religion and politics

Sheriff sees ‘dirty politics’ in PAC complaints over prisoners’ trip to church

Bradley County Sheriff Eric Watson held a news conference Thursday to denounce as “dirty politics” claims by a political action committee that he put the public in danger by taking nine state prisoners to a church in civilian clothes, apparently unguarded, reports the Times Free Press. 

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Christian conservative leader has legislators scuttle bill banning child marriage

A bill aimed at banning “child brides” in Tennessee is dead for the year after a former state senator and conservative activist asked it be delayed for fear it might interfere with his legal challenge to the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark 2015 ruling on same-sex marriage, reports the Times Free Press.

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Legislature poised to mandate “In God We Trust” signs in all TN schools

A bill mandating “prominent” display of the words “in God we trust” in all Tennessee schools was approved unanimously without debate in the state Senate and got only one recorded ‘no’ vote in clearing House committees as it heads to a floor vote.

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Lee gets celebrity help in seeking evangelical vote (‘God can work through him’)

Williamson County businessman Bill Lee has five celebrities serving as “honorary co-chairs” in a listing of his gubernatorial campaign supporters called  “Community and Faith-Based Advisory Council.”  Celebrities are country music star Ricky Skaggs, former Nashville Predators captain Mike Fisher, former NASCAR driver Darrell Waltrip along with gospel singers Steven Curtis Chapman and Michael W. Smith.

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In Nashville visit, Pence praises Trump, Black for anti-abortion efforts

Vice President Mike Pence used his latest visit to Nashville to offer support for the anti-abortion movement and reassure those gathered at a Christian broadcasting conference that the Trump administration will be the most vociferous supporter yet of issues important to evangelicals, reports The Tennessean.

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Haslam on ‘critical’ need for politicians to have spiritual discipline

Excerpts from an article Gov. Bill Haslam wrote – headlined “Public Service as a Spiritual Discipline” — for Comment, a publication of Cardus, which is described as “a think tank devoted to renewing North American social architecture, rooted in 2000 years of Christian social thought”:

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Christian university backs out of hosting Beavers event criticized as anti-Muslim

Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville has decided against serving as the location of an event organized by Republican gubernatorial candidate/former state Sen. Mae Beavers and criticized by some  as having anti-Muslim event, reports The Tennessean.

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Kustoff invited to White House Hanukkah Party; Cohen (and other Jewish Democrats) snubbed

President Donald Trump invited the two Republicans members of Congress who are Jewish – Tennessee’s Rep.  David Kustoff and New York Rep. Lee Zeldin – to the White House Hanukkah Party but excluded Jewish Democrats including Tennessee’s Rep. Steve Cohen, reports the New York Times. That was break with tradition, which under past presidents has made the gathering non-partisan.

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State to pay $80K to settle lawsuit over religious teaching in prison inmate program

TRICOR, the state program providing jobs for prison inmates, will pay $80,994 to settle a federal court lawsuit that contended inappropriate religious teaching was included in instructional materials, reports WKRN TV.

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Indictment issued in ‘acts of hate’ against TN mosque

News release from U.S. attorney’s office, Nashville

Charles Dwight Stout, III, 19, of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, was indicted Wednesday by a federal grand jury and charged with obstruction of justice, announced Jack Smith, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee. The charge relates to the ongoing investigation into the vandalism of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro on July 10, 2017.

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