FFRF calls out Roy Moore for reckless legal advice

FFRF is calling out the wildly misnamed Foundation for Moral Law for encouraging Alabama public schools to violate students’ rights and the Constitution.

Roy Moore Web

On Sept. 21, the Foundation for Moral Law, led by disgraced former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore, held a press conference, during which he and his representatives encouraged Alabama public schools to risk financial and legal liability by continuing to broadcast prayer over the loudspeaker before football games in defiance of well-established Supreme Court precedent.

Moore’s foundation subsequently announced it had sent a memo to all Alabama school district superintendents erroneously informing them that they can skirt the Constitution by simply claiming that these school-sponsored prayers are student-led.

This press conference and accompanying memo came in response to school attorneys advising and educating the school boards they represent about how best to refrain from endorsing religion in public schools and comply with well-established legal precedent on the matter after FFRF warned many school districts that they were violating the Constitution.

Moore’s foundation incorrectly states that FFRF “insists that prayers at the public school football games violate the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.”

“It is the Supreme Court that ‘insists’ that public schools adhere to the Establishment Clause, and that ‘insists’ on protecting student freedom of conscience,” FFRF Co-Presidents Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor write in their Sept. 25 letter. “The Foundation for Moral Law can bury its head in the sand and deny court precedent, but it is reckless and unethical to then counsel public school officials to do the same.”

In its letter, FFRF provides comprehensive refutations to the Foundation for Moral Law’s categorical misuse and misunderstanding of several landmark Supreme Court rulings that established the unconstitutionality of school-sponsored prayer.

“There is no deprivation of anyone’s religious freedom when the government properly refuses to hand believers a governmental megaphone to impose prayer on other people’s children at school events,” FFRF’s letter emphasizes. “Keeping divisive religious ritual out of public schools protects the rights of all and ensures equality. Students who wish to pray are free to do so individually or privately.”

The Foundation of Moral Law and its ring leader Roy Moore have a dark history of placing their religious views before the law even after repeated warnings and reprimands from multiple federal courts on several different occasions, FFRF points out, always with the goal of granting the Christian majority a privileged status and establish Christianity as the paramount law of the land.

“You are seeking to undermine our secular Constitution by governmental fiat to inflict your personal religious beliefs upon everyone else,” Barker and Gaylor write. “We are sorry to continue to see your shameful and ignorant posturing.”

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is a national nonprofit organization with more than 32,000 members across the country, including in Alabama. FFRF’s purposes are to protect the constitutional principle of separation between church and state, and to educate the public on matters relating to nontheism.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation, based in Madison, Wis., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational charity, is the nation's largest association of freethinkers (atheists, agnostics), and has been working since 1978 to keep religion and government separate.

FFRF is a non-profit, educational organization. All dues and donations are deductible for income-tax purposes.

FFRF has received a 4 star rating from Charity Navigator

FFRF is a member of the Secular Coalition for America

FFRF privacy statement