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God Shows Up at This Year’s Bonnaroo

This year’s Bonnaroo might have ended last week, but the inspiration could just live on. No, we aren’t talking about the inspiration generally associated with a Woodstock-type music festival. Instead, the Gospel was preached through more than 400 Christians from several churches and ministries that came together under the banner of “Love Bonnaroo” at the music festival to pray for attendees, worship God, and offer creative evangelism.

A number of participants who came into the group’s ministry tents remarked, “This is a different atmosphere. It feels clean and light.” Thanks to these evangelism efforts, at least 750 people left having embarked on a relationship with Jesus.

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University of Tennessee Re-establishes Controversial Diversity Office

Last year Tennessee’s Legislature removed all state funding for the Office of Diversity at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, after a series of controversial emails that promoted the use of made-up, gender-neutral pronouns and urged students to avoid words and activities associated with the Christian celebration of Christmas.

But legislators restored the money in this year’s budget, and the school announced this week that the office was being restarted with the hiring of a director for an LGBT pride center.

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FACT Supports Efforts to Protect Religious Liberty of Nonprofits

We were proud to join a number of national allies in a letter urging congressional leaders to repeal the Johnson Amendment, a statute that limits the extent to which a 501(c)(3) organization can speak on political matters.

Specifically, the law has effectively squelched these organizations’ freedom of religion and speech by putting them at risk of losing their nonprofit status if they speak on behalf of or in opposition to a candidate for public office.

The proposed Free Speech Fairness Act would protect the speech and religious freedom rights of 501(c)(3) organizations and their leaders.

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District Judge Orders Stay on Tennessee’s Pro-Life Amendment 1

U.S. District Judge Kevin Sharp ordered a halt to a vote recount on an amendment that would remove the right to an abortion from the state’s constitution.

Judge Sharp had ordered the recount of the vote on Amendment 1 but granted the state’s motion to suspend the recount pending its appeal to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments on the appeal on August 2.

Eight voters, including the board chair of Planned Parenthood of Middle and East Tennessee, have challenged the outcome of the 2014 vote. Please be praying that the 6th Circuit will uphold this needed amendment, which allows the Legislature to enact protections for women and the unborn.

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Addition and Subtraction in Race for Governor

Though the date for the Republican gubernatorial primary is still 14 months away, the race for governor is underway. While other possible candidates consider entering the race, we’ve seen one candidate join the race and another drop out over the last week.

Last week, state Sen. Mae Beavers officially kicked off her campaign while state Sen. Mark Green officially announced that he was withdrawing from the race and will concentrate on ways he can serve in Washington, D.C. In withdrawing, Green said, “The very difficult task of electing a true conservative to be the fiftieth governor of Tennessee when the vote will clearly be split among several candidates harms that cause.”

Meanwhile, it was reported this week that Republican candidates Bill Lee and Randy Boyd recently had fundraisers that brought in $1.3 million and $1.2 million, respectively.

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