National Catholic Reporter

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Tennessee

Kentucky county clerk invokes God in denying gay marriages

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Rowan County's clerk prayed and fasted over her decision to refuse marriage licenses for same-sex couples, she testified in federal court, and she said believes she is upholding her oath under the Constitution.

Clerk Kim Davis' refusal to provide licenses has drawn wide attention after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last month that marriage is a fundamental right for all couples. Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear ordered clerks to comply with the decision.

"It wasn't just a spur-of-the-moment decision," Davis said. "It was thought out, and I sought God on it."

Prayers, sympathy shared after Tennessee shootings

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An outpouring of sympathy and prayer washed over Tennessee for the victims of the July 16 shootings that left four Marines and the shooter dead.

Three others were injured, and one of them, a sailor, died early July 18.

Bishop Richard Stika of Knoxville, whose diocese includes Chattanooga, encouraged all Catholics and people of faith to participate in a community prayer service at the Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul in Chattanooga held the afternoon of the shootings at a military recruiting center and a Navy-Marine training center a few miles away.

Pro-life activists optimistic about state efforts to restrict abortion

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While action on a bill that would ban abortions in the United States after the 20-week mark has been delayed in the House of Representatives, pro-life activists said they remain optimistic about efforts to restrict abortion, especially at the state level.

Several states, including South Carolina, West Virginia and Kansas, are moving forward on various forms of legislation meant to protect the life of the unborn.

Jamie Coots, co-star of 'Snake Salvation,' dies of a snakebite

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The Rev. Jamie Coots, a serpent-handling pastor and co-star of the "Snake Salvation" reality television show, died Saturday after a snakebite during a church service. He was 42.

Coots, pastor of the Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus Name in Middlesboro, Ky., was found dead at his house around 10 p.m.

Coots had been bitten at the church, Middlesboro Police Chief Jeff Sharpe told WBIR television in Knoxville. Sharpe said emergency workers went to the church and to Coots' home but he refused medical care.

Fired Tenn. pharmacist sues Walgreens alleging religious bias

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A Tennessee pharmacist and a Baptist church deacon who lost his job after an ongoing dispute over selling Plan B contraception has sued his former bosses, claiming he was fired because of his religious beliefs.

Lawyers for Philip M. Hall of Jamestown, Tenn., filed suit against the Walgreens drugstore chain in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee on Tuesday, claiming it discriminated against Hall's religious beliefs.

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In This Issue

July 17-30, 2015

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