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Judge Roy Moore and Foundation for Moral Law File Legal Brief Defending Prison Fellowship Program in Iowa Prison

Contact: Rich Hobson, Foundation for Moral Law, 334-262-1245


MEDIA ADVISORY, Sept. 22 /Christian Newswire/ -- Former Chief Justice Roy Moore and attorneys with the Foundation for Moral Law filed an amicus curiae brief today in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit arguing that the state-sponsored presence of the Christian ministry Prison Fellowship Ministries—founded by Chuck Colson—and its InnerChange Freedom Initiative at an Iowa prison does not violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. (Click here to read the brief)


Judge Moore, the Foundation’s chairman stated, “Once again there is an attack on Christianity—this time in our prison systems.  In the State of Iowa, a liberal organization out to remove the public acknowledgment of God has stopped efforts by the State to rehabilitate prisoners by a voluntary program run by a Christian ministry.  The Foundation for Moral Law is assisting in the appeal of this case by filing an amicus brief demonstrating that the acknowledgment of God and Christian principles in no way violates the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, but is altogether consistent with our law and our heritage.”


Prison Fellowship and the State of Iowa are appealing a federal district judge’s decision that the voluntary pre-release rehabilitation program at the Newton Correctional Facility in Iowa violates the Establishment Clause because the Christian program “endorses religion” and “excessively entangles” the government with religion.  The judge also ordered InnerChange to pay back over $1.5 million to the state.


The brief filed today argues that the judge did not determine this case on the law—the words of the Establishment Clause—but on court-invented tests that result in hostility toward religion.  The federal judge admitted that the InnerChange program is voluntary for inmates, but then criticized the Christian rehabilitation program for how “overtly religious” or “pervasively sectarian” it is.  InnerChange is undeniably a religious, and very successful, prison rehabilitation program, but the federal district court turns its Christian nature into a constitutional liability. 


The Foundation's brief argues that the Constitution only prohibits a “law respecting an establishment of religion,” which InnerChange is not. The judge’s opinion shows open hostility toward religion in general and Christianity in particular, and it should be reversed by the 8th Circuit.


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 two methods: Litigation relating to moral issues and religious liberty cases; and Education consisting of forums for the public and pastors’ seminars.


For more information about the Foundation for Moral Law, please visit www.morallaw.org.