Third grader Olivia McConnell sent a letter to Gov. Nikki Haley nominating the Columbian mammoth after finding out that South Carolina was one of only a handful of states without an official state fossil.
Legislation approving the measure was introduced and made it through the House.
The bill hit a snag when Sen. Kevin Bryant introduced an amendment seeking to insert a Bible verse in the measure which was rejected because it introduced “new and independent matter.”
This week, Bryant has introduced a new amendment that refers to the animal as "created on the sixth day with the beasts of the field."
“I think it’s an appropriate time to acknowledge the creator,” he told the Greenville News. “Since we’re dealing with the fossil of the woolly mammoth then this amendment would deal with the beginning of the woolly mammoth.”
McConnell suggested the animal because fossilized mammoth teeth were discovered in a South Carolina swamp in 1725.
“The courts have upheld using Old Testament scripture because it doesn’t point to a single religion,” Bryant said. “If I used text from the New Testament, if somebody challenged it in court you might lose on those grounds.”
[The Greenville News]