American Family Association Challenges Group’s Skewing of Constitution in Effort to Stifle Religious Liberty
American Family Association (AFA, www.afa.net)today denounced the anti-Christian Freedom from Religion Foundation
(FFRF) for demanding that a Birmingham, Alabama police chief refrain from
practicing his faith in the public arena.
Police Chief A.C. Roper, who is also an ordained minister, recently received
a menacing letter from FFRF, erroneously accusing him of violating the
Constitution by “mixing … official government duties with … religious zeal.”
Specifically, FFRF took issue with Chief Roper’s involvement with Prayer
Force United—a group of church and ministry leaders, city leaders, and citizens
that walks through and prays over the City of Birmingham—as well as with what
they call Roper’s “inflict[ing] prayers ‘in the name of Jesus’ on officers at
police functions.” In its letter, FFRF said the solution is for Roper to end
his association with Prayer Force United and to stop praying at police
functions—in essence, to leave his deeply held religious convictions at the
“In a nation that claims religious liberty as a hallmark of her
heritage, it’s incomprehensible that we’re hearing of attempts to intimidate
public servants into silence on their religious beliefs,” said American Family
Association President Tim Wildmon.
“Equally shocking is the obvious ignorance FFRF has of American
history. In 1944 on D-Day, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt famously
prayed on national radio to ‘Almighty God,’ imploring His guidance and
strength. And it was understood that this was constitutional. Even President
Thomas Jefferson attended church services held in the House of Representatives.
Either Jefferson, of ‘separation of church and state’ fame, got it wrong, or
FFRF needs some serious education in constitutional history.”
As ChristianNews.net reports, Chief Roper has reiterated his support for Prayer
Force United, saying “Obviously, it’s no secret that I support the prayer walks
and many other faith-based community events as one tool in our overall
crime-fighting strategy…. We have built strong partnerships with various
groups, and I believe they have done a wonderful job committing their assets
and assisting us in addressing various issues that affect crime.”
Wildmon issued an informal challenge to FFRF, saying the prayers should
continue and stock taken after one year to see if crime has, indeed, gone down.
“Regardless of the outcome, however, the issue is that FFRF wants to end
religious liberty and eradicate faith from the public square. And they have no
constitutional basis to do so.”
The attack on Chief Roper is the latest in an intensifying string of hateful
attacks against Christians. From atheist groups targeting cross-themed war
memorials honoring our veterans and the Department of Veterans Affairs
censoring Christmas songs mentioning “Jesus” to lawsuits attempting to force
Christians to participate in same-sex ‘marriage’ ceremonies and Obamacare
regulations mandating people of faith pay for abortions, open attacks against
Christians are on the rise.
In the face of this blatant effort to eradicate Christian faith from public
life, AFAcautions Americans against being
intimidated and encourages them to study and understand the freedoms guaranteed
by our Constitution.
For more information on American Family Association, visit www.afa.net.
To interview a representative from American
Family Association, contact Deborah Hamilton at firstname.lastname@example.org,
215-815-7716 or 610-584-1096.
American Family Association (AFA) a non-profit 501(c3) organization
was founded in 1977 by Donald E. Wildmon, who was pastoring First
United Methodist Church in Southaven, Mississippi, at the time. Since
1977, AFA has been on the frontlines of America’s culture war. The original
name of the ministry was National Federation for Decency but was changed to
American Family Association in 1988. Today, AFA is one of the largest and most
effective pro-family organizations in the country with more than one million
online supporters and approximately 180,000 paid subscribers to the AFA
Journal, the ministry’s monthly magazine. In addition, AFA
owns and operates nearly 200 radio stations across the country under the American
Family Radio banner.
Other divisions of AFA include American Family Radio, the AFA Foundation
an online news provider that is syndicated around the world. AFA maintains
activist web sites such as OneMillionMoms.com that
rally Christian activists to contact companies asking them to drop their
advertising from objectionable TV shows. AFA websites average over 6 million
unique visitors and 44 million hits per year. AFA uses all these means to
communicate an outspoken, resolute, Christian voice throughout America.
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