Hamilton, nominated last March, has seen his confirmation stalled until last week in the U.S. Senate, in part because his opponents claim he’s a judicial activist for an opinion he wrote about God’s proper secular title.
In a 2005 case, Hinrichs v. Bosma, Hamilton determined that those who pray in the Indiana House of Representatives “should refrain from using Christ’s name or title or any other denominational appeal,” and that such prayer must hereinafter be “nonsectarian.”
Bosma questioned the practice of opening state legislative sessions with sectarian Christian prayers that included a prayer for worldwide conversion to Christianity. Hamilton found this to be a violation of the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause because it was government speech that favored one religious sect over another.
In a post-judgment order, Hamilton also wrote that the “Arabic word ‘Allah’ is used for ‘God’ in Arabic translations of Jewish and Christian scriptures” and that ‘Allah’ was closer to “the Spanish Dios, the German Gott, the French Dieu, the Swedish Gud, the Greek Theos, the Hebrew Elohim, the Italian Dio, or any other language’s terms in addressing the God who is the focus of the non-sectarian prayers” than Jesus Christ.
Hamilton, himself a Christian, also added that “if and when the prayer practices in the Indiana House of Representatives ever seem to be advancing Islam, an appropriate party can bring the problem to the attention of this or another court.”
On the other hand Malaysia government gazette dated 16 Feb said documents and publications relating to Christianity containing the world “Allah” were prohibited unless the words “FOR CHRISTIANITY” was written on their front covers.
The condition was contained in an order titled “Internal Security (Prohibition on Use of Specific Words on Document and Publication) Order 2009″.
Paragraph 2(1) of the order reads: “The printing, publication, sale, issue, circulation and possession of any document and publication relating to Christianity containing the words ‘Allah’, ‘kaabah’, ‘baitullah’ and ’solat’ are prohibited unless on the front cover of the document and publication are written with the words “FOR CHRISTIANITY”