Magazine article Church & State

Ala. Religious Leaders Oppose Judge Moore's Commandments Display. (People & Events)

Magazine article Church & State

Ala. Religious Leaders Oppose Judge Moore's Commandments Display. (People & Events)

Article excerpt

A diverse array of state and national religious leaders has come out in opposition to Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore's display of the Ten Commandments at the state's highest court.

In a legal brief filed Aug. 21 in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama, three national organizations and 42 state clergy from various denominations objected to Moore's government-sponsored religious monument at the Alabama Judicial Building in Montgomery.

Americans United, which is cosponsoring a federal court challenge to Moore's display, hailed the filing.

"Religion doesn't need government's help, and most clergy know that," said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. "This brief demonstrates that many thoughtful religious leaders in Alabama disagree strongly with Justice Moore's misguided religious crusade."

Lynn continued, "These religious leaders understand that the Ten Commandments belong in our houses of worship, not our houses of law."

The brief was filed by the Baptist Joint Committee on Public Affairs, a Washington, D.C.-based group that promotes religious liberty. Alabama signers include clergy from the Baptist, Disciples of Christ, Episcopalian, Presbyterian, Unitarian Universalist, United Church of Christ and Jewish traditions.

In addition to the Baptist Joint Committee, two other national organizations also signed the brief: the Anti-Defamation League and The Interfaith Alliance.

The religious leaders' brief asserts, "By displaying the Ten Commandments in the State Judicial Building, Justice Moore has usurped the role of private individuals and faith communities in shaping their own religious practices and views. …

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