It was the hug heard around the world.
Judge Tammy Kemp admitted she never previously displayed her Christian faith to a defendant or given a convicted murderer a Bible.
Now that she has, Judge Tammy Kemp is in defense mode for hugging, praying and gifting Amber Guyger, a bible. These small gestures of her faith have caused an ungodly uproar.
In her first interview since the trial, Judge Kemp says of Gugyer, “She asked me if I thought that God could forgive her and I said, ‘Yes, God can forgive you and has. If she wanted to start with the Bible, I didn’t want her to go back to the jail and to sink into doubt and self-pity and become bitter. Because she still has a lot of life ahead of her, following her sentence and I would hope that she could live it, purposefully.”
It wasn’t just an angry mob of individuals who had a problem with Kemp’s unbiased kindness. Last week, the Freedom From Religion Foundation filed an official complaint against the Dallas County judge for judicial misconduct, calling her actions unethical, failing to separate church and state while representing the government. The official complaint cites Kemp’s actions as, “ she gifted a Christian bible, instructing the convicted criminal on how to read the bible and which passages to pay attention to...These proselytizing actions overstepped judicial authority, were inappropriate and were unconstitutional.”
Kemp justifies her actions, saying, “I didn’t do that from the bench. I came down to extend my condolences to the Jean family and to encourage Ms. Guyger because she has a lot of life to live.”
Kemp added, “And I guess I could say if you profess religious beliefs and you are going to follow them, I would hope that they not be situational and limited to one race only. Following my own convictions, I could not refuse that woman a hug. I would not.”
Photo: Steve Dunwell