Skip to comments.Ala. Judge Loses Ten Commandments Appeal
Posted on 07/01/2003 2:47:12 PM PDT by Lurking Libertarian
ATLANTA - A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that a Ten Commandments monument the size of a washing machine must be removed from the Alabama Supreme Court building.
The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously affirmed a ruling by a federal judge who said that the 2 1/2-ton granite monument, placed there by Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, violates the constitutional separation of church and state.
Moore put the monument in the rotunda of the courthouse in the middle of the night two summers ago. The monument features tablets bearing the Ten Commandments and historical quotations about the place of God in law.
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(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
Look - this would be easier if you would read Moore. He says that he "can't" follow the court order, because to do so would violate God's law. I say that is sophistry, because there is no Biblical command requiring his display. What Moore is really saying is that every Chief Judge who came before him, and every other judge or official who doesn't display the Ten Commandments, is in violation of God's law. It is ridiculous. In the absence of a "higher" order to leave the display, why is he not obligated to follow the civil law? One could even argue that placing this much importance on the monument, rather than on the Commandments themselves, may violate one of those very Commandments.
The real reason behind all of this is that he set up this confrontation on purpose to prolong and play out, on television, his conflict over the display of the Ten Commandments that he used to first acquire fame and power for himself.
First, the correct version of the commandments can be found in the original hebrew and greek texts. Second, the 1st commandment is a universal command - it has to do with placing God in His rightful place - but you cannot govern a person's heart - God will be the judge of that one on judgment day. As far as idols, we have more sophisticated idols than the Canaanites did. We have money, sex, power, football, entertainment. But one thing is certain - whatever your master passion is - that is your God. If that master passion is not God, then it is idol worship. It's universal allright. As far as the sabbath is concerned that commandment was directed specifically to the jewish nation and is not mentioned in the New Testament becuase Jesus Christ is the Sabbath rest for all who believe.
I agree that the civil government should be a separate entity from the church. However, where we disagree is on ultimate sovereignty. You believe the State is the ultimate sovereign (right?), and our founders believed that although they are separate, both the state and the church fall under God's ultimate moral authority. The D of I makes that clear. If rights come from God, then the State that secures those rights is under God. "One nation under God..." Oops! 9th Court says no on that too!
Oh, and over my mind, and my body - I am the ultimate sovereign, and I believe that is the freedom God gave me.
The Constitution is the Law of the Land. The question is - should that precious document be interpreted from a liberal darwinian viewpoint (wherein it adopts meaning according the political culture of the day) or according to what the framers meant when they wrote it? That's the question.
I see, so Jesus is Lord, but only in a limited sense...He created the vast universe and spun the galaxies into their orbits, and it was He who originally ORDAINED governments in the first place (read Romans 13), but men don't need is guidance on civil matters. It was He who created all mankind in His image, yet man should not consider Him in all phases of the creation? Sorry, that doesn't fly to anyone who understands the sovereignty of God.
If you fall back simply on "you can't legislate matters of conscience," let me remind you of heresy laws. As for the Sabbath, don't you recall those blue laws?
Yes, you can make moral choices over your body. God gave you that freedom becuase without freedom there cannot be love, and God wants you to love Him FREELY, by choice. However, there are practical and spiritual consequences for acting contrary to God's plan. You are sovereign, yet you have no control over how long you live. God promises tomorrow to no man.
Do I believe God gives up a bit of rope? Certainly I do, and I think the Bible gives us a great deal of support for that position.
This was embodied partly in the writings of John Locke. Freedom of conscience to worship as one pleases was a major issue at the time - the Church of England's persecution was the major factor in the Pilgrims coming to America in the first place. So, the founders understood that you cannot force someone to believe anything. Religion is a matter of conscience between a person and his God - how do you regulate thought (maybe I should ask N.O.W. or the ACLU or gay activists, hmm); behavior isn't.
You have a valid point here.
Even in the colonies, heresy and breaking the Sabbath were punished - often harshly. This continued well after 1787. But we recognized, in a very well-reasoned way, I might add, that these proscriptions weren't entirely right and, in some cases, not consistent with the religious freedom that is a bedrock of our Republic. At the time of the Convention, in Maryland, Mennonites and Quakers were not allowed as witnesses in capital cases, because there religion forbade them from taking an oath - an the "affirmation" they were allowed in other cases just wasn't good enough for a capital case.
Not to belabor, which I could. The point is that we have changed a great deal from the beliefs which formed the framework of values used by the Founders in drafting the Constitution. Not all of those changes are unwelcome. Some of them result in more freedom, some in less. Given the choice - where the government is concerned - I'll take more. For while God may be inerrant, government is most certainly not, and if I give them the power to control others with whom I do not agree, that same power may well be turned against me. Too much liberty certainly has its price, and can be exercised in ways that we may find disgusting - but if people use that liberty to violate God's laws, I am happy to leave their reckoning to Him - especially where letting the government stick their nose in the matter gives them more control over me.
Have a good 4th.
You didn't get that out of the opinion. What the opinion said was the plaque couldn't be seen from the monument at a distance of 75 feet. It did not say that the 5,280 pound monument could not be seen from the plaque. You made that up. The rest of your conclusions are just as accurate.
Constitutional law. I'll rephrase my point. Suppose the California Assembly passed a new law saying that the state's official ideology is green socialism. Under this law, any state official would be required take an oath declaring his adherence to this ideology. Any of the Founders would have recognized this as a religious test. The fact that there's no supernatural aspect to this particular religion is completely immaterial. It's exactly the type of situation that the constitutional prohibition was designed to address.
The purpose of the Establishment Clause? Just like the Free Exercise clause, it was to prohibit religious discrimination or persecution.
And whom was Chief Justice Moore discriminating against or persecuting?
Jews are godless? I suppose that does take the "Judeo" out of "Judeo-Christian."
(Been gone all day. Late to the discussion.)
Reminds me of the TV show "Touched by an Angel" - the show always had a moral and mentioned "God" - but not Jesus, or Allah, or the Torah, or had any sectarian spirit. It was 100% non-denominational. Prayers such as you are mentioning can be non-denominational as well, and can therefore be appreciated by all monotheists. The only people who would be offended would be ultra-sensitive hair-trigger atheists and polytheists. And I would bet good money that they are in a tiny minority.
And since the founders of this country found it constitutional to have religion in public promoted by government, even though they weren't all the same sect or whatever - as libertarians like to remind everyone - why now, so many years later, it's unconstitutional?
In California, it's mandatory. K-12, since 2001.
The root of the word "atheism" is the Greek word for "God" (theos?) stemming from the Sanskrit "deva". So a-theism really can only exist in the shadow of God.
But you are right. The religion of secular humanism has a "catechism" that must be believed in on faith, certain "sacred" rituals, and one is considered a blasphemer if one disagrees with the tenets.
Provide me with chapter and verse.
"We see all the time, Justice O'Connor and I, and the others, how the world really it's trite but it's true is growing together," Breyer said. "Through commerce, through globalization, through the spread of democratic institutions, through immigration to America, it's becoming more and more one world of many different kinds of people. And how they're going to live together across the world will be the challenge, and whether our Constitution and how it fits into the governing documents of other nations, I think will be a challenge for the next generations."
Clearly, any justice that believes that globalism trumps the Constitution should be impeached and removed from his office. This is scary to say the least!
As an epilogue to our earlier exchange, I would simply say that that many of our founders did use the federal government to promote Christianity (no particular denomination) and it was their stated intention that the church be protected from the state, not vice versa. In light of history, no one can deny that the "wall of separation" doctrine is a fabricated reading of the Constitution.