The Foundation for Moral Law has come to the defense of the Hartford, Alabama Police Department.
On Aug. 31, the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation wrote to Hartford — a town of 2,624 in Geneva County, Alabama — demanding that the chief of police remove from the Police Department’s Facebook page a reference Joshua 1:9 and the phrase “One nation under God,” which is part of the Pledge of Allegiance.
The FFRF letter demanded that the chief outline the steps she will take to remove these posts and to ensure that such posts do not appear on the Facebook page again.
John Eidsmoe, the senior counsel and resident scholar at the Foundation for Moral Law, advised the chief of police and the FFRF that the department’s Facebook page does not violate the First Amendment or any other provision of the United States or Alabama constitutions.
Eidsmoe said in a statement that the Constitution does not prohibit references to scripture in the public arena when appropriate and that the Joshua 1:9 passage “Be strong and courageous” is entirely appropriate for police officers.
Eidsmoe said the FFRF “is demanding that the Police Department censor religious references and practice content discrimination and viewpoint discrimination. This is not neutrality toward religion; this is hostility toward religion.”
Eidsmoe asked the FFRF, “Are you saying the Department cannot post the Pledge of Allegiance? If so, you are setting yourselves above the U.S. Congress and the U.S. Supreme Court; see Elk Grove Unified School District v. Newdow (2004).”
Kayla Moore is the president of the Foundation for Moral Law.
“The Foundation for Moral Law does not favor an establishment of religion, but religious expression in the public arena is protected by the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment,” Moore said. “If the Hartford Police Department faces litigation over this issue, the Foundation for Moral Law would be pleased to assist in their defense.”
The Foundation for Moral Law describes itself as an Alabama-based nonprofit organization dedicated to the strict interpretation of the Constitution as intended by its framers and to the right to free religious expression in the public arena.
The Foundation for Moral was founded by former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore.