the word blog spelled out in letters, a hand on a computer keyword

In our blog, read about the political and cultural issues affecting Tennesseans written from a conservative perspective. Commentaries are typically written by David Fowler, an attorney who served in the Tennessee state Senate for 12 years before joining FACT as President.

collage showing the Tennessee Capitol, screenshot from the Summer Study, the Tennessee flag, and an elephant
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The Elephant in the (Abortion Hearing) Room

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The Senate Judiciary Committee’s two-day hearings were the best and most significant hearings I’ve been part of in my more than twenty-five years in state politics. Many statements from pro-life and pro-choice witnesses against the bill deserve comment,…
laughing baby
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Shining the Light on Roe v. Wade and the 'Heartbeat' Bill Controversy

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Next Monday and Tuesday the Senate Judiciary Committee will hear lawyers wrangle over the constitutional defensibility of a so-called “fetal heartbeat” bill. The version of the bill passed by the House is a ‘heartbeat’ bill. Contrary to what you…
Picture of Joshua Harris' I Kissed Dating Good-Bye book and image of a cross
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My Joshua Harris Moment and the Challenge of Christian Cultural Engagement

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This week, Joshua Harris, a preacher who rose to prominence within certain segments of Christianity through his book I Kissed Dating Goodbye, has now said, “By all the measurements that I have for defining a Christian, I am not a Christian.” I honestly…
Bernie Sanders at a political rally and dollar bills
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Sanders, Tlaib, and the Minimum Wage

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, a socialist, says the minimum wage needs to be raised from $7.25 to $15 (though he’s unwilling to allow his employees to increase their gross income as a result!) and then U.S. Representative Rashida Tlaib wants to raise…
hands of husband and wife showing wedding rings
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Constitutionality of New TN Marriage Law and Personal Repentance

The other week I read in The Tennessean that the state’s lawyers did not satisfy a federal district court judge’s demand that they provide a “rational basis” for a new Tennessee law that bans ministers with online ordinations from performing marriages.…
U.S. flag and illustration of Abraham Lincoln
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Needed: A ‘New Birth of Freedom’ That Will Scare the Left and Christians Alike

Though out of town last week during our observation of Independence Day, I couldn’t help but ruminate on Abraham Lincoln’s assertion as he surveyed the blood-covered fields of Gettysburg that we were a nation “conceived in liberty” and urged upon…
Mom holding newborn
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Is the Stare Decisis Really the Obstacle to Reversing Roe v. Wade?

Two United States Supreme Court decisions from last week bode well for the possibility the abortion precedents of Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey could be overturned. They underscore why I believe a well-drawn and supported “fetal heartbeat…
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The TN Democratic Party Exposes Religious Liberty Gibberish

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Last week I said that a religious liberty that means religious neutrality is impossible. And this week the chair of Tennessee’s Democratic Party proved me right. The proof came in the form of a letter from the party’s chair, Mary Mancini, to the…
Barronelle Stutzman
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Is the Demise of Today’s Version of Religious Liberty Needed?

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Barronelle Stutzman is a florist in Richland, Wash., who is alleged to have violated that state’s law prohibiting her from refusing services to persons based on their sexual orientation. This week, the Washington Supreme Court upheld the judgments of…
Young girl swimming in pool with googles on her head
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Coming to the Rec Center Swimming Pool Near You

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On February 15, 2019, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion that gives a clear picture of the constitutionally required degeneracy that lies ahead if two U.S. Supreme Court decisions from the past are not dealt with soon and decisively.…

Past Blogposts

Picture of five core competencies of SEL and TN flag on a chalkboard

Is This the Beginning of the End for Public Schools?

Have public schools run their course? Just asking that question will irritate a lot of people, Christians included. But I think we have to ask the question, given an announcement last week by the Nashville Chamber of Commerce relative to what it wants from public education. Those who don’t ask and answer the question may […]

Mary and Joseph with baby Jesus, the TN Capitol, and the American flag

Is the Christmas Story Bad News for Today’s Politicians?

For the last two weeks, I’ve taken a break from politics to share some of my thoughts about the true meaning of Christmas. But when the Christmas story and politics come together, it seems like bad news for most of today’s politicians, Republican and Democrat alike. If too many politicians read it, there may be […]

Sword of the Spirit and Bible against Christmas lights

The Weapon-Wielding Baby Jesus Asleep in the Hay

Last week’s commentary about the Merry Christmas “culture war” was a break from politics per se, and the response to it ran the gamut. Some thought I was wrong, while others agreed; some flat missed the point, and others thought it sounded “kind of scary.” So, continuing my “seasonal break,” I can’t wait to see […]

illustrative manger scene and Christmas tree ornament that says "Away in a Manger"

Why I May Never Say ‘Merry Christmas’ Again

With today’s encapsulation of stories about schools banning certain Christmas songs and Christmas-related words and images, I couldn’t help but think about the protests in recent years over the shift from “Merry Christmas” to “Happy Holidays.” I get that for many these things are a lament about the increasing secularization of our culture and that […]

man in handcuffs with Lady Liberty in background

Criminal Justice Reform on Tennessee’s Agenda

Governor-elect Bill Lee and various state legislative leaders have voiced an interest in working on criminal justice reform during the next legislative session. This is not a topic that I would normally wade into, but it points to what I perceive to be a systemic issue in “reform” efforts in modern politics. Understanding How the […]

Photo ofBill Lee and a man writing notes

An Open Letter to Governor-Elect Bill Lee About His Advisors

Bill, congratulations on your election as our state’s next governor. I followed with great interest both the primary and the general election in which you ran. Our political stories are remarkably similar in some respects, and I hope you will find this particular thought most helpful going forward. Our political experiences are similar in a […]

handshake

Working Across What Aisle?

Now that the election is over, the question in the minds of many is whether those elected are willing to “work across the aisle” with each other. Will Trump and Pelosi work across the aisle to govern? At his very first press conference, Governor-elect Bill Lee was asked if he would have any Democrats in […]

Pittsburgh synagogue shooting: Governor Wolf gives remarks regarding Pittsburgh shooting and participates in vigil

Getting the Right Policy Prescription for Gun Attacks

I’ve never written on gun violence since it’s really outside the immediate purview of the issues dealt with by the organization I lead. But given the latest attack on a group of people and the growing frequency of such attacks, I think it’s time to say something. We need to get straight a bit of […]

Can One Issue Really Define the U.S. Senate Election?

I don’t think about how I vote the same way I did before I got into politics 24 years ago, because now I know too much how the legislative process works once a candidate is elected. That knowledge is important to me. For all the policy differences between Congressman Blackburn and Phil Bredesen, it seems […]

a photo of Phil Bredesen from 2007, Phil Bredesen sticker, Democrat donkey

Don’t Cast a Naive Vote for U.S. Senate

One thing I know from 12 years in the Tennessee Senate and another 12 years trying to work with the General Assembly is party politics and how it affects what legislators do. So, with early voting starting this week and a hotly contested U.S. Senate race on the ballot, here’s what I have to say […]