Judge Roy Moore: Another Perspective
Vol: 23 Issue: 31 Sunday, August 31, 2003
A Gallup poll just out asked the straightforward, unambigious question: Do you approve of the federal court order to remove the 10 Commandments monument?”
According to the Gallup poll, 77% of Americans do NOT approve, 19% DO approve, and the rest are undecided.
A poll at Hal Lindsey’s Oracle website asked the question; “What do you think of the Alabama 10 Commandment Dustup?”
Of 2800-plus votes, some 91% of those polled were divided between the choices, “Judge Roy Moore is a hero and a patriot” and “Judge Roy Moore deserves the support of all Christians’.
The next most popular choice was “Judge Roy Moore is a religious fanatic who doesn’t belong on the bench” — which received 3.24% of the vote.
First, an unvarnished look at the facts of the case.
Judge Roy Moore clearly believes religion plays a role in the decisions he makes everyday on the bench. It’s a commitment he has vocalized since the beginning.
“I’m going to take my 10 Commandments with me to the Supreme Court of Alabama. I’ve said that many times,” Roy Moore said, even before he was elected as Alabama’s Chief Justice.
The platform he campaigned on in 2000 kept no secrets.
“This campaign is about morality,” says Moore. “It’s about a loss of morality that we’ve suffered in our state and in our nation. That’s what’s important and that’s what the people of Alabama have recognized. We’ve pledged to restore the moral foundation of our law.”
Those were winning words from the newly elected chief justice who took home 54% of the vote. Soon after, he wheeled in the cornerstone of his campaign: a freshly built monument of the 10 Commandments.
The relevant language of the First Amendment says; “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
The Supreme Court has interpreted this amendment as ‘a wall of separation between church and state.’ As most of you know, the ‘wall of separation’ is not found anywhere in the Constitution. The phrase was from a letter of explanation written by President Thomas Jefferson 10 years later, saying the First Amendment s phraseology amounted to “building a wall of separation between church and state”, preventing government promotion of any one religious institution or belief.
In one ongoing case in Newport, Virginia, former High School pupil Anna Ashby is suing the county school board after being barred from singing at her graduation ceremony because of the song s references to faith and God.
And in a separate case six weeks ago in Punxsutawney, Philadelphia, high school pupil Melissa Donovan won a ruling in the 3rd US Circuit Court of Appeals that her school had been wrong to bar her from holding a student Bible club meeting before classes.
The Naval Academy in Maryland has been threatened with legal action by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) for declaring the practice of a chaplain leading 4,000 midshipmen in saying grace before lunch will continue, despite a series of federal court rulings striking down a similar practice at the Virginia Military Institute as unconstitutional.
The academy s stand makes it the only US military training college to routinely say prayers before meals. The Air Force, Coast Guard and Merchant Marine academies have all abandoned it in favor of a moment s silence to avoid prosecution.
Clearly, the federal court’s interpretation puts emphasis on part ‘A’ of the 1st Amendment by violating part ‘B’. The court’s efforts to ensure that the government doesn’t endorse a religion is being enforced by prohibiting the free exercise thereof.
This interpretation is wrong, it is a deliberate attempt to remove the influence of Judeo-Christianity from American public discourse, and it is applied selectively.
While no public school teacher in America would dare to read the Bible in class, the NEA has a MANDATORY curriculum called “A Simulation of Islamic History and Culture” which is being paid for with public money. These students soon find themselves fighting mock battles of jihad against “Christian crusaders” and other assorted “infidels.” Upon gaining victory, our mock-Muslim warriors “Praise Allah.”
Students study the Koran, recite from it, design a title page for it, and write verses of it on a banner. They act out Islam’s Five Pillars of Faith, including giving zakat (Islamic alms) and going on the pilgrimage to Mecca. They also build a replica of the “sacred Kaaba” in Mecca or another holy building.
Seventh graders adopt the speech of pious believers, greeting each other with “assalam aleikoom, fellow Muslims” and using phrases such as “God willing” and “Allah has power over all things.”
Now, to Judge Roy Moore — and please, read this carefully before you start cussing me out. First off, I agree with his position, obviously, that the root of American law is the Ten Commandments. That is a matter of historical fact amply attested to by Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Law.
Blackstone’s Law has served as a sort of legal Bible for the Supreme Court since the first Justices were seated following the Revolution.
It is from Blackstone’s Commentaries that we derive our definition of a Constitutional Republic vs. a democracy.
Blackstone said that in a republic, certain laws are granted by the Divine and cannot be overturned by a majority decision, as would be the case in a pure democracy.
So the difference between a Republic and a Democracy is the source of its authority. A Republic, like the United States, derives the Source of its Authority to govern from God, whereas a democracy derives its authority to govern from the people.
The United States was set up to be governed by the people, but under the authority of God based on ‘principles which did not change’. A government BY the people, FOR the people, but not FROM the people.
In the American republic, the “principles which did not change” and which were “certain and universal in their operation upon all the members of the community” were the principles of Biblical natural law. In fact, so firmly were these principles ensconced in the American republic that early law books taught that government was free to set its own policy only if God had not ruled in an area. And Blackstone’s final Authority on whether or not God had already issued a Divine legal ruling was the Ten Commandments.
“To instance in the case of murder: this is expressly forbidden by the Divine. . . . If any human law should allow or enjoin us to commit it we are bound to transgress that human law. . . . But, with regard to matters that are . . . not commanded or forbidden by those superior laws such, for instance, as exporting of wool into foreign countries; here the . . . legislature has scope and opportunity to interpose.”
(Sir William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England (Philadelphia: Robert Bell, 1771), Vol. I, pp. 42-43)
That being said, exactly WHICH religion is ‘endorsed’ by the Ten Commandments? Is it Judaism? Christianity? To the observant Jew, the Decalogue forms but 10 of some 623 religious laws. To the Christian, the Ten Commandments have been replaced, on the authority of Jesus Christ, with the Golden Rule.
Islam has a version of the ten commandments and embraces the OT Ten Commandments as its own.
The ‘separation clause’ is a straw-man argument that is clearly designed to push the God of Israel, Isaac and Jacob — and His Son from American public life, while leaving the lesser gods intact. There are no Constitutional battles taking place over the role of Islam, or Buddhism or Hinduism in American public life.
Indeed, alternative religions are embraced and celebrated as symobls of American ‘diversity’ and the God of Scripture reviled as ‘exclusionary’ and somehow, therefore, a threat to the 1st Amendment.
So ridiculous has the argument become that the California 9th Circuit Court of Appeals declared the Pledge of Allegiance illegal because it mentions God.
Presumably, these justices paid for their morning coffee using US currency plainly emblazoned with the legend, ‘In God We Trust’. Does a greenback endorse a particular religion at the expense of another? Only if there is a religion that doesn’t have a ‘god’ of some sort.
Having said all that, we return to Judge Roy Moore. Personally, I would have chosen the “Judge Roy Moore is a religious fanatic that doesn’t belong on the bench” poll question at Oracle.
Shocked? Let me explain my reasoning here. The legal rulings in this case are stupid, but they ARE legal rulings. Judge Roy Moore undercut his own case in the statements that he made in connection to the monument all but sealed his fate and the monument’s fate.
Instead of making his case on legal grounds, he emphasized that this was about religion. It was about faith. It was about Christianity. Justice Moore was quoted saying, ‘when I use God, I mean Jesus Christ’.
So do I, for that matter. It so happens I agree with everything Roy Moore has said.
But that doesn’t mean he belongs on the bench, and here is why, in a nutshell.
Judge Roy Moore has made it clear that his legal rulings are based, in part, on the Bible.
If that is ok, then it is equally ok for a Muslim judge to base his legal rulings on the Koran. And that would NOT be ok with me.
Judge Moore was ordered by a competent legal authority to remove the monument. Moore appealed, and lost. Having exhausted his appeals, he defied the court order, based entirely on his religious worldview.
If he can do it, then so can some Muslim judge based entirely on Islam. If not, then being a Muslim would disqualify someone from serving on the bench.
There is NO wall of separation between church and state — there is an amendment that prevents the government from imposing one religion by not endorsing one over another.
And allowing Moore to defy the law (no matter how badly interpreted) because of his religion opens the door to either legally allowing the Islamic worldview into our court system or else using religion as a litmus test to disqualify judges who don’t adhere to the ‘right’ religion.
What would be wrong with that, provided Christianity were the ‘right’ religion?
Which Christianity? Roman Catholic? Jehovah’s Witnesses? Mormons? They all claim Jesus Christ. Baptists? Methodists? Dominionists?
Bush is in hot water with most evangelical Christians because of his road map plan for Israel. Look in the forums. This phrase keeps coming up — “And George Bush is supposed to be a Christian??”
But there are whole denominations who side with the Arabs — the Vatican, the Dominionists, Kingdom Now, the Methodists, Presbyterians, United Church, the Lutherans, etc. Clearly some of them are genuine Christians as well. Just badly informed ones.
Given the differences even within the Church, it is clear that if America were to declare Christianity a state religion, we’d have to decide which Christian denomination would be supreme?
The Pope would insist it be the Vatican. Baptists would demand a literal reading of Scripture. The Jehovah’s Witnesses would abolish America altogether, since they don’t believe in national borders.
The Mormons would support polygamy and secret Temple rituals. Most Reformation mainstream Protestant churches would insist on supporting the Arabs since they see the Jewish claim to the land as having expired with the Cross.
And on and on and on — which is why America is governed by the rule of law and not by theologians or one particular theology — since there are hundreds just within Christianity.
Judge Roy Moore broke the law, whether I agree with his logic or not.
In defying the rule of law, Moore confirmed the Christ-rejecting world’s stereotype of Christians as effectively as the abortion foes that claim Christ and then bomb clinics or ambush abortionists. The lost see someone like Moore as a kook, and then go away comfortable in their unbelief.
The Ten Commandments don’t endorse a particular religion, but Judge Roy Moore does. It just so happens that he endorses mine. This time.
Soooo… I’ve made my case. I’ll be watching the forums. Let me hear yours.