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Ala. Judge Loses Ten Commandments Appeal
Washington Post ^ | July 1, 2003 | Associated Press

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.

[snip]

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.

[click link to read remainder of article]

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...


TOPICS: Breaking News; Constitution/Conservatism; Front Page News; US: Alabama
KEYWORDS: churchandstate; roymoore; tencommandments
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To: exmarine
It seems if you are just arguing for the sake of arguing. Your point makes mine. They took the Ark to the TEMPLE. Not to the government building.

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.

601 posted on 07/03/2003 3:17:11 PM PDT by lugsoul
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To: exmarine
I understand the distinction. What I don't understand is where either God or the U.S. Constitution make the distinction.
602 posted on 07/03/2003 3:18:41 PM PDT by lugsoul
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To: lugsoul
SOME of the Commandments reflect universal law. But that can't be said for all of them.

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.

603 posted on 07/03/2003 3:18:55 PM PDT by exmarine
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To: lugsoul
It seems if you are just arguing for the sake of arguing. Your point makes mine. They took the Ark to the TEMPLE. Not to the government building.

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!

604 posted on 07/03/2003 3:21:58 PM PDT by exmarine
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To: lugsoul
Hey, I think we should dump the national anthem - have you read the complete anthem? It's far to Christian! It has to go!
605 posted on 07/03/2003 3:22:47 PM PDT by exmarine
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To: exmarine
Ultimate sovereign? Well, that is a complicated question. Over the civil realm, the state is the ultimate sovereign. Over the spiritual realm, God is the ultimate sovereign. I do not believe that God, or Jesus, would be particularly thrilled with our regularly thrusting them into worldly matters. Kind of like when a football player who just won the Super Bowl starts talking about how God was with him on that touchdown play. I really hope that God doesn't care who wins the Super Bowl. I believe He doesn't. Similarly, I don't think God is taking sides in whatever timber rights case or contract dispute is at the Alabama Supreme Court this week. And I believe is it mighty presumptuous of us to think that He is.

Oh, and over my mind, and my body - I am the ultimate sovereign, and I believe that is the freedom God gave me.

606 posted on 07/03/2003 3:27:55 PM PDT by lugsoul
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To: lugsoul
I understand the distinction. What I don't understand is where either God or the U.S. Constitution make the distinction.

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.

607 posted on 07/03/2003 3:27:55 PM PDT by exmarine
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To: exmarine
That's an old argument I've responded to on these threads about 15 times. I'm not wasting time with it again.
608 posted on 07/03/2003 3:29:02 PM PDT by lugsoul
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To: lugsoul
I do not believe that God, or Jesus, would be particularly thrilled with our regularly thrusting them into worldly matters.

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.

609 posted on 07/03/2003 3:30:46 PM PDT by exmarine
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To: exmarine
It has been your contention all along that the framers intended for the law of God as embodied in the Ten Commandments to be the basis for civil law. And I fully understand how you can arrive at that contention. What I don't understand is how you can arrive at the contention that the framers - not you, or me, but the framers - intended that Commandments 5-10 only should be the basis for civil law, and that the others were up to us. And I don't understand where God said that 5-10 were to be enforced by government, but 1-4 were up to an individual conscience.

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?

610 posted on 07/03/2003 3:33:33 PM PDT by lugsoul
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To: lugsoul
Oh, and over my mind, and my body - I am the ultimate sovereign, and I believe that is the freedom God gave me.

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.

611 posted on 07/03/2003 3:34:16 PM PDT by exmarine
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To: exmarine
I'm not going to have a theological argument here, but I think there is strong support for exactly what I said. I didn't say anything about not having "guidance," - but that is a bit different than day-to-day control.

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.

612 posted on 07/03/2003 3:36:21 PM PDT by lugsoul
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To: lugsoul
What I don't understand is how you can arrive at the contention that the framers - not you, or me, but the framers - intended that Commandments 5-10 only should be the basis for civil law, and that the others were up to us.

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.

613 posted on 07/03/2003 3:37:09 PM PDT by exmarine
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To: lugsoul
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?

You have a valid point here.

614 posted on 07/03/2003 3:39:18 PM PDT by exmarine
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To: exmarine
It is easier to make your argument going from the specific to the general. It is damn hard going the other way.

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.

615 posted on 07/03/2003 3:52:29 PM PDT by lugsoul
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To: exmarine
I've gotta go start the holiday with my daughter. At this point, I say we shake hands, say we're sorry this got off to a bit of a rocky start, and it's been a enjoyable discussion. I was a bit prickly about folks jumping all over these particular judges, because they are good men, and Moore - who is a publicity-seeking pompous self-promoter with a very limited record of accomplishment as a jurist - pushed them into making the decision. With what he did, and what he said about it, this case wasn't even a close call. It's not simply about the Ten Commandments - as I said, this same court passed on the Ten Commandments in another courthouse a couple of weeks ago. It is about the overt, intentional, and unashamed promotion of one faith over another by a high government official, a judge no less. And that is the one area in our government where we are supposed to be able to believe that we will get a fair and impartial shake - no matter who we are - Christian, Jew, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, Buddhist, or Atheist.

Have a good 4th.

616 posted on 07/03/2003 4:05:09 PM PDT by lugsoul
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To: Catspaw
From the printed decision, it appears that the court establishes the following:

617 posted on 07/03/2003 4:08:51 PM PDT by gitmo (We've left the slippery slope and we are now in free fall.)
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To: gitmo
"The fact that the Commandment statue could not be seen from the King plaque was evidence of nothing."

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.

618 posted on 07/03/2003 4:26:57 PM PDT by lugsoul
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To: gitmo
Oh - the godless lawyer is Jewish. I guess in your mind the God of Israel is no God at all.
619 posted on 07/03/2003 4:28:18 PM PDT by lugsoul
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To: lugsoul
A man can be Jewish and godless.
620 posted on 07/03/2003 4:33:52 PM PDT by gitmo (We've left the slippery slope and we are now in free fall.)
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To: lugsoul
You should read the decision.
621 posted on 07/03/2003 4:34:33 PM PDT by gitmo (We've left the slippery slope and we are now in free fall.)
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To: lugsoul
Are you talking about employment law or constitutional law?

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?

622 posted on 07/03/2003 5:24:07 PM PDT by inquest
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To: gitmo
godless lawyer

Jews are godless? I suppose that does take the "Judeo" out of "Judeo-Christian."

623 posted on 07/03/2003 6:50:34 PM PDT by Catspaw
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To: exmarine
Also, you need to show how a govt. school teacher leading in prayer is tantamount to establishing a state religion. I don't see that connection and no common sense person does.

(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?

624 posted on 07/03/2003 9:46:47 PM PDT by First Amendment
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To: inquest
And in a like sense, when a teacher is evangelizing on behalf of homosexuality...

In California, it's mandatory. K-12, since 2001.

625 posted on 07/03/2003 9:51:33 PM PDT by First Amendment
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To: exmarine
It seems everything that is taught in govt. schools is wholly consistent with atheism. Are you going to try to claim that atheism is not a religion?

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.

626 posted on 07/03/2003 10:00:37 PM PDT by First Amendment
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To: gitmo
I have read it. You are making things up. Cite to the page where the alleged factual information you reference is located.
627 posted on 07/04/2003 5:35:11 AM PDT by lugsoul
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To: Catspaw
As I said in an above post, a Jew can certainly be a godless man (or woman). One's moral standing is not a function of one's ancestry. Read the Old Testament.
628 posted on 07/04/2003 7:35:34 AM PDT by gitmo (We've left the slippery slope and we are now in free fall.)
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To: gitmo
As I said in an above post, a Jew can certainly be a godless man (or woman). One's moral standing is not a function of one's ancestry. Read the Old Testament.

Provide me with chapter and verse.

629 posted on 07/04/2003 8:04:22 AM PDT by Catspaw
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To: lugsoul
I hope you had a good 4th with your family. I just wanted to provide this excerpt from a WND article. It's a quote from Stephanopoulis's ABC talk show:

"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.

630 posted on 07/07/2003 7:29:49 AM PDT by exmarine
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