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Nashville, Tenn. — The state House has failed to override Gov. Bill Haslam’s veto of a bill to make Tennessee the first state to designate the Bible as its official book.

Forty-three members voted to re-pass the bill, falling short of the 50-vote threshold to turn back to the veto.

The Republican governor last week turned back the bill over constitutional concerns and because of concerns the measure “trivializes” what he considers a sacred text.

Sponsors argued that the measure seeks to honor the economic and historical impact of the Bible in Tennessee history, rather than a state endorsement of religion.

But opponents said it diminishes the significance of the Bible to place it alongside other state symbols like the official reptile or rock.

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