . . however, as we all know, that is NOT the case. There are two options – stay and put up with it or leave. Case in point: SEARCH: “Dan Savage on Bible Bullying” Apparently, one of the hazards of your position as a teacher is that you have to stay . . . so did the young people and parents attending the ceremony. Complaints made later eliminated the invocation all together. An error in my personal opinion. Had the Christian students and teachers been taught to prayerfully resist the error of both Savage/Hindu – there would not have been an overwhelming sense of helplessness. It’s called ‘spiritual warfare’ – it’s done covertly and it IS effective.

          • RWH

            I’m a little bit familiar with the Dan Savage ordeal, not enough to know what exactly happened but enough to know that the guy is an insensitive clod and that the school should have done some careful research about him before he was invited. I know that he offended some people, and they walked out. What was said was reported, but nobody seemed to report the events that caused the guy go out of control and say what he did. I don’t like to come to an opinion until I have all of the facts, and in articles such as the ones about him, the “truth” has been selectively edited and reported in order to support a particular view.

          • getstryker

            Your supposition may very well be correct . . . I can only go by what I saw in the video. The fact is, if the Christians among the students that witnessed Savage’s disgusting bullying comments had simply prayed silently in the Holy Spirit/tongues . . . the outcome could very well have been much different. I am bothered that, as a group, the Christians were NOT prepared to deal with this sodomite cretin. It’s NOT the offense that must be dealt with at this point but the lack of proper response.

          • RWH

            I have a problem with name calling, but that aside, I think that the students had a perfect right to walk out. I just can’t figure out if this were a volunteer thing or something that students were required to attend. I have been at meetings where so-called Christians went completely out of control and lacked any sense of civility. The only thing that happened is that others perceived the Christians as wild-eyed fanatics. We are now living in a society where people, at least in my part of the world, are live and let live. I realize that this is not true in all places. When they retired years and years ago, my father and step-mother moved to the south. She was a lapsed Catholic, and when people would find out that she was Catholic (even though she rarely attended church), people tended to get rude and in-your-face. I have had other Catholics tell me the same thing. Years ago, when I would announce that I was Russian Orthodox, these types would insist on telling me that I was an exotic brand of Catholic, but still a Catholic. No amount of explanation would possibly dislodge those people. Their minds were made up, and they knew more about my church than I did even though the nearest church might have been a hundred miles away.

          • getstryker

            I am sorry for your unpleasant experience. People are people! They all have their prejudices, strange idiosyncrasies and stupidities. No doubt about it. But it is the world we all live in and you either adjust or stand firm in what you believe and your choice of actions thereafter. As I said before: ‘there is no right to NOT be offended.’ It’s what we do about it that counts.

          • RWH

            Well, it all goes to resisting but doing so civilly. At work, I come armed with documents and concrete data that I research or generate from research. It all goes to source reliability, and the power to persuade. People have a right to put whatever they want in their private work space, but if their work space is also public in that the individual has outsiders in for meetings, that individual needs to think of creating a harmonious work space where others do not feel threatened or intimidated by anything. I used to have a small icon of the New Russian martyrs in my office. It had a picture of Christ with the martyrs led by St. Tikhona, Patriarch and SS. Benjamin, Metropolitan of Petrograd and Vladimir, Metropolitan of Kiev. All were brutally put to death at the hands of the Bolsheviks in the early 1920s. I got some questions, but people knew that I came from a family of exiles. Nobody was offended, but people sometimes were curious but sympathetic in that my family went through a living hell. On the other hand, another colleague had black power posters in her space, and a lot of people were uncomfortable in her office. In a way, some of this is about selfishness. We think of our own comfort but not of others, and it leads to unrest within the workplace. The same goes for all facets of American life. I guess that it all falls within the idea of bullying and wanting ones way no matter what others think.

          • getstryker

            I recognize that there is ‘a time and place for everything’ – as you said – in a private space, do what you want. In a ‘public or business space’, the options may be limited. What is appropriate in one may certainly NOT be appropriate in the other. Again, anyone’s options are to stay or leave. It is a choice they can still exercise.
            With that, it’s 10am here and I have to go to town. Thank you for your cogent exchange and I hope we can do this again sometime soon. 😉

    • Ambulance Chaser

      Not one word of that is true.

      • Grace Kim Kwon

        You guys are Non-Americans and don’t know about America. Those who read the historic documents and respect the forefathers retain the nationhood correctly. You guys are mere freeloaders in a Christian nation.

        • LeftRight

          Your children will bow toward Mecca in prayer and submit to Allah!

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            Talking about Western Europe? That will never happen. Jesus Christ is God. Worship Him alone. Read John chapter 1-3.

          • LeftRight

            Jesus belongs to Allah. All women should be slient

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            You are wrong. Jesus does not belong to Allah. The one true God is triune. You must read the Holy Bible to know the one true God. Jesus told all His followers to testify His truth.

  • Georgie Franklin

    Beyond dumb.

    • Croquet Player

      Nice signature.

  • Robert

    The holy Bible would be the greatest of books to have as a state book.