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What Will Happen With the Controversial TN Capitol Statue?

In light of the violent protests this past weekend in Charlottesville, Va., by white supremacists and this Monday’s protest by Moral Movement Tennessee concerning controversial symbols of the Confederacy at the state Capitol, Gov. Bill Haslam is recommending the removal of the Nathan Bedford Forrest bust housed there.

Along with being a military strategist and Confederate general born in Middle Tennessee, Forrest was, at one time, a Ku Klux Klan leader and that fact has incited some. Later, however, Forrest renounced the KKK and advocated for “social and political advancement for blacks.”

Removal of the bust requires two-thirds approval of the Tennessee Historical Commission. The first call to remove the statue came in 2015 after the Charleston, S.C., shooting, but the Legislature responded last year by passing the Tennessee Heritage Protection Act, which makes it more difficult to remove statues or rename streets dedicated to controversial figures from public property.

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Knoxville Man Creates Bracelets to Support Local Police

After a plaque displaying Romans 8:31 was removed from the Knoxville Police Department in response to complaints from Freedom From Religion Foundation, Knoxvillian Ryan Hudson created rubber bracelets displaying the Bible verse to sell to the public. The bracelets were sold for $1 each and sales went to a charity that supports the Knoxville Police Department. “They can take down a sign, but they can’t destroy our beliefs,” Hudson said on Facebook.

Demand for the bracelets has been higher than expected. So far, Hudson has sold 700 of them and has been able to donate $400 to benefit the Knoxville Police Department. Currently, Hudson is not taking any more orders for the bracelets but said he will post information on extras and how to get them on Facebook.

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Convicts Offered Shorter Jail Times in Exchange for Free Birth Control

In exchange for shorter jail time, White County, Tenn., General Sessions Judge Sam Benningfield offered inmates free extreme birth-control measures. Male prisoners who opted-in would be given vasectomies, while female prisoners would receive Nexplanon, a three-year contraceptive implant. Judge Benningfield rescinded the offer after an uproar that included calls for the state attorney general to opine as to its constitutionality. Before it was rescinded, however, 32 women and 38 men had opted-in as a means of reducing their time in jail up to 30 days. Benningfield reasoned, “I hope to encourage them to take personal responsibility and give them a chance, when they do get out, to not to be burdened with children.” Benningfield’s original offer for convicts to “buy” their freedom through sterilization procedures not only smacked of eugenics, but also bordered on coercion.

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Register for FACT’s New Biblical Worldview Seminar This Fall

Restoring the Vision is a unique biblical worldview seminar led by FACT President David Fowler. In the seminar, David distills the worldview concepts derived from Scripture that challenged him to leave the private practice of law to go into politics and public policy. At Restoring the Vision, you will see what God has been doing “from the beginning” and how you, too, fit into His original and ongoing creational purposes. If you’re looking for greater purpose in your Christian journey and want to develop the basic worldview tools that will help you make better sense of what’s going on around you, then come to Restoring the Vision on November 11. Register now for this exciting new seminar.

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Lawsuit Challenging Tennessee’s Waiting Period Gains Pro-Choice Firepower

A motion was filed Wednesday seeking to add three plaintiffs to a lawsuit challenging the state’s 2015 law requiring a 48-hour waiting period for women seeking an abortion. Specifically, both Planned Parenthood of Middle and East Tennessee and Planned Parenthood Greater Memphis Region are seeking to be added in addition to the Knoxville Center for Reproductive Health, which will be represented by the ACLU. According to news reports, State Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery agreed to stop enforcing requirements that abortion providers must have hospital admitting privileges and abortion clinics must meet hospital-level surgical standards in April.

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