Louisiana State Rep.Thomas Carmody (R-Bible Belt) is the latest person to emerge from obscurity to become malaka of the week. I never heard of him before today and plan to forget him as soon as possible. Unfortunately, that won’t be soon enough: his bill establishing the Bible as the official state book got out of committee yesterday. Here’s a longer than average excerpt from an article in the Vestigial Picayune:
Legislation that would make the Holy Bible the official state book of Louisiana cleared the House Committee on Municipal, Parochial and Cultural Affairs with a vote of 8-5 Thursday afternoon. It will now head to the full House of Representatives for consideration.
Rep. Thomas Carmody, R-Shreveport, originally filed a bill to declare a specific copy of the Bible, found in the Louisiana State Museum system, the official state book. But by the time he presented the proposal to the committee, he changed language in his legislation to make the generic King James version of the Bible, a text used worldwide, the official state book.
Carmody said his intention was not to mingle religion with government functions. “This is not about establishing an official religion,” he said.
Still, Legislators became concerned that the proposal wasn’t broad enough and did not reflect the breadth of Bibles used by religious communities. In particular, some lawmakers worried that singling out the King James version of the Bible would not properly reflect the culture of Louisiana. The Catholic Church, for example, does not use the King James text.
“Let’s make this more inclusive of other Christian faiths, more than just the ones that use the King James version,” said Rep. Stephen Ortego, D-Carencro.
A few committee members fought the bill vehemently, saying the legislation was likely to upset some citizens who are not Christian and open the state up to legal challenges.
“I am so bothered by this bill that I just called my pastor. My pastor just said that he thinks we are going to have a legal problem,” said Rep. Wesley Bishop, D-New Orleans, who voted against the legislation.
Rep. Ebony Woodruff, D-Harvey, tried to amend the bill to declare “all books of faith” the official state books of Louisiana, but the proposal failed 5-8. When asked if he would be open to making “all books of faith” a group of official state books, Carmody was fairly adamant in his opposition.
“I would certainly be against that amendment,” he said.
Here we go again. Malaka Carmody and his ilk in the biblebanger caucus have once again put the state on the path to endless litigation. The only place to kill a bill like this is in committee, when it gets to the House floor it will be characterized as a vote for or against God. Very few members of the Louisiana Lege want to be seen as voting against God, so they’ll vote for this imbecilic and frivolous bill.
No state needs an “official” book, sounds like newspeak to me; especially since anything with literary or historical merit will not be considered. The Tweeter Tube has been ablaze with suggestions, my own would be Robert Penn Warren’s All The King’s Men, John Kennedy Toole’s Confederacy of Dunces, Walker Percy’s The Moviegoer, or in the area of non-fiction, The Earl of Lousisana by AJ Liebling, Huey Long by T Harry Williams or The Last Hayride by John Maginnis. There may, however, be a ray of hope, Malaka Carmody isn’t ruling out more than one option:
He said the state can have more than one state book, just as it has more than one official jelly.
That’s right, books and jelly are the same thing, y’all. I’m looking for a wall to bang my head against. Then I may have some peanut butter and jelly. Maybe not. That reminds me of Governor PBJ who will surely sign this idiotic measure.
I shouldn’t be surprised by this nimroddery and malakatude. In fact, I should be more surprised that the Bible isn’t *already* the Gret Stet’s official book. Sigh.
It’s always amusing when right wingers have conflicting views. Scratch a Republican and they will tell you how much they hate trial lawyers who file “frivolous” law suits. There’s a measure chugging through the Lege to defenestrate the lawsuit against the oil, gas and chemical industries, and it’s surely supported by the members/tools who voted to make the Bible the state’s official book. That’s going to bring on a flood of litigation and cost the state a pretty penny, but one cannot vote against God. And that is why State Rep Thomas Carmody is malaka of the week.