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August 20, 2003

Roy Moore and the Case of the Missing Deity

Aug. 20, 2003 | MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- Chief Justice Roy Moore asked the U.S. Supreme Court to block the removal of a Ten Commandments monument from the state judicial building Wednesday as supporters held a candlelight vigil to begin a round-the-clock protest.

"This case is not about a monument, it's not about politics or religion, it's about the acknowledgment of God," [Moore] said during an interview on CBS' "The Early Show."

"We must acknowledge God because our constitution says our justice system is established upon God. For (the judge) to say 'I can't say who God is' is to disestablish the justice system of this state." [link]

Wow! Our constitution says that our justice system is established upon God? Really? I mean, that's news to me, but I'm sure a Chief Justice wouldn't go around making statements like that if he didn't know them to be true, right? I mean, he's a Chief Justice! He must know what he's talking about! Especially in matters of federal and state law!

Oh, you don't think so? Okay, we'll check the relevant documents. Let's see. We can probably be pretty safe in assuming that "our constitution" refers to either the U.S. Constitution or the Alabama State Constitution. We'll start with the U.S. Constitution. I'm sure God will be all over this thing.

What the hell? No hits? Okay, we'll try Jesus. Nope. Christ. Zip. Yhwh. Nothing. Religion. Wait, here's one! "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." You know what, screw this. It's obvious that www.house.gov doesn't know jack shit about U.S. law. Let's try the Alabama state constitution.

Well, here's a hit for religion: "No religion shall be established by law; no preference shall be given by law to any religious sect, society, denomination, or mode of worship; 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; no religious test shall be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under this state; and the civil rights, privileges, and capacities of any citizen shall not be in any manner affected by his religious principles." Gee, that almost seems to contradict the statement made by Chief Justice Moore. That can't be right. Let's look for God.

Ah, here's God! Sort of! And ... wait ... here he is again! "We, the people of the State of Alabama, in order to establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, 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." And there you have it! I mean, yeah, it's just the Preamble, not anything actually related to the justice system or to any laws, but those are the only two references to God in the whole document, so it must be what Moore was referring to.

I mean, either that or he had no idea what he was talking about. Or he was just making shit up. And that's ridiculous. I mean, if the guy knows his Bible at least as well as he knows the Constitution(s), he's gotta be familiar with Exodus 23:1. Right? C'mon.

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