More Information About Tenn. HJR 37

House Joint Resolution 37 passed the state House last May and has been sitting dormant in a Senate committee for almost a year (as unconstitutional bills tend to do). But last week, a Senate committee shockingly revived the religious amendment and passed it. (A similar bill proposed by the same legislator failed in 2015). 

If the Tennessee Legislature is looking for government principles, the U.S. Constitution should be its guide. Our Constitution is godless, with no mention of a deity. It only mentions religion three times, all exclusionary:

  1. It bans religious tests for public office,
  2. It prohibits the government from aligning with one religion over another and religion over nonreligion, and
  3. Guarantees the freedom of thought and belief.

In other words, the Constitution keeps gods out of the business of government and government out of the business of worshipping gods.

HJR 37 plainly implies reverence for the Christian god, which the Founders would have vehemently rejected. The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, too (through the 14th Amendment), rejects this insertion of religion into a state constitution.

This proposed constitutional amendment still has several steps before it would be enacted, but stopping it will only get more difficult if it gains more momentum.

Freedom From Religion Foundation