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NASHVILLE -- Following an often-tumultuous House debate today featuring discussion of God, Jesus, Moses, salamanders, the U.S. and Tennessee Constitutions, the ACLU and the seperation of church and state, a final vote on a bill making the "Holy Bible" Tennessee government's official book has been delayed. 

Proponents appeared to have the upper hand -- despite a new state attorney general opinion  calling the bill unconstitutional -- but didn't have enough votes to force the measure to a final vote beyond the time the allotted time House had set to meet this morning.

As a result the debate will resume on Wednesday.

The bill would list the Bible in the state's Blue Book along such state symbols as the salamander (official amphibian) and Rock Top, a bluegrass murder ballad.

Rep. Jerry Sexton, R-Bean Station, who for 25 years served as a Baptist minister, is the measure's sponsor. He said his purpose was to acknowledge the Bible's historical, cultural and economic importance in Tennessee.

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