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Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore's ongoing campaign to promote the Ten Commandments has led the judge to unveil a new religious monument in his court's building.

This week, Moore unveiled a four-foot-tall, granite display of the Commandments weighing over 5,000 pounds. The Decalogue is featured in the rotunda of the Alabama Judicial Building, which houses the state Supreme Court in Montgomery.

The Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, said the display is a flagrant infringement on the First Amendment.

"This is a monumental violation of the U.S. Constitution," said Lynn. "The Ten Commandments is a religious code, and should not be promoted by the government. The Commandments have done well for thousands of years; they don't need Roy Moore's help.

"Moore is obviously working tirelessly to use the government to promote religion," Lynn added, "but that is exactly what the law prohibits. In this country, religion is a matter of personal conscience, not government imposition. It's a shame Moore fails to appreciate this fact.

"Moore's religious crusade is almost certain to spark a lawsuit," Lynn added. "Our legal department is already investigating the issue."

Moore generated national attention in 1998 when he was sued for posting a personally hand-carved Ten Commandments display in his Etowah County courtroom. Americans United helped file a brief in the case on behalf of several Alabama religious leaders who argued that religion is best served when the government remains neutral on matters of faith. The case went to the Alabama Supreme Court before being dismissed on a technicality.

Moore quickly became a cause celebre with Religious Right organizations, which provided financial support for his legal defense. Moore rode the notoriety associated with the controversy into a successful election campaign in November for chief justice of the state Supreme Court.

Americans United has been involved in many successful challenges to government-sponsored Ten Commandments displays and has recently brought suit against a monument at a courthouse in Pittsburgh, Pa.

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.