Atheists Target Alabama Clergy Crime Program

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An Alabama police department initiative aimed at lowering crime is under attack from atheists organizations.

Operation Good Shepherd sends Christian clergy to crime scenes to counsel victims and witnesses. The clergy are volunteers.

Members of the American Civil Liberties Union, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, and American Atheists oppose the program. They say it raises constitutional concerns because it favors one belief system.

Montgomery Public Safety Director Chris Murphy said the initiative is "broad-based and not just Christian" and is meant to lower Montgomery's violent crime rate.

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