Religious Liberty Law Firm Supports Sumner County Commission’s Addition Of Judeo-Christian Values To Official Document

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The Tennessee Conservative [By Paula Gomes] –

A religious liberty law firm has thrown its weight behind the Sumner County Commission whose members voted to include a Judeo-Christian preamble to an official document. Legal counsel for the commission advised committee members against voting for the new language that ensures the actions of commissioners are “reflective of the Judeo-Christian values inherent in our nation’s founding.”

The law firm, First Liberty, recently won a major U.S. Supreme Court case (Kennedy v. Bremerton School District) on behalf of Washington football coach Joseph Kennedy who was fired for engaging in personal prayer on the football field, after games.

The Supreme Court changed decades of precedent on the separation of church and state when they ruled in Kennedy’s favor. Kennedy had accused the school district of First Amendment rights violations after they placed him on administrative leave for refusing to stop praying with students on the field after games were over.

First Liberty believes the Kennedy case establishes a new First Amendment test and can be applied to Sumner County but other legal voices disagree.

Even before the preamble was adopted in early October, the county’s interim attorney advised against it because it would possibly cause an Establishment Clause violation. 

First Amendment expert, and professor at Belmont University’s College of Law, David Hudson, said that Sumner County’s decision to adopt the preamble is a “clear violation.” Ken Paulson, Director of the Free Speech Center at Middle Tennessee State University called it not only “illegal” but also “just plain rude.”

Senior Counsel for First Liberty, Roger Byron, sent a letter to the Sumner County Commission at the beginning of November to assure them that their decision to include references to Judeo-Christian values in their preamble was not a violation of the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause.

In the letter, Byron stated, “Kennedy was a landmark decision that clarified and now controls Establishment Clause matters under the First Amendment.”

In an interview with The Tennessean, Byron said that based on Kennedy, the Sumner County preamble easily falls within what is considered “allowable” religious expression.

“When you look at the historical practices and understandings of our founding fathers, and where the county refers to Judeo-Christian values, we’re talking about the values of honesty, integrity, fair-dealing, hard-work, justice and basic morality,” he said. “Those values permeate our founding documents. They permeated the understandings of the founding fathers. So yes, I see what this dedication to these values is and it’s perfectly in line with established law.”

Sammi Lawrence, a legal fellow with the Freedom From Religion Foundation, disagrees that the Kennedy case can be applied to Sumner County, saying that the case deals with individual private prayer within the public school context for school employees.

But Byron says that the judiciary, including the Supreme Court, understands the importance of preserving and defending religious freedom now that the Lemon Test and the Endorsement Test, standard for the past 50 years, are no longer applicable since the Kennedy decision.

In the past, under the Lemon Test, government entities were only allowed to assist religion if the primary purpose in doing so was secular and the aid that they rendered neither promoted nor inhibited religion thereby avoiding excessive entanglement between “church and state.”

“What I see now is that we have a judiciary, including the Supreme Court, that is willing to apply and interpret the actual law and faithfully do so,” Byron said. “Clearly with Kennedy we have returned to that. We are going to apply what the law actually is. We are going to take the Constitution and apply it for what it actually says. So when you have a judiciary or a court that clearly sees and understands the importance of preserving and defending religious freedom, our free speech rights and all of our enumerated rights in the Constitution, I think only good things are coming.”

About the Author: Paula Gomes is a Tennessee resident and reporter for The Tennessee Conservative. You can reach Paula at

2 thoughts on “Religious Liberty Law Firm Supports Sumner County Commission’s Addition Of Judeo-Christian Values To Official Document

  • December 6, 2022 at 4:45 am

    All of the following cases deal with the Second Amendment and have ruled that the Constitution must be interpreted and applied precisely as they were the day it was Ratified.

    This of course is concurring with the Supreme Courts decision in:

    New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen
    Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570, 634–35 (2008)

    CRIM. ACTION 3:21-CR-0482-B, 11-03-2022

    “CRIMINAL ACTION 2:22-cr-00097 10-12-2022

    CRIM. ACTION 3:21-CR-0482-B, 11-03-2022
    UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff, v. SHANE HOLTON, Defendant.

    “1:21-cr-00086-DBB 11-10-2022

    Applying the same interpretation of the “SECOND” Amendment” to the “FIRST” Amendment,
    would nullify all the laws applying to the First Amendment, precisely as the Amendment says.

    “Congress shall make “NO LAW” respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise” thereof;”

    Religion must be free to seek it’s own level within society, No promotion or restrictions by Government.

    Our Constitution was established on the bases of the “Christian Doctrine”, and that is the way it is to be interpreted.

    Approval of Sexual perversions, Abortion are a violation of the Constitution just as they would have been in 1791.


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