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First Liberty Briefing

First Liberty Briefing is an exclusive podcast hosted by First Liberty Institute’s Deputy General Counsel Jeremy Dys. In about 90-seconds, once a week, Jeremy recalls the stories that have shaped America’s religious liberty, from the founding era to current legal battles and more. It’s an insider’s look at the stories, cases, people, and laws that have made America the world’s leader in protecting religious liberty.
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Nov 4, 2019

Judge Tammy Kemp has received criticism for giving her Bible to a convicted felon in an act of compassion and mercy. Any judge that hands any holy writ to someone in an effort to encourage the improvement of his or her life is legal and worth defending. Learn more at FirstLiberty.org/Briefing.


Everyone seems to have been moved by the remarkable story of forgiveness and mercy of Brandt Jean, brother of Botham Jean tragically killed in 2018 by an off-duty police officer in his own apartment.

Many have even taken note of Judge Tammy Kemp’s actions as well. After sentencing was complete, Judge Kemp descended from the bench, visited with the Jean family, and was moved to give her personal Bible to Amber Guyger, the newly sentenced felon, when she greeted her.

Ignoring the example of humanity, healing, and mercy demonstrated by Judge Kemp, the Freedom From Religion Foundation stepped in to ruin the moment.  They filed a complaint with the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct, calling the act of Judge Kemp an “abuse of power.”

Our country has a longstanding tradition of respecting the reality that our leaders have both a professional, official role and yet may retain their personal humanity.  Not only should Judge Kemp be permitted to be human, including the parts of her humanity informed by her religious beliefs, any judge that hands any holy writ to anyone in any effort to encourage the improvement of their lives is worth defending.

The protests of Judge Kemp should stop and those protesting ought to join the rest of the nation celebrating the compassion and mercy Judge Kemp demonstrated. We should all be thankful the law allows Judge Kemp’s actions. We stand with her and will gladly lead the charge in defending her noble and legal actions if necessary.

To learn how First Liberty is protecting religious liberty for all Americans, visit FirstLiberty.org.

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