UPDATE: Ga. governor orders return of Bibles at parks statewide

Posted at 3:00 PM, May 15, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-15 11:23:55-04

UPDATE (May 15, 2013 - 3:20 P.M.) ATLANTA(WTXL/AP) — Georgia Governor Nathan Deal has ordered the return of Bibles to rooms at state parks after the Georgia Department of Natural Resources previously ordered all Bibles removed from guest rooms at state lodges and cabins across the state.

WAGA-TV reports that the order came after a resident expressed concerns.

A Georgia Department of Natural Resources spokeswoman said that after the resident expressed concerns, management directed the staff to remove the Bibles from cabins and lodge rooms until managers can fully investigate the issue and make an informed decision.

Wednesday afternoon, Governor Deal's office issued the order that Bibles be returned.

“Out of an abundance of caution to avoid potential litigation, the commissioner removed the Bibles from rooms – though they were still available on site – after a complaint from a visitor. The attorney general and I agree that the state is on firm legal footing as we move to return the Bibles to the rooms. These Bibles are donated by outside groups, not paid for by the state, and I do not believe that a Bible in a bedside table drawer constitutes a state establishment of religion. In fact, any religious group is free to donate literature.”