January 13, 2015 / 1:21 AM / 5 years ago

Mississippi lawmakers want to make Bible state's official book

(Reuters) - A pair of lawmakers in Mississippi have introduced a bill to make the Bible the official state book, the two said on Monday.

State Representatives Michael Evans and Tom Miles, both Democrats, said they introduced the measure on Thursday as a way to encourage people to read the Bible and be inspired to treat others with dignity.

The lawmakers said it was not their goal to force their Christian beliefs on others. The measure would not compel anyone to read the book, Evans said, adding: “It don’t force anybody to do anything.”

The bill came in response to constituents recommending it as a small corrective for “all the bad things happening in the world,” he said.

The measure has about 20 co-sponsors, both Democrats and Republicans, and its prospects for passage appear good, said Miles.

Last year, Mississippi put “In God We Trust” on the state’s seal, Miles noted.

“This (bill) isn’t any more out there than that,” he said.

Reporting by Jonathan Kaminsky in New Orleans; Editing by Peter Cooney

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