OP-ED: DESECRATING THE BIBLE

Written Testimony on HJR150 by Steven Puckett.

My name is Steven Puckett. I am a citizen of Hendersonville, TN. I speak for myself and myself alone. First off, I want to say that I think the sponsor is well-intentioned in bringing this legislation. With that said, I am testifying in opposition to HJR150 on three grounds.  

The first is that this resolution desecrates the Holy Bible. The second is that this resolution calls into question the truth of the Christian faith. The third is that this resolution steals from the Holy Bible the witness power of being mistaken for the state book. 

For many Christians in Tennessee, this resolution desecrates the Holy Bible by reducing it in status from a sacred venerated object to just another political prop. Further, this resolution suggests that the Christian faith will not last the test of time as it seeks to memorialize an aspect of the Christian faith in government. In the eyes of Christians that believe that Christianity is the “one true faith”, this bill calls into question the “truth” of the Christian faith by suggesting a need to memorialize aspects of the faith as the “one true faith” needs no such memorialization for posterity. 

Furthermore, this resolution steals from the Holy Bible the powerful witness opportunity that comes from people mistaking the Holy Bible for the state book as it allows Christians the opportunity to explain that the Holy Bible is much more special than just some ole state book. The very fact it gets mistaken for the state book, when it is not, gives the ultimate testament to the truth of the Holy Bible. Without the fact that the Holy Bible is not the state book, the powerful witness opportunity is lost. 

Also, I understand that many mistake the removal of past societal idols as the removal of God from our society, but yet the reality is that God is actively creating opportunities for people to “to be still and listen”. In a world where nearly everyone speaks for God, God is clearly sending a message for us to be silent and listen throughout the elements in our society whether it be by replacing prayer over the loudspeaker with the moment of silence, required Bible study with silent reading, or conservative majority courts handing down liberal rulings on social issues. It is time for us to stop speaking for God and listen for God to speak to us. If do not, then we risk repeating the same folly that leads to people walking away from God forever during my dad’s school years, because they saw God and Christ as nothing more than agencies of the government. 

Finally, understand that we have a whole generation that is watching us and asking “Is there anything left that is sacred? Is there anything that is beyond being tainted by the dirty hands of politics?” I ask that you answer this generation by demonstrating that there is so by voting down this resolution in a decisive fashion.

“Do You Have Any Idea How Racist You Seem?”

Rep Hensley voted against the slavery abolition resolution and expanding black history, and is fighting to keep the KKK GRAND WIZARD BUST. Begs the question: Is he in the Klan?

 

The Struggle Against the Nathan Bedford Forrest Bust with Justin Jones

Organizer Justin Jones joins to talk with Representative Johnson about his years-long struggle in leading the charge to remove the bust of former KKK Grand Wizard Nathan Bedford Forrest from the State Capitol. Jones puts it best in his reason for focusing so heavily on the bust: if we can’t remove such a blatant symbol of racism from our Capitol, how will we ever be able to find the strength to build a true, multi-racial democracy?

FULL PODCAST available on Apple Podcasts, and wherever else you like to listen.

Rep. Rudd’s Ridiculous Restroom Sign Bill

Rep Tim Rudd swears his bathroom sign bill isn’t anti-trans, but it obviously is. Even GOP Rep Pat Marsh finds Rudd’s obsession with this issue unnecessary and absurd.

(This is our masterpiece, y’all. Pls enjoy.)

 

Tennessee Bar Association RIPS Rep. Rudd and the GOP

Rep. Tim Rudd and the Republicans are trying to remove a respected judge who ruled in a way they didn’t like – to let us all vote safely in a pandemic. Because, you know, Republicans don’t like when people vote. Yesterday the Democrats gave a press conference, and the Tennessee Bar Association has now issued a statement shredding the resolution and accurately pointing out how it threatened the separation of powers this country was founded on. Read their statement below.

By Barry Kolar on Mar 2, 2021. Originally posted on the Tennessee Bar Association’s Law Blog

NASHVILLE, March 2, 2021 — Since 1881, the Tennessee Bar Association (TBA) has represented the entire spectrum of the Tennessee legal community, from plaintiff and defense attorneys to judges, government and legal services attorneys, corporate counsel, and many attorneys residing outside the State who retain an interest in the Tennessee legal profession.The TBA is a strong advocate for the profession and the development and maintenance of our justice system. This statement is not intended to be political or partisan, but instead one of extreme concern and caution related to the fundamental importance of the separation of powers and maintaining an independent judiciary in the State of Tennessee. We believe House Resolution 23 (HR 23) will have a chilling effect on the administration of justice in our State, and threatens the bedrock principle of separation of powers, which lies at the core of Tennessee’s system of government.

Article VI, Section 6 of the Tennessee Constitution provides a process for removing judges and attorneys for the state from office for cause. HR 23 appears to be the first time the legislature has used Article VI, Section 6 of the Tennessee Constitution to begin the removal process of a judge from office for cause based on rulings in a judicial proceeding. After a thorough review of HR 23 and the underlying case, the TBA has significant concerns about the resolution’s impact on the constitutional separation of powers in our three branches of government. As stated in the Preamble to Rule 10 of the Code of Judicial Conduct, “[a]n independent, fair and impartial judiciary is indispensable to our system of justice.” Judges should decide matters based on a thorough analysis and interpretation of the law without concern for the decision’s potential political implications.

Article VI, Section 6 is not a tool used as a matter of course, and we respectfully believe that the legislature should not use it in this circumstance. The TBA is concerned that HR 23, if successful, will create a precedent that any time a judge rules against the state, or on a statute, or renders a politically unpopular decision, that decision could potentially trigger legislative removal proceedings against that judge. This also results in the potential for removing a judge any time a ruling is overturned on appeal, when in fact the act of the appeal is a clear measure that the legal process is working appropriately.

Tennessee law provides for multiple avenues to hold judges accountable should that prove necessary. One such avenue, the Board of Judicial Conduct, was created by the legislature itself. The board provides an orderly and efficient method for inquiring into, among other things, the fitness of judges, a judge’s manner of performance of duty, and the judge’s commission of any act that reflects unfavorably upon the judiciary or that may adversely affect the administration of justice. The board is comprised of 16 members, eight of which are appointed by the speakers of the Senate and House, respectively.

Further, the judicial system has in place an appeals process. The state utilized the appeals process in the matters outlined in HR 23. Ultimately, the Tennessee Supreme Court overturned Chancellor Lyle’s temporary injunction, although one justice did agree with her.

The people act as another vehicle for judicial accountability. Article VI, Section 4 of the Tennessee Constitution provides that “…the Judges of the Circuit and Chancery Courts, and of other Inferior Courts, shall be elected by the qualified voters of the district or circuit to which they are to be assigned.” Chancellor Lyle, like many other judges across this state, is an elected judge. She will stand for reelection and face a decision on her continued tenure by the voters in her district. The voters in her district should exercise their judgment about whether or not she should remain in office. Reasonable minds can and will continue to disagree with judicial decisions even in cases like this one of first impression. The remedies related to those disagreements lie in the appellate process and at the voting booth.

Processes currently exist as a check on all judges, and those processes work. We strongly encourage members of the General Assembly and the citizens of this state to utilize the appeals process, make complaints to the Board of Judicial Conduct when necessary, and exercise their right to vote. We also urge the General Assembly to reconsider HR 23 and its impact on an impartial, independent judiciary.

“I Thought We Were Opposed to Government Overreach”

“We’re creating a culture war where none existed and we do so at the expense of society’s most vulnerable. I THOUGHT WE WERE OPPOSED TO GOVERNMENT OVERREACH. Creating legislation for a problem that doesn’t even exist sounds like big gov telling us how to live.”

Heidi Campbell speaks out against Senator Hensley’s anti-trans athlete bill.

 

Rep Sexton’s Racist Tirade

“It goes against OUR people and OUR culture.”

At a budget meeting, Rep. Jerry Sexton rips off the mask/hood and lashes out about having Diversity and Inclusion positions in state government, calling it “propaganda.”

 

Senator Lundberg’s Self Own

State Senator Jon Lundberg walks right into a trap set by News 5 WCYB’s Caleb Perhne and ends up ACCIDENTALLY AGREEING that the government doesn’t have the right to dictate what kind of protest should be allowed when discussing the ETSU basketball players kneeling in protest.

 

Kanew on TNGOP’s MLK Hypocrisy

“IT’S A DISGRACE.”

Holler Founder Justin Kanew joined NewsTalkWTN to talk about the hypocrisy of politicians praising MLK while they block health care for poor folks, and why working people coming together across racial lines is their real fear.
Listen to the full show here.