Americans United Criticizes Senate Panel For Showcasing Renegade Alabama Judge

Senate Should Not Give Platform To State Jurist Who Ignored Federal Court Order, Asserts AU's Lynn

Americans United for Separation of Church and State today criticized a Senate subcommittee for inviting Alabama "Commandments Judge" Roy Moore to give testimony at a hearing on alleged hostility toward religion in America.

The Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United, noted that Moore defied an order from a federal court in his effort to keep a two-and-a-half-ton Ten Commandments monument on display at the Judicial Building in Montgomery, Ala.

"Roy Moore showed blatant and utter disrespect for the Constitution of the United States and the rule of law," said Lynn. "The ongoing attempts by some legislators to lionize Moore's lawbreaking is an embarrassment to the nation. It must stop."

Lynn said Moore was not the victim of hostility toward religion.
 
"Moore was told to stop using his courtroom and official position to promote religion and to relegate religious minorities to second-class citizenship," Lynn said.

The hearing on "hostility to religious expression in the public square" will take place before the Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Property Rights, chaired by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas).

Lynn said he questions the need for the hearing.

"This hearing is apparently going to be a forum for Moore and his ideological allies to bash the separation of church and state and claim there is great hostility toward religion in America," Lynn charged.

"In fact," Lynn continued, "Americans enjoy more religious freedom than any other people in history. Many Americans, especially religious minorities, are wary of having religion foisted on them by government action and rightly so."

Concluded Lynn, "The Religious Right equates hostility toward religion with any effort to maintain church-state separation. They don't understand that the wall of separation between church and state is what gives them and all other Americans the right to worship as they see fit."

Americans United is a religious liberty watchdog group based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1947, the organization educates Americans about the importance of church-state separation in safeguarding religious freedom.

Americans United is a religious liberty watchdog group based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1947, the organization educates Americans about the importance of church-state separation in safeguarding religious freedom.