Texas Judge Tammy Kemp "lived out her faith" when she hugged and handed a Bible to a former Dallas police officer who was convicted of murder, theologian and Fox News contributor Jonathan Morris said Wednesday.
Amber Guyger was convicted last week of murdering her neighbor, Botham Jean, and sentenced to a decade in prison.
Appearing on "America's Newsroom" with anchor Sandra Smith and criminal defense attorney David Bruno, Morris said that the Dallas County judge has "no reason to be embarrassed" after receiving a complaint from the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF).
The FFRF filed a formal complaint last week with the Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct, saying it was inappropriate for Kemp to give the Bible to Guyger and that her actions “overstepped judicial authority” and were “unconstitutional.”
In a separate Twitter message, FFRF Attorney Andrew L. Seidel further explained the group’s position: “We need more compassion in our criminal justice system. But here, compassion crossed the line into coercion. Judges cannot impose their personal religion on others.”
"Just the opposite!" Morris exclaimed. "She should be proud that she has entered into what I believe is a real battle for the American soul. And, part of that battle, maybe the front lines of that battle, is trying to erase from the public square the name and the voice of God -- really redefining our tradition of separation of church and state."
Morris said that FFRF was on the "wrong side" of both history and humanity in this case.
"Let me tell you, this organization is part of a cottage industry of atheistic activism. And, that's what they're doing. They look for every opportunity and they have lost," he told Smith and Bruno.
"She lived her faith. ... Why is the Bible in that courtroom in the first place? Because it's part of our principles, our constitutional principles."
Bruno added that while the FFRF argues Kemp's actions show coercion, the defendant welcomed and asked for it. In addition, Kemp never delivered the sentence; the jury did.
"For all those reasons...I defend what happened. I think this is a breath of fresh air. I think there should be more Judge Kemps out there," Bruno said.