There Goes Da Judge

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After a one-day trial, Alabama Chief Justice Roy "Ten Commandments" Moore has been canned for his refusal to remove his monument to Mosaic law from his court house grounds.

Story here.

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  1. A well-deserved end to a theocratic tenure.

    Moore holds adherence to religious authority above his oath to uphold the law. The quotes from him show that he can’t even conceive of right and wrong apart from religious commandments. Blind obedience — the kind that lets people kill each other because some god allegedly tells them to — is his notion of ethics. I don’t expect he’ll ever even understand why what he did was wrong.

  2. This idiot and his stupid desert god might win after all. Now this asshole is a martyr.

  3. Could Moore be re-elected to the position?

  4. I hope he runs for Gov of Alabama and doesn’t wind up in the Senate or anything. Arg.

  5. our biggest threat to liberty is a rock…with a bunch of words I don’t believe in scribbled on it.

    Down with plaques!

  6. Neat. Checks and Balances in action. Props to whoever drafted the Alabama constitution.

  7. RA, that rock was conceived of, used as, as clearly described by its supporters as, the world’s biggest camel’s nose.

  8. Goodbye asshole, and good riddance. And take your Bible-thumping, graven-image worshippin’, mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging, Darwin-denyin’, walking brain-stem following with you…

  9. Oops, forgot one…sister humpin’…

  10. “Could Moore be re-elected to the position?”

    Apparently, yes. I don’t remember who said it but exactly that possibility was raised when NPR reported the start of the trial.

    I can’t see how the panel could have found otherwise, but they have created a martyr. My prediction; you can look for Gov. Moore real soon.

    Does anybody how impeachment works in AL.

  11. Should have said “Does anybody know how impeachment works in AL.”

  12. dude

    I overlooked your post, Senator is another possibility.

    Of course the other possibility is that he’ll just disappear. One can only hope.

  13. Since higher office may be Moore’s inevitable fate, I hope it’s as a Senator rather than Governor. As a Senator he’d be one vote out of 100, whereas governors have a lot of prerogatives. And if he exercised those prerogatives in an idiotic manner (e.g. he declares that the Bible is the Supreme Law of Alabama and orders cops to shut down all abortion clinics) things could get really ugly.

    Alas, I fear that he’ll run for governor of AL, since he’d probably prefer an office where he has more authority and unilateral discretion.

  14. Yeah, but unless you live in Alamaba, he can’t hurt you. If he’s a Senator, we all have to deal with him.

  15. If he’s a governor we’ll all have to deal with him (I live in CA). If he decides to shut down abortion clinics unilaterally (i.e. without the legislature passing a ban on abortion) because he decides that it’s against the Bible and the Bible is the basis of Alabama law, we’ll have to watch as federal agents go in to protect the private property of planned parenthood.

    And even if he doesn’t do that particular stunt, you know he’s going to do some sort of stunt that will cause a whole lot of trouble, and the feds will probably have to step in. (Maybe as a matter of federalism the feds shouldn’t halt his stunts, but they probably will, and I won’t have much sympathy for him.)

    Better to make him one vote out of 100, and with zero seniority. If he tries a stunt in the Senate, he’ll quickly find out how little seniority he has. Plus, he’ll make the rest of the Senate look dignified by comparison. So everybody wins 😉

  16. How about, he runs for the GOP nomination for whatever office, Shrub campaigns for his opponent from the party’s corporate tool wing, and betrayed theocrats across the country stay home on election day?

  17. careful, all: you’ll get accused of religion bashing here…

    hope the heads of this hydra are cut off for good,
    drf

  18. Anyone seen any polling showing how much support he has in Alabama? Contrary to what appears to be popular belief, you need more than the hard-core Christian right to get elected to most offices these days.

  19. According to a story on Worldnet Daily (see link below), 79% of Alabamans polled wanted Moore to remain on the court. Moore also will reportedly make an announcement next week that “could alter the course of this country”. My gut is saying “fundamentalist Christian third-party presidential run,” but I could be wrong.

    Link:
    http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=35566

  20. “could alter the course of this country”.

    What an arrogant jackass. 🙂

    So, if he runs, does that spell doom for Bush’s support amongst right-wing religion types in the USA?

  21. As a matter of principle, the side that the southern poverty law center is on(in this case against moore) is the opposite side, as a libertarian, that I’ll be on.

    Congratulations goes to the feds, SPLC, ACLU, et al for making a martyr out of this guy…..And all over a privately funded monument in an Alabama court (not federal).

    Judging by some of the comments on this thread I would say many of you are just as bad as moore is when it comes to “fundamentalism.” I’m not really religious at all, but the hatred directed at moore for his religious beliefs(however silly we think they are) is quite stunning.

  22. Matt,

    I think the concern about fundamentalist Christians here is not so much their religious beliefs in isolation, but rather the fact that quite a few want to use the power of state to make everyone else comply with those beliefs (see, e.g., laws prohibiting “unBiblical” sexual activities).

  23. And of course, any court order issued from a hearing that was opened with a prayer is null and void, right?

  24. Sorry, that should read “power of the state”.

  25. Strict separation of religion and state is not the mainstream position in the U.S. That’s why it’s been decreed by courts. It couldn’t have been done by state legislation except in the most liberal states, and even in those there would have been a huge fight.

  26. jack,

    I agree with the part about cristians “legislating morality.” Both left and right christians have used the state to push their various agendas. But the groups suing moore used the power of the state (the feds in this case) to overturn what should be a state decision (and not a very big deal in my opinion…i don’t think the monument was handing out court decisions).

  27. Wasn’t Moore ousted for not complying with a higher court’s order to remove the rock? If so, the finer point is that he, as an agent of justice, was defying the law.

    A person, with perhaps the wisdom of a judge, might be expected to comply with the order to remove the rock and then contest that order though the justice system.

  28. I Just heard that Moore said that his announcement next week might “change the course of history”,or something quite like that. The expression is “full of himself”; is it not? Seems rather a dangerous trait in a judge.

  29. Culturally, this is a Judeo-Christian Country, but legal? nah. that’s a sophomoric attempt to force your religion on the rest of us.

    The presence of a monument to the ten commandments does not create an obligation to follow them. There is no religion being forced upon you. It is a rock.

  30. Let’s first acknowledge that there would be no problem with a display that put the Commandments next to the Magna Carta, the Code of Hammurabi, and whatever other famous legal codes you like. Just to get it out of the way, since it always comes up.

    Now, maybe the monument is still acceptable without such a context. Maybe it isn’t. But there’s no denying that it was specifically about Judeo-Christianity, not about the general concept of rule of law.

    So, suppose that some Jews say “Hey, we’re actually more interested in the Talmud as a legal code, so we want our own monument there too.” To avoid discriminating among religions the court would be obligated to put up some sort of Talmudic monument (assume for the sake of argument that the Jewish group pays for it out of their own pockets and simply asks for room to display it).

    OK, no problem. Now some Muslims want a monument with passages from the Koran (assume for the sake of argument that these passages are in the spirit of law, not simply a random biographical tidbit on Mohammed or whatever, and assume that the Muslims pay for it out of their own pockets). OK, so we put that up.

    Then the Catholics show up with a plaque depicting Canon Law. Then the Buddhists show up with a monument. And the Hindus. And the Zoroastrians. Then the Wiccans show up. Some self-proclaimed Satanist shows up with a plaque saying “Thou shalt kill.” Some guys from the local Dungeons and Dragons club proclaim Thor to be their lord and savior, and demand that their monument to Thor’s laws be put up. Those idiots who claim “Jedi” as their religion bring in some monument. The self-described Druids take a break from running for office on the LP ticket and demand the right to erect a stonehenge on the grounds of the courthouse. And so forth.

    At some point, somebody has to say “Hey, the rotunda is cluttered with monuments to the doctrine of fairness. We can’t possibly accomodate every religious monument out there. This is a courthouse, not a church. Go display your religious monuments on private property.”

    So, the monuments are put on private property where they belong. But somebody says “We’ll keep the Christian monument.” How is that consistent with the notion that the gov’t shouldn’t get involved with religion.

  31. rst is making a number points. One is that the Bill of Rights as written applies only to Congress, and that is application to the states is just a matter of case law. This is arguably true; the Fourteenth Amendment has been interpreted as extending Bill of Rights protection to citizens with respect to the states, as well as the federal government. But if we accept this, there are much bigger problems than religious decrees by the government; a century and more of restrictions on censorship, unlimited searches and seizures, and all the rest by states would go out the window. This would be a matter for a separate discussion, focusing on the larger issues.

    rst states that there are no inalienable rights, just the ability of somebody with power to legislate something. If we accept rst’s view, it doesn’t matter what any law actually says; as long as someone has the power to make and enforce a decision, that’s all that counts, and someone had and exercised the power to kick Moore out of office. You can’t argue that rights are merely a matter of power and then complain when yours aren’t respected.

    But if people do have unalienable rights, including the right to follow their own beliefs concerning religion, then a massive monument instructing people not to follow any non-Judaeo-Christian gods introduces a major chilling factor into the courtroom, particularly when the judge has a history of making decisions based on that instruction, and thus threatens people’s freedom.

  32. “Culturally, this is a Judeo-Christian Country, but legal? nah. that’s a sophomoric attempt to force your religion on the rest of us.

    The presence of a monument to the ten commandments does not create an obligation to follow them. There is no religion being forced upon you. It is a rock.”

    then why all the whining and cheezing about its removal??? judge moore certainly followed it further than a mere rock. what about flag burning. it’s just cloth. what about me saying “religion is for fucking assholes”. those are only words. for the latter, at least, that is an insult, and should be separate from rulings of law. Religion and law are not connected. nor should they be. nor should your views on religion prevent you from getting a fair shake. judge moore’s stance calls that fair shake for nonbelivers into question.

    i follow the gourd, personally. this is why religion sucks for this citizen.
    QWERTY

  33. You have made it clear that you are not a fan of inalienable rights, your enemy is the constitution, not the people sworn to protect it.

    The constitution is a piece of paper; I feel neither emnity nor trust towards it. The Constitution in and of itself has no power, and its ideals have been eroded ever since its conception by judicial review and the onslaught of case law. The rights it outlines are inherited and added upon from previous social theory. There is nothing objective or “inalienable” about them…at the end of the day you have the rights which the state allows you to have, and you do not have the rights that the state does not allow you to have. There was a Constitution while there was yet slavery, the prohibition of women’s suffrage, and miscegenation.

    lol. Constitutionality is our state religion. It’s just paper, kids. Important paper, yes. But paper nonetheless. It hasn’t protected you yet, only held off the dogs for 200+ years so far.

  34. “lol. Constitutionality is our state religion. It’s just paper, kids. Important paper, yes. But paper nonetheless. It hasn’t protected you yet, only held off the dogs for 200+ years so far.”

    touche.
    I bow and exit. 100% agreement.
    QWERTY (Frank M)

  35. judge moore certainly followed it further than a mere rock.

    That is what has not been demonstrated. Has justice in any case suffered by the presence of the rock? Can anyone demonstrate, not just accuse or theorize, how Moore’s support of the ten commandments as an individual – a support ostensibly shared by millions – affected adversely his decisions as a judge?

    How about the rock itself. Has it assaulted anyone? Did it make people of weak faith cry? Many public schools have rooms with east facing windows for the express purpose of Muslims to pray. Is this government support of Islam? Or is it acknowledgement of the fact that in deference to the all-knowing, all-seeing atheists, 90% of the people in this country believe in a god, they all want to pray and build shit to him/her/it, and the government cannot and must not ever interfere with it, for any reason, so long as it does not violate other laws. Like the one that says that Congress, the body that is alone empowered to make law, is prohibited from making laws respecting the establishment of religion. Somehow after 200+ years of case law (the same case law that says the Patriot Act is constitutional), that gets extended to include the display of monuments by state courts.

    So please, tell me how Constitutional this all is.

  36. The First Ammendment guarantees that public officials cannot worship in public, nor speak of worshipping in private.

    The Second Ammendment gurantees that you do not have a right to carry a firearm anywhere outside of the thinnest legal tightrope.

    The Fourth Ammendment gurantees a womans right to dismember her offspring without any regard for the father, and the right of the government to confiscate your home if you grow a certain weed.

    And the Great State of Alabama has just surrendered it’s State Constitution to the Yankee Federalists without a fight.

    God Help Us!

  37. “lol. Constitutionality is our state religion. It’s just paper, kids. Important paper, yes. But paper nonetheless. It hasn’t protected you yet, only held off the dogs for 200+ years so far.”

    Are you on the dogs’ side, rst?

    Maybe you should reply to thoreau’s point. He makes a good one.

  38. Drop the 14th Amendment charade. You’d be defending this shrine just as heartily if it was in a federal courthouse.

    And the establishment clause doesn’t contain an “unless it can be shown not to hurt anyone” or “unless most people support it” exception. The shrine was put there, and served the purpose of, demonstrating the endorsement of Judeo-Christian theology and moral teachings by the judicial branch of the state of Alabama. How is that not an establishment of a state religion?

    Or are you ok with a state religion?

  39. Are you on the dogs’ side, rst?

    Use your head.

    Maybe you should reply to thoreau’s point. He makes a good one.

    The hypothetical? It’s interesting, but not a point. And Buddhists wouldn’t likely want a monument.

    Or are you ok with a state religion?

    I am ok neither with state religion, nor a government making laws to protect pansies from seeing things that offend their religions or lack thereof.

    I am quite ok with people having their little religious shindigs, be they Christian, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist (the Buddhists would not show up with a monument), or whatever, and moreover I think that it is the responsibility of the viewer to turn their head in disagreement if they so choose. Regardless of Moore’s personal beliefs – to which he has a right – the only important aspect is whether his decisions were adversely affected by the monument.

    Had Moore not violated the order, he’d still be on the bench. But because the monument wouldn’t be there anymore, any adverse “influence” the monument had would have of course washed away. Of course. So, good thing we saved that paper in Philly.

  40. How is that not an establishment of a state religion?

    Because…

    “The religion of Afghanistan is the sacred religion of Islam. Followers of other religions are free to perform their religious ceremonies within the limits of the provisions of law.”

    “In Afghanistan, no law can be contrary to the sacred religion of Islam and the values of
    this Constitution.”

    THAT is the establishment of a state religion.

    The other is a rock.

  41. then why get panties in a bunch about a rock? he could kram that rock elsewhere, too. private property, his house, for example. not in a court. and read what he says. he believes in christian application of the law. jeez. fucking religion.

  42. believes in christian application of the law.

    Most of them believe it, even some of the leftists. There is ultimately little difference in the lawmakers here as opposed to those in the ME. (Come on, Rick Santorum?) We’re just a little farther up the secular humanist foodchain so to speak. We haven’t any more objective grasp on reality. We just have different gods. Green paper. White powder. Pussy. the Constitution.

  43. “The other is a rock.”

    I wouldn’t take it so lightly. It could topple over and crush a true believer who is laid on the ground worshipping it.

    Or it could act as a divine lightening rod. God could get pissed off over something (in the Bible, he gets pissed off quite a bit) and flood the courthouse with locusts.

    I think it would be much safer in storage, ala that big warehouse in “Raiders of the Lost Ark”

  44. “the only important aspect is whether his decisions were adversely affected by the monument.” Whole lotta good that will do people who cop pleas, reach deals, or decide not to file suit because they have no confidence in receiving a fair verdict.

    What about whether people who have business in that building are intimidated because of they have the wrong religion? How about the confidence of the populace in receiving equal protection under the law? Building a shrine to a certain religion in a courthouse erodes its reputation as a place where justice is dispensed fairly. How do think your decision about whether to reach a plea bargain in a domestic assault case would be influenced if the crew-cutted female judge had imagery from NOW and NARAL, and a monument to French feminists, in her courtroom? Are you beginning to catch on yet why this is a problem?

    The court system has an affirmative duty to maintain its reputation for fairness and integrity. You write that “pansies” who are made to feel put upon because of their religion should get over it. Here’s a novel idea: how about having a court system that inspires confidence in its fairness to minority groups?

  45. I wouldn’t take it so lightly.

    Nice pun.

  46. rst-

    OK, fine, we’ll say for the sake of argument that the Buddhists wouldn’t want a monument (but they sure didn’t seem happy when the Taliban destroyed those giant statues in the mountains). That still leaves all the others.

    My hypothetical example is meant to illustrate that when the state (or state officials) start putting up expressly religious monuments for religious purposes, the only way for it to remain fair and impartial is by accomodating every religion that wants inclusion. Which then raises the obvious point: Is the courthouse there for the purpose of including religious monuments, or is it there to serve as a courthouse?

    More importantly:

    Judge Moore is of course entitled to his opinions. But during his hearing he spent his time arguing that religious devotion is part of his job description as a Supreme Court Justice. He said that religious duties trump a judge’s duty to uphold the rule of law by contesting court rulings via the appellate process rather than civil disobedience. If those statements don’t make him manifestly unqualified to be a Supreme Court Justice I don’t know what does.

    (Civil disobedience is fine for private citizens, and for public officials after business hours. But public officials who feel like doing some civil disobedience shouldn’t order their subordinates to leave something in place in violation of a court order. They should wait until the end of the work day, take off the ID badge that says “John Q. Public Servant” and then chain themselves to the monument or whatever and go to jail like any other protestor would.)

  47. Joe-

    I sort of half agree with you. I can’t bring myself to agree with qualms that “Oh, somebody might feel intimidated.” Sorry, I don’t do that psychobabble.

    But the courthouse should most definitely maintain a reputation of impartiality. When some idiot with the title “Your Honor” is busy putting up religious monuments in the rotunda while declaring that his religious faith is part of his job description, it definitely tarnishes the impartial demeanor that should be paramount to a courthouse.

  48. no confidence in receiving a fair verdict.

    And confidence in a verdict (rendered by a jury, by the way) is instilled by atheism? It’s just another view. The rock is not the ten commandments. The ten commandments are merely printed on it. It is the commandments, not the rock, which alter the philosophical views of the parties involved. Remove the rock and you wash away the philosophies? Yeah.

    people who have business in that building are intimidated because of they have the wrong religion?

    This goes to the pansy bit. If you don’t agree, then don’t agree. Nothing but your own lack of convictions makes it the “wrong religion”.

    confidence of the populace in receiving equal protection under the law

    Again, it’s a rock. Not a law. Nobody gets equal protection under a rock.

    how about having a court system that inspires confidence in its fairness to minority groups?

    How? Fried chicken and watermelon in the backyard? None of this has demonstrated how a rock keeps any of these wonderful ideas of yours from reaching fruition. The plea bargaining bit maybe, but still that’s the individual’s responsibility. And a rock in the hall is not posters behind the judge’s bench. If the dyke started spouting crap about penis power, it’s a safe bet that a conviction could be overturned. Moore is personally identified with it because he fought for it, but it’s not his pet rock. It’s just a rock, like the pledge is a poem and the flag is a piece of fabric. Their power as symbols makes them points of debate, but at the end of the day you still have a rock, a poem, and a piece of fabric. They don’t DO anything, moreover nobody has yet demonstrated that Moore’s actions adversely affected the justice meted out in his court – the thin bit about intimidated defendants copping deals…you play it on the merits of your case, and if you think there’s an advantage to the plea, you take it, the judge’s philosophy notwithstanding. That there is not a rock in hallway does not mean that a judge will not use the ten commandments unfairly against you.

  49. Sounds like you completely agree with me, dude. Your entire second ‘graph is a restatement of “someone might feel intimidated.”

    Come towards the light. 😉

  50. On the subject of Moore, I agree the man had some problems, was not impartial and thus was not a good judge. A judge who is not wholly impartial in the actions of his office, whatever his personal feelings may be, is anathema to the office. What I do not agree with is the removal of the rock as some sort of solution. Had Moore not disobeyed, he’d still be a judge, and what problem exactly would have been solved? None. There’d still be an ideologue on the bench, meting out Godly justice. But hey, there wouldn’t be a rock in the hall, so at least people could feel better about being fisted in the ass by the Alambama Supreme Court, right?

    My point, joe, is that the rock was not ever the problem. Going after the rock was going after NOT the problem.

  51. Go suck the corn out of a pig’s shit, rst. Fucking watermelon. Asshole.

  52. Go suck the corn out of a pig’s shit, rst. Fucking watermelon. Asshole.

    It was a joke, pansy. Grow a little skin before you enter a political debate.

  53. Yes, I’m well known around here for my inability to tolerate dissenting opinions.

    Only a sub-moron bigot could possibly find “watermelon and fried chicken” jokes funny. Go tell it to the freepers, asshat. You’ll crack them up.

  54. Only a sub-moron bigot could possibly find “watermelon and fried chicken” jokes funny

    Really? What’s your basis for that?

  55. Don’t be so sensitive, joe. You didn’t find it funny, so what. That’s your prerogative. You found it offensive, that is your prerogative as well. And you reacted like a pansy to it, calling me all manner of names merely because I told a joke that you didn’t find funny. How cerebral of you.

    It smacks of the rock issue.

  56. Sorry. Not interested.

  57. Sorry. Not interested.

    Hey, no backbone required. It’s just a message board.

  58. rst says that the proclamation of the exclusivity of one religion is “just a rock,” and that the Constitution is just a “piece of paper.” That’s remarkable consistency, if nothing else. But the order removing the “rock” was likewise “just a piece of paper,” and speaking the decision of remove Moore from office was “just vibrations in the air.” Reductionism can’t be applied selectively; by denying the significance of ideas, you write yourself out of any and all debates, since your arguments are likewise merely a physical phenomenon without significance; “just electrons on a disk,” one might say.

    Reductionism reduces itself out of existence.

  59. You deserve to be called all manner of names. Fucking fried chicken and watermelon jokes aren’t part of “policial debate.”

  60. You know, maybe we opponents of that graven image…um, I mean rock… are digging too deep into Constitutional issues and separation of church and state, etc.

    It’s a courthouse. It’s not a church. Religious monuments don’t belong there, just as plenty of other things don’t belong there. Maybe the removal wasn’t accomplished in the best way possible, but when that idiot started proclaiming that this is about a judge’s religious duties, he basically discredited himself as a judge. And when he decided public officials should simply ignore court rulings rather than go through the normal appeals process he further discredited himself.

    He’s supposed to be a judge, not a theologian. And he’s supposed to exemplify the rule of law by handling grievances through the proper appellate process, not by simply ignoring other judges.

    Say what you will about the establishment clause, the incorporation doctrine, “mere symbols”, etc. At the end of the day, he used this debacle to prove that he is unfit to be a judge.

    As to the monument itself, surely there must be at least one good Christian in Alabama who will offer his own private property as a viewing place for the 10 Commandments monument. The thing was purchased privately, so it isn’t even public property, and thus it should go to the first private citizen who offers to put it in a dignified place. If his supporters prefer to demand a public (as in government property, not as in “open to the public) display, what does that say about them?

  61. by denying the significance of ideas

    You have misjudged; I do not deny the significance of ideas. I deny the significance of symbols. This is not reductio ad absurdam, my “reductionism” as you call it is targeted towards very specific things. Mainly towards the objects we exalt for no good reason. My opposition to all this “bad rock!” talk stems from the fact that had Moore accepted the order, he’d still be a judge. Moving the rock didn’t change anything…it was eye candy for the faint of mind.

    You deserve to be called all manner of names.

    Joe: Yes, I suppose I do. As you are Judge of All Things Patently Humorous, I should have cleared the joke with you first. Sorry to have pierced your thin skin. Here, have a tampon.

  62. Overweening hubris of the type that says ?God told me to go ahead and decide for everybody? seems to be part of the political religious right?s platform nowadays. I drove through the south last month and heard a lot of ?They are taking away our religious freedom by banning prayer in schools? and such on the radio. It?s all about pushing religion in every way possible and has nothing to do with freedom. And as to the monument being ?privately funded?, what about the courthouse it was sitting in?

  63. They are saying something like 70% of the country believes that this combination of church and state is acceptable, I’m glad our rights are not up to committee.

    The religious conservatives in this country should try and understand that our freedom of religion stems from people persecuting protestants. Also, the overwhelming religious character of our nation is directly because of our freedom to worship as we please. European countries with a state religion have experiences a severe decline in church attendance of the past century.

  64. When did removing a person from his post for abuse of office suddenly become “making a martyr” of the crook?

    If we’re afraid of making “martyrs” of people by punishing them for wrongdoing, we might as well shut down the whole legal system.

  65. There isn’t really a distinction between sponsoring a State religion and prohibiting free expression of religion in a State.

    The ACLU used it’s position (and the court system) to enforce it’s religious views on Alabaman’s, just as Moore was using his position to present his religious views to Alabaman’s. Not a shred of difference.

    Installing a monument and removing an installed monument are essentially two sides to the same coin. Only an individual’s religious views permit them to see a distinction.

    As a libertarian, I would prefer the people of Alabama to decide what monuments they want to install, not an appointed federal judge. If 80% of the people of Alabama want that monument, they deserve to be permitted to have it. Regardless of what I, or you (if your not from Alabama), feel about it.

  66. I can’t believe you don’t understand the difference between individuals engaging in religious expression, and the government doing so.

  67. The reason we have unalienable rights is so the majority cannot inflict its will on a minority. You have a warped view of libertarianism.

    And exactly what religious view is the ACLU supporting here? They are not putting up a plaque of atheistic statements, are they?

  68. And all over a privately funded monument in an Alabama court

    What really was wrong with the monument? Ask any law professor upon what our codex is based, and the Judeo-Christian commandments will enter into the discussion. You can whine all you want about “separation of church and state”, but that convention does not change history, nor does it prohibit acknowledging that history. One can just as easily walk by and ignore it. Separation of church and state should not mean that messages will be mediated for you. If you are an atheist or a Muslim, and your faith or lack thereof is not strong enough to deal with the images and artifacts of other people’s faiths, why is that their problem? It’s yours.

    A state maintains its right to determine standards of decency within its own borders, and if those standards of decency include the ten commandments, which regardless of theological implications are in fact among the bases of our legal code, then the federal government has no right to interfere.

    Just a refresher, it says “Congress shall make no law…”. Anything else is interpretation, conjecture, and case law. Does anybody have an actual claim of injury where the presence of the monument damaged the justice or the efficacy in which they received it? Or was this just a bunch of weak-willed pansies who couldn’t bear to look at a lifeless stone monument?

  69. The reason we have unalienable rights is so the majority cannot inflict its will on a minority.

    The reason we have inalienable rights is because somebody with power wrote them down and said they were self-evidently inalienable.

  70. Mr. RST,

    Exactly where does the Codex of US Law go back to the commandments? The Holy Day, Honoring Father and Mother? Graven images? No other god but this one?

    I do not intend to be snakry or obnoxious with that question.
    Regards,

  71. rst, the problem with the monument was not that it acknowledged the Mosaic code as one of the antecedents of contemporary law. Heck, the Supreme Court building has a depiction of the two tablets. Can we agree that an installation depicting the tablets, Hammarabai and the Magna Carta would pass muster, while an inscription that read “non-Christians suck” would be out of bounds?

    The judges ruled that this particular artifact, its appearance, location, treatment, etc. was more like the second example than the first. People came from all over the country to pray at it. Its sponsor had it designed, constructed, and installed for the specific purpose of promoting a religious tradition – worse, for the specific purpose of having the judicial system of Alabama promote that religious tradition. That’s a problem.

  72. Exactly where does the Codex of US Law go back to the commandments?

    I am not a law professor. I would butcher the explanation. Go ask a law professor, like I said.

    its appearance, location, treatment, etc.

    Those characteristics are thin and subjective when applied to its actual impact on the judicial system. That “In God We Trust” is printed on the back of the dollar does not present a hardship for atheists trying to make some money; it’s a symbol that by itself presents no obligation whatsoever, only the suspicion of obligation in those who have no reason to consider the monument anything more than a pile of stone (or empty words). In the matter of “separation of church and state,” a notion about as grounded as “partial-birth abortion,” Congress has made no law. That the monument is not all-inclusive does not make it exclusive, the polarizing effects of partisan politics notwithstanding.

  73. So we’re on the right track here. Some official speech acts that reference religious concepts are out of bounds, and some are not. The federal courts ruled, based on the specific facts of this case, including appearance, location, treatement, the way it was handled by its sponser, etc., that this one served to establish religion. Are you disputing the idea that some religiously themed government speech serves to establish a religious, or are you disputing the factual holdings of the courts?

  74. “I am not a law professor. I would butcher the explanation. Go ask a law professor, like I said.”

    Gee, buddy, maybe you should go ask one first since you are making the positive assertation here.

    You have made it clear that you are not a fan of inalienable rights, your enemy is the constitution, not the people sworn to protect it. I hear Afghanistan has a new constitution that would be much more to your liking.

  75. “Exactly where does the Codex of US Law go back to the commandments?

    I am not a law professor. I would butcher the explanation. Go ask a law professor, like I said”

    So I did. The commandments entering into the discussion – well, so would the Magna Carta, some Greek and Roman stuff. Cultural basis and legal foundation are quite different.

    From Timothy Sandefur, Esq. He seems to disagree with your assessment, as well. Culturally, this is a Judeo-Christian Country, but legal? nah. that’s a sophomoric attempt to force your religion on the rest of us.
    sandefur.blogspot.com/2003_08_17_sandefur_archive.html
    sandefur.blogspot.com/2003_08_10_sandefur_archive.html

    QWERTY (Frank M)

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