BELT STATE'S HIGH-PROFILE
BELIEVERS BEING BLASTED
by Jim Brown
Christians who hold high office in Alabama are increasingly coming under fire
from secularists. One of those believers is the governor of Alabama.
A liberal federal judge recently ordered Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore to
remove a Ten Commandments monument from the State Judicial Building. And
Governor Bob Riley has been accused of violating the separation of church and
state for holding voluntary Bible studies every Tuesday with his staff in the
But John Giles, president of the Christian Coalition of Alabama, says he is
grateful to have a governor that will call on God Almighty for help.
"Bob Riley is a Christian, his wife's a Christian, his family's Christian
-- they're a very fine family, and they put these kind of priorities in place
right straight up going into office," Giles says. "The scripture says
[to] count it all joy whenever we fall into persecution -- persecution comes
Riley, a Southern Baptist, attended several Bible studies at the U.S. Capitol
during his six years in Congress, and says he wanted to do the same in
Montgomery. He started offering the Bible classes shortly after taking office in
The Alabama director of American Atheists, Larry Darby, has called Governor
Riley's time of prayer and Bible study a form of "Christian
terrorism." Giles says Darby is out of step with mainstream America.
"I honestly feel sorry for Larry Darby," he says. "I'm praying
for his salvation because his message is so out-of-step with baseline Alabama.
Most Alabamians are conservative in nature."
According to Giles, about 81% of Alabama's citizens are "conservative to
moderate" -- and about 70% of the state's population goes to church at
least once a month, "so it's a very religious state," he says.