Christian lawmakers in Mississippi want to enshrine the Bible as the official state book, according to AL.com.
The bill to do so is being sponsored by two Democratic state representatives, Tom Miles and Michael Evans, who told AL.com the idea came from a constituent who believed it would encourage people to read the text of the Christian religion.
“Me and my constituents, we were talking about it and one of them made a comment that people ought to start reading the Bible,” Evans told AL.com, pointing out it wouldn’t force people to read the Bible.
The idea came about during a discussion about, “all the things going wrong in the world.”
Miles said he’s not trying to force his religious beliefs on Mississippi residents but believes the Bible promotes compassion.
A previous version of the bill died in committee, but the two lawmakers have brought it up again, according to the Friendly Atheist.
Christian lawmakers have made similar efforts in the past in Louisiana and Tennessee.
In 2014, Louisiana Republican Rep. Thomas Carmody tried to pass legislation making the Bible the official state book. He scrapped the proposal because he said it had become a “distraction” and he was being forced to explain that he was not trying to establish a state religion, according to NOLA.com.
Last year, a similar bill was killed by the Tennessee state senate, with key opposition coming from Republicans.
“We don’t need to put the Bible beside salamanders, tulip poplars and ‘Rocky Top’ in the Tennessee Blue Book to appreciate its importance to our state,” the state’s lieutenant governor, Ron Ramsey said, according to the Los Angeles Times.