Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Yet another separation of church and state battle

Moore Baloney: Alabama ‘Commandments’ Judge Gives Two Thumbs Up To Evangelistic Film At Public School

Roy Moore, Alabama’s infamous “Ten Commandments judge,” has a penchant for misconstruing church-state law, and now he’s giving bad advice to school officials in Tuscaloosa.

and here is the trailer of the disputed film, Facing the Giants“:

Officials at Paul W. Bryant High School have indicated that they will stop showing the film “until the merits of the complaint could be addressed.”

Moore wants school officials to reconsider. In a Jan. 18 letter, he claims that “the simple fact” is that school promotion of the “Giants” film does not violate the separation of church and state. The missive applauds the school for “showing their students an inspiring, family-friendly movie such as Facing the Giants” and again promotes Moore’s cramped understanding of the First Amendment. (He tags Americans United as a group bent on muzzling Christianity in the public schools.)

If school officials are serious about upholding constitutional principles, they will not take Moore’s legal ramblings seriously. The courts have long held that it is not within the purview of the public schools to evangelize students. Teaching about religion in an objective and academically sound manner is permissible, but showing students a film meant to convert them to a specific religion is not.

As Americans United Communications Director Joe Conn told The Tuscaloosa News, Moore’s “legal advice is certainly on the fringe. The school board should look to objective legal advice, not to Judge Moore.”

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