Skip to comments.Judge Roy Moore and the Myth of the Separation Clause
Posted on 04/15/2005 4:56:59 PM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
Chief Justice Roy Moores new book So Help Me God is a captivating and unflinching first-hand account of a man on the front lines of the battle between religious freedom and judicial tyranny. This Alabama Supreme Court Justice embodies the true definition of patriotism, inasmuch he has risked his career and reputation to stand by his oath of office and refuses to deny his allegiance to the Constitution and the laws of nature and natures God for the mere sake of catering to the frenetic, deep-seated anti-religious paranoia of the uber-secular left.
It was on June 9, 1993 that ACLU member Joel Sogol wrote to then-chief justice of Alabama Sonny Hornsby, threatening to sue anyone who continued the time-honored tradition of praying in court. After Roy Moore took office in 1994 and refused to bring a halt to the tradition, the ACLU stepped up their threats of suit over the prayer and, in addition, began hyperventilating over the Ten Commandments plaque Justice Moore had placed in his courtroom. At the beginning of the third month of Justice Moores first term of office on March 31, 1995, the ACLU filed suit in U.S. district court against him on the basis that he had illegally imposed his religious beliefs on others in the courtroom, denouncing the prayer as a religious test.
The ACLU apparently didnt feel up to suing all 550 members of Congress and all nine justices of the U.S. Supreme Court who have always begun their daily proceedings with prayers. It may even be a sobering revelation to them that our very first president noted in his inaugural address, no people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the Invisible Hand which conducts the affairs of men more than those of the United States. Nevertheless, it is doubtful that such words would bear much significance to a pathetic, subversive gang of rogue lawyers who have nothing better to do with their time than to bully public officials out of acknowledging their creator and to throw childish temper tantrums over harmless little plaques.
In a priceless act of civil disobedience, Justice Moore erected a 2½-ton granite Ten Commandments monument in the rotunda of the State Judicial Building. Moore would later write in his book that [t]he display of Gods law was not done to make any bold statement, to intimidate or offend anyone, or to push any particular religion. It was simply a reminder that this country was established on a particular God and His divine, revealed laws; it reflected the Christian faith of our founders.
Flabbergasted, on Halloween 2001, the ACLU ganged up with Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the Southern Poverty Law Center to file suit over the monument. Demonstrating what loving people liberals can be, in a letter to the legal director of Americans United, Morris Dees of the Southern Poverty Law Center referred to Justice Moore as a religious nut in partnership with a fanatical church. (And showing how smart liberals can be, the letter was accidentally sent to Justice Moores attorney, Steve Melchior. Whoops!)
The case was set for trial on October 15, 2002. Less than a month after it ended, on November 18, 2002, U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson ruled against the Ten Commandments display, declaring it unconstitutional. In his ruling, Judge Myron stated: [W]hile the Chief Justice is free to keep whatever religious beliefs he chooses, the state may not acknowledge the sovereignty of the Judeo-Christian God and attribute to that God our religious freedom. Perhaps Judge Myron would be compelled to rethink his words if he actually bothered to read the Alabama State Constitution which Moore had sworn specifically to uphold, inasmuch as it reads in the preamble: We, the people of the State of Alabama, in order to establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God, do ordain and establish the following Constitution and form of government for the State of Alabama (emphasis added).
On March 2, 2005, the New York Times expressed its disapproval of similar displays in between the Capitol and the State Supreme Court in Texas, and in county courthouses in Kentucky, accusing the displays backers of not accepting the separation of church and state while explaining that [t]he Establishment Clause of the First Amendment prohibits Congress from making laws respecting an establishment of a religion. If nothing else, at least these circumstances have given liberals yet another excuse to evince their maniacal infatuation with the separation of church and state, a phrase which we are supposed to believe is somewhere in the Constitution.
If a liberal sneezed and you said God bless you he would begin spastically whining about the separation of church and state. To appreciate this situation from the perspective of the judicial supremacists, the ACLU lawyers and the New York Times editors, we will just have to pretend for a moment that a) the separation of church and state exists in the Constitution, b) Congress is somehow responsible for the placement of the Ten Commandments monuments, and c) the monuments in effect represent an establishment of a state religion.
There. Now it sort of makes sense.
To the contrary, however, the lefts beloved separation of church and state mantra originated not in the Constitution, but in a letter from Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist Association in 1802 (11 years after the First Amendment was incorporated into the Constitution) regarding their concerns that the Congregationalists may abuse their power to attain a favored position. Explicitly, Jefferson wrote: [the] wall of separation between church and state is a one-directional wall. It keeps the government from running the church, but makes sure that Christian principles will always stay in government.
The self-styled progressive elites have typically justified their anti-Christian bigotry by insinuating that religion must stay away from government, and any case in which it does not is an irrevocable step towards theocracy. Their interpretation of the language of the First Amendment demonstrates how little understanding they have of its actual implications.
By including the establishment clause in the Constitution, the framers were preventing the prospects of theocracy such as that which the Pilgrims purportedly fled from in England before settling on the North American shores. However, there is a reason why Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness (emphasis added). What Jefferson was taking into account was the imperative necessity of our leaders and authorities to recognize their inferiority to the divine laws of the solar system and their subordinance to a Higher Power, so as not to confuse themselves with that Higher Power and in due course assume a despotic, tyrannical precedence.
The functionality of our democracy is contingent upon the Hobbesian doctrine that man is inherently corrupt and therefore in need of some degree of governmental supervision. The notion of human fallibility is quintessential of the Judeo-Christian doctrines with which our founders specifically harmonized their vision of a free republic. The acknowledgement of that fallible nature is what distinguishes our system from communism a system which presupposes that man is basically good, and therefore capable of upholding and preserving a utopian, Edinic society. It distinguishes our system as well from that of monarchism and fascism, both of which presuppose that there is such a thing as Divine Right, or human infallibility; that it is possible for a human leader to take on a godlike authority over his people and govern them in a flawless manner. But because our system recognizes that there is no such thing as human infallibility, our branches of power are balanced, and our leaders are appointed through a democratic process by which the majority of citizens decide who gets to represent them, and for how long.
Secularist liberals tend to accuse Christians of seeing things too much in black and white, yet they themselves have adopted a black and white perspective by declining to consider the fact that not everything boils down to the two options of theocracy and secularism. A system of government that is religious in nature does not automatically take on the form of theocracy. It does not mean that its subjects must be coerced into submission to a certain designated religious faith. Whether or not we as individuals decide to subject ourselves to personal dependence on religion, we must recognize that our freedom to do so or not do so at our own will is dependent on our democratic system, and our democratic system is dependent on religion.
It is on account of this brand of narcissistic judicial hubris, this denial of subordinance to a Higher Law that an innocent woman was allowed to be inhumanly starved to death recently, that activist judges have been able to recklessly redefine the institution of marriage, and that an unremitting fetal holocaust has been sanctioned by the highest levels of government for 32 years and counting. The more we forget that we are one nation under God, the more we will become one nation under the State. If this becomes the case, then our rights will become conditional and susceptible to abuse, rather than God-given and immune to meddling. As many could argue, resting our rights solely on the state is like building a house on sand. (Note to liberals: Please pardon the biblical reference.)
Much thanks- It is a good read-and a viewpoint I can agree with.
The writer of this article is aptly named. Response forthcoming from one Atheist Footmouth.
No, he would begin spastically spitting out the teeth I loosened. Waiting, waiting, waiting.........*tapping foot*
Pol Pot was an atheist.
Marx was an atheist.
Lenin was an atheist.
Stalin was an atheist.
Mao was an atheist.
Atheism is a good thing. Right?
I am no supporter of the separation of Church and state, but this quote seems fabricated. Here is the information about the actual letter. Bizarre that Jefferson should be relied on for interpretation, though. Justice Rehnquist debunked this nonsense in Wallace v. Jaffree:
It is impossible to build sound constitutional doctrine upon a mistaken understanding of constitutional history, but unfortunately the Establishment Clause has been expressly freighted with Jefferson's misleading metaphor for nearly 40 years. Thomas Jefferson was of course in France at the time the constitutional Amendments known as the Bill of Rights were passed by Congress and ratified by the States. His letter to the Danbury Baptist Association was a short note of courtesy, written 14 years after the Amendments were passed by Congress. He would seem to any detached observer as a less than ideal source of contemporary history as to the meaning of the Religion Clauses of the First Amendment.
First off, England was a monarchy, not a theocracy.
Second, the Pilgrims did not flee from England to America, but instead they left from Holland to America. They could practice their religion any way they wanted to in Holland, but they were concerned about their children becoming too Dutch, losing their English culture.
Finally, I'm sure the founders were more concerned about the Federal government intruding upon the states in the area of religion, as some states had official state churches at the time of our nations' founding, than any kind of concern about the new country becoming a theocracy.
The colonies had more than their share of "religious intolerance" during the colonial period. Some colonies were founded, because the faiths of their people were outlawed in other colonies.
Yet the Alabama Constitution indicates that no particular religion (meaning including Christianity, and Judeo-Christianity) be given legal preference.
You can't erect the 10 commandments in a courthouse saying that the country's laws were founded on them, and then say you're not giving them preference.
But then again, this case is full of contradictions. Anything involving Roy Moore, the ACLU, and the Souther Poverty Center would. The clowns deserve each other, but they made a mockery of our laws in the process.
People who can't see the irony in what Roy Moore and his opponents did to each other are blind.
"That no religion shall be established by law; that no preference shall be given by law to any religious sect, society, denomination, or mode of worship;" I don't think that Roy Moore's setting up a monument in his courthouse qualifies as a "law". My understanding is that judges can't pass laws.
The Alabama Constitution recognizes God's primacy and Judge Moore was simply following that Constitution.
He made no unconstitutional law and he violated no law.
Yes, but he was in fact saying that something had already happened that had never happened under US or Alabama constitutional law.
Religious freedom. That no religion shall be established by law; that no preference shall be given by law to any religious sect, society, denomination, or mode of worship; that no one shall be compelled by law to attend any place of worship; nor to pay any tithes, taxes, or other rate for building or repairing any place of worship, or for maintaining any minister or ministry; that no religious test shall be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under this state; and that the civil rights, privileges, and capacities of any citizen shall not be in any manner affected by his religious principles.
How were the Ten Commandments given preference by law? Were the citizens of Alabama forcibly made to stop in the rotunda; read and reflect on them? Or could they just walk by the display, even making snide remarks if they chose to?
That makes no sense; the Torah is simply a superset of the old testament. Moore said on numerous occasions that he meant Christianity, or Judaism, or Judeo-Christianity. He in fact said that we were a Judeo-Christian nation by law, by the very laws, and the particular translation of the laws, that he erected.
Yes, he does backpedal and try to deny that his words meant what they said when confronted with their final implications, but we can all assume that he thinks our laws are founded on the 10 commandments.
That is why you are wrong so much. You make assumptions.
The whole idea that the Ten Commandments aren't law so they shouldn't be displayed is nothing but a straw man argument. Nobody ever even tried to enforce the Commandments as law, the left just can't stand to even look at the commandments because they are convicted by them.
It's in the public record, there's no need to assume one way or the other.
Ping to self for later pingout.
If a judge says that he thinks his law books are a proper superset of the 10 commandments, or if people think that's what he means, then people can start arguing that's what he's going to do.
That's the nature of our adversarial system of justice. People claimed he was making those inferences, and they asked for the symbol of his inference be removed.
I personally don't mind the display at all. I only mind what he said about it. Did what he say have any legal bearing on any case? Not really, but he couldn't defend himself when citizens of the State of Alabama argued that they felt that he were indicating such.
He meant that our nation was founded upon a higher law. He never claimed that the Ten Commandments were codified into written law.
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