Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal ordered that Bibles be returned to cabins and lodges owned at state parks reversing a decision by the Department of Natural Resources to ban the books.
“Out of an abundance of caution to avoid potential litigation, the commissioner removed the Bibles from the rooms – though they were still available on site – after a complaint from a visitor,” Deal said in a statement.
The Bibles had been donated to the state by The Gideons International and were traditionally placed in cabins and lodge rooms at state parks.
The brief decision to remove the Bible sparked outrage across the Peach State.
“I think that they should be left there,” Jamie Knight told television station WAGA. “If someone chooses to read the Bible then that is their right. If they don’t believe in God, then they don’t have to look at a Bible.”
Deal, a Republican, said the attorney general determined the state was on “firm legal footing” and therefore decided to return the Good Book to the camp sties.
“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,” Deal said. “In fact, any religious group is free to donate literature.”