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Lawmaker shelves proposal to name Bible as Louisiana state book, says had become distraction

BATON ROUGE, La. — A Shreveport lawmaker is scrapping his proposal to name the Bible as Louisiana's official state book.

Republican Rep. Thomas Carmody told the state House today that he wouldn't pursue the measure. He said lawmakers had told him they were worried the bill was becoming a distraction from more important debates, like the state budget.

Carmody had said he sponsored the proposal after a constituent made the request. He insisted the bill wasn't designed to be a state-endorsement of Christianity or a specific religion.

But lawmakers said it raises questions about whether Louisiana would be violating the separation of church and state. Opponents said it could land the Legislature in a costly lawsuit.

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