State Senator says He May Drop Creationism Question

Maryville, Blount County (AP) -- The Tennessee Senator who proposed forcing the state education commissioner to say whether a supreme being created the universe now says he may drop the matter.

Senator Raymond Finney of Maryville puts it this way, "this may not be the time and place for that."

The Republican lawmaker cited a workload with other legislation as one reason to reconsider the resolution he introduced, which asks Education Commissioner Lana Seivers to answer whether the universe "has been created or has merely happened by random, unplanned, and purposeless occurrences."

A Senate colleague asked the state Attorney General to clarify whether the question to Seivers violated the state constitution, which holds that "no political or religious test" can be required as a qualification for state office.

An Attorney General ruling issued Tuesday said the question was permissible because it wasn't the same as a "test."

If Finney proceeds with the resolution, it only has to pass the Republican-controlled Senate and won't be considered by the Democratic-controlled House or the Governor.

Copyright 2007 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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