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Judge Roy Moore and Foundation for Moral Law File Brief Asking Appeals Court to Uphold National Day of Prayer

by Staff
July 9, 2010

MEDIA ADVISORY, ( -- Former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore and the Foundation for Moral Law, a religious liberties legal organization in Montgomery, Alabama, filed an amicus curiae brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit today defending the federal statute creating the National Day of Prayer, 36 U.S.C. S 119. The Foundation argued that the Wisconsin federal district court that struck down the statute, and the Freedom From Religion Foundation that brought this lawsuit, are wrong in considering the National Day of Prayer to be a violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, which requires that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." Such days of national prayer are not an establishment of religion, they have been officially declared since the time of our first congresses and presidents, and they represent an American philosophy of government that depends on the blessings of Almighty God.

Read the Foundation's brief in Freedom From Religion Foundation v. Barack Obama.

Judge Roy Moore commented on this case:

"How long will we sit quietly by while the President declares an entire month to 'celebrate' homosexuality and a federal judge prohibits one day in the year to pray to God. From the Revolution in 1776 to the Civil War, from Pearl Harbor to 9/11 our Country has always turned to God in prayer during times of national crisis. It is absolutely absurd for a federal judge to think that she can arrogantly declare the National Day of Prayer established in 1952 unconstitutional. Such hypocrisy reflects the delusion of federal court judges across our land who place themselves above the Constitution they are sworn to uphold and above the God upon Whom they took their Oath of Office."

The Foundation argues, as it does in every amicus brief, that the courts should decide this case based upon the text of the First Amendment as it was understood by the framers and the people at the time of its ratification -- not based upon the latest rendition of a judicially-invented "test." When the plain text is applied to this case, it becomes apparent that the National Day of Prayer statute does not create an official "establishment of religion" simply by encouraging people to pray on a particular day.

Presidents throughout our history -- including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln -- have called on the American people to pray to God. Likewise, Congress has called for national days of prayer, including the Congress that passed the language of the First Amendment. Ironically, the federal courts of our land open their sessions with "God save the United States and this Honorable Court," yet one federal district court has decided that Congress cannot encourage the American people to observe an official day of asking God for the same thing. The First Amendment was designed to protect religious freedom, not to empower the federal courts to suppress it.

The Foundation urges the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse the decision of the Wisconsin district court and hold that the National Day of Prayer statute is constitutional.

The Foundation for Moral Law, 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.

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