For many of us the only book that we will ever need is The Bible. For believers it is the instruction manual for living a good life and being a good person. State Legislator Thomas Carmody of Shreveport wants to make a certain Bible the State Book of Louisiana.

As you might imagine this proposal in House Bill 503 has many shaking their heads in disagreement and there is the threat of legal action.  Marjorie Esman, Executive Director for the Louisiana Civil Liberties Union does not think this legislation would be a good idea.

"And if the purpose of this bill is to say that Louisiana is not a welcoming place for anybody who doesn't have these narrow religious views, then it would accomplish that goal,"

Esman made her comments in a story reported by the Louisiana Radio Network.

The Bible in question, Holy Bible published by Johannes Prevel, is one that is housed in the Louisiana State Museum and is considered by many to be the oldest edition in the State.  Louisiana Family Forum Director Gene Mills believes the choice of this particular Bible to be the Official State Book makes sense.

"They do call it a Good Book and in this case it happens to be oldest version of The Bible and the oldest book in the state of Louisiana. This is a vintage piece of history and heritage that is uniquely Louisiana's."

For those opposed to the proposal set forth in the House Bill 503 is the argument concerning the separation of church and state. The choice of a particular book that embraces a certain religious beliefs would by association suggest that belief is the official belief of the state.

The debate on House Bill 503 will no doubt be watched closely during the course of the current session which began on Monday.