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Tenn. Official Says He Won’t Perform Same-Sex Marriages

A Tennessee county official who performs marriage ceremonies but said he will not marry same-sex couples has received a warning letter from Americans United.

After marriage equality became the law in 2015 thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, Maury County Trustee Steve Konz said that he would no longer officiate at any weddings due to his conservative Roman Catholic beliefs.

Darrow In Dayton?

by Sarah E. Jones

In Dayton, Tenn., William Jennings Bryan stands alone.

Or rather, a version of him does. Since 2005, the Rhea County Courthouse has displayed a solitary Bryan statue honoring his role in the famous “Scopes monkey trial” of 1925. Now, thanks to an idea hatched by an Americans United activist and endorsed by AU and a number of other groups, he may be about to get a new neighbor with a familiar face.

Tenn. House Fails To Override Bible Bill Veto

The Bible will not become the state of Tennessee’s official book.

A measure granting this designation to the Bible passed both chambers of the legislature but was vetoed by Gov. Bill Haslam (R). The bill, H.B. 615, would have made Tennessee the first state in the country to make the Bible an official symbol.

Lawmakers in the state House of Representatives attempted an override but failed on a 43-50 vote. The bill’s sponsor, State Rep. Jerry Sexton (R-Bean Station), lamented the failure but said he and his colleagues had “made history.”

A Tale Of Two Bills: Tenn. Lawmakers Move To Make Bible The Official State Book While Idaho Governor Vetoes Bible-In-Schools Measure

Reckless bills involving the Bible have surfaced in two states – one is dead, but the other remains in play.

In Idaho, lawmakers pushed SB 1342, which would have authorized public schools to use the Bible and other religious books in the curriculum.

Privilege, Not Persecution: It’s Time For Fundamentalist Christians To Stop Whining

Over the weekend, a movie called “God’s Not Dead 2” opened in theaters around the nation. I haven’t seen the film and don’t intend to -- I'm not going to give them my money, and if I'm going to watch a cheesy movie, I prefer one featuring rubber monsters battling for supremacy in Tokyo -- but I’ve been reading about it online.

Despite the “2” in its title, the film isn’t really a sequel. It’s a follow-up to an earlier movie. Both releases feature has-been and never-been actors and represent a fairly new genre in Christian filmmaking – call it the cinema of persecution.

Club Fight: Tenn. Residents Complain About High School’s Gay-Straight Alliance

At public schools around the country, students, mostly high schoolers, are forming Gay-Straight Alliance clubs. Fundamentalist Christians often freak out over the existence of these clubs, like these people are doing in Winchester, Tenn.

Whenever this happens, I have to explain, once again, who made it possible for students to form Gay-Straight Alliances at public secondary schools.

It was fundamentalist Christians.

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