Judge Moore and Foundation File Brief in Federal Court Defending Freedom of Prayer at Town Board Meetings in Greece, NY
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Roy Moore, former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice, and the Foundation for Moral Law (http://www NULL.morallaw NULL.org/), a religious liberties legal organization in Montgomery, Alabama, filed an amicus curiae brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit today, defending public prayer at town board meetings in Greece, NY. Plaintiffs claimed the prayers “offended” them and demanded that town official censor the content of the prayers given by local clergy and citizens by preventing, for instance, prayers “in the name of Jesus.” Thankfully, a federal district court last year refused to order such “prayer policing” and instead held that the American tradition of freedom of prayer practiced at Greece town board meetings did not violate the Constitution.
Roy Moore noted:
“Once again, Americans United for Separation for Church and State has brought a lawsuit to censor public prayer in our nation, demonstrating their ignorance of the true meaning of ‘separation of church and state.’ The true doctrine of separation of church from state was never meant to exclude God from our Country. Even the lower court recognized that the Constitution does not require censorship of public prayer. I commend the Town of Greece, New York, for defending the right to freely acknowledge God in our Country.”
The legal brief filed by Moore and the Foundation argues that judges should abide by the words of the First Amendment as they were originally understood by the Founders who wrote them. In that view, public prayer is not a “law respecting an establishment of religion,” which is all the Establishment Clause prohibits. Moreover, requiring judges and town officials to discern which prayers are “non-sectarian” versus “sectarian,” as plaintiffs want, is outside the jurisdiction and expertise of the government. Public prayer acknowledges the belief of many in towns and cities across the country that our nation relies upon Almighty God. Prayer was not ever and is not now a violation of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
The Foundation for Moral Law (http://www NULL.morallaw NULL.org/), a national non-profit legal organization, is located in Montgomery, Alabama, and is dedicated to restoring the knowledge of God in law and government through litigation and education relating to moral issues and religious liberty cases.