Tag Archives: clergy

Clergy for Justice: Ag Gag Bill ‘Is Evil and Against God’s Will’

News release from Clergy for Justice:
Clergy for Justice Tennessee, a grassroots organization of religious leaders across Tennessee committed to seeking justice in public policy, hand-delivered a letter from its members and supporters to Governor Haslam’s office, urging the Governor to veto a bill designed to prevent the exposure of animal abuse in horse stables and agriculture facilities.
Over 300 clergy members and people of faith have added their voices to the chorus of groups across the state, urging Governor Bill Haslam to veto Tennessee’s notorious “ag gag” bill. Senate Bill 1248, which would criminalize the investigation of animal cruelty and other illegal or unethical activity at agriculture operations while shielding animal agribusiness from public scrutiny, narrowly passed the Legislature. It is now on its way to Governor Bill Haslam’s office to be vetoed or signed into law.
“Genesis 1 tells us that everything on the earth has been created by God, and that God has commanded humans to care for the animals,” said Kathy Chambers, Director of Clergy for Justice Tennessee. “Far too often they are subject to abuse which causes unthinkable suffering, clearly violating that mandate. As people of faith, we are called to speak out against injustice and cruelty in whatever forms they might take. Thus, we urge Governor Haslam to stand with people of faith across the state and veto this bill.”
In 2011, an undercover investigation into renowned Tennessee walking horse trainer Jackie McConnell’s stable in Collierville, Tennessee revealed egregious cruelty to horses. A whistleblower documented horses being whipped, kicked, shocked, and subjected to painful soring using caustic chemicals on their legs.

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Clergy Members Call for Medicaid Expansion, Oppose Welfare Cuts for Bad Grades

By Lucas Johnson, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Faith leaders from across Tennessee gathered at the Capitol on Monday to speak out for the poor, while the governor and lawmakers consider initiatives affecting health insurance and welfare benefits.
About 15 clergy delivered 133 baskets of loaves and paper fish to the offices of each legislator and Republican Gov. Bill Haslam, urging them to accept $1.4 billion in Medicaid money if the federal government doesn’t approve an alternate plan for Medicaid expansion in Tennessee.
The clergy said the loaves and fish symbolized the story of Jesus feeding the multitude, and that the money could provide thousands with health insurance.
“We’re here today … to send a message to Gov. Haslam that if the government does not accept his alternate plan for health care here in Tennessee, then we really want him to accept the Medicaid expansion dollars,” said Kathy Chambers, one of the organizers of Clergy for Justice, a grassroots advocacy group for equality.
“We want him to take the resources and be able to multiply it like in the miracle of the loaves and fish, and be able to help Tennesseans who need health insurance desperately.”
Haslam later told reporters that he understands the group’s concern for “the least of these,” but that he also must be financially responsible.

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