Roy Moore is the former Chief Justice of the Alabama State Supreme Court until he defied another courts order for him to remove a monument of the Ten Commandments from his courtroom. According to Wiki, something called the Court of the Judiciary voted unanimously to remove Moore as Chief Justice for his defiance of the law, and rightly so. No person should remain a judge, much less Chief of a court when he or she shows such incredible disdain and disrespect towards that which they are tasked with interpreting.
In recent years, the term "judicial activist" has become a favorite of conservative Republicans to describe judges who in their eyes "create law" and "legislate from the bench" rather than simply interpreting the law as it is written. I believe there probably are judicial activists in the court system, and I would define them as persons more interested in pursuing their ideological agendas than being neutral arbiters of justice, the blind folded balance of liberty and consequence.
Creating laws and rights that didn't exist before is a different topic for discussion another time, and I think judicial activism better fits the actions of Justice Moore and others than it does those responsible for the legality of abortion and the creation of executive privilege.
Moore appealed the ruling that forced the religious monument from his courtroom only to be rebuffed by by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, which resulted in a stay of the original order being lifted, leaving Moore only two choices: remove the monument and presumably continue his appeals, or defy the order. Moore then placed biblical law above actual law, and refused to remove the granite monument.
Facing fines resulting from Moore's actions, the other Supreme Court justices defied Moore and had the monument removed into a private room inside the building, and later from the premises entirely in the summer of 2004.
While Moore was under suspension during the inquiry into his actions, he continued to defy reason by stating that if he returned to the bench, he had every intention of placing the monument back to its original place and defying any future orders to have it removed. Those promises of defiance resulted in his removal as Chief Justice, not necessarily the act of original defiance itself.
Moore later helped author the failed Constitution Restoration Act which would have banned Judicial review of cases such as his own in the future, as well as those considering virtually any aspect of the acknowledgement of his God, including Michael Newdow's case against the pledge of allegiance. The CRA has failed to make it out of committee in two consecutive sessions and is unlikely to make any headway in the new Democratic Congress.
With this history out of the way, it is hardly any surprise that Judge Moore continues his attacks on those who defend the freedom from religion, writing a day ago that "No better resolution for this New Year could be made than a commitment to stop the ACLU and other groups like them in their vicious assault on our faith and morality."
The American Civil Liberties Union is a favorite target of those on the right that believe the organization exists for the sole purpose of exterminating or at the very least repressing religion. Nothing could be further from the truth, but before I show you why, I'll let the former Chief Justice continue to look like an idiot.
Each year the American Civil Liberties Union and other liberal organizations continue their efforts to destroy traditional values that we once assumed were self-evident and beyond question. And each year we sit quietly by doing nothing to stop their relentless assault on our culture and our religious heritage. As our resolution for the New Year, let us join together to defeat the ACLU's anti-Christian agenda and restore our civil and religious freedom. Below are three opportunities available to us to accomplish that goal.
I understand that Moore feels that no law can interfere with a persons relationship with their God, and in most cases I think that no law ever does. It's a question of balance, where I see it, he doesn't. Any attempt to curtail religion is unacceptable to Moore -- bad enough since he was a judge -- and many people tend to agree. They are inconsiderate of people who may find their public expressions offensive, and they don't even really care.
I've got no problem with Moore having a stone monument of the Ten Commandments in his home, on his lawn, in the church he attends, written on the hood of his car, or constantly buzzing around in his head during the day. I'm more then happy to look the other way and let him believe whatever he wants, despite however I may personally feel about it. That's all well and good, just as long as those things remain private to him, and public only with others who wish to share in it. I don't want to see it written on the wall of a courtroom when I'm subservient to that court and my life is in its hands.
I don't want the court whom my taxes pay to create (though not in that particular case) to endorse those beliefs, because then it would be affecting me, and that's unfair. That's unbalanced, and that's what Moore doesn't understand, or doesn't care about.
There are extremes on either side of the spectrum, where I get the Ten Commandments imprinted on my forehead whether I like it or not, or people like Moore are sent to camps where they are reprogrammed and religion is removed from their minds and hearts completely. Neither is fair or reasonable, and the balance is that what the ACLU strives to find.
To drive this point home, I present the following factual information that was gathered to rebut the argument that the ACLU is anti-Christian and put it to rest once and for all. I came across this a time ago when some other talking head was spewing ignorance and hate just as Justice Moore did yesterday.
When a county in Hawaii erected a Menorah to celebrate Hanukkah, the ACLU warned the town that it was facing legal action for an unconstitutional endorsement of a particular religion. "The goal of the ACLU is not to ruin the celebration of Hanukkah or any other religious holiday, but rather to ensure that the government does not endorse the views of one religion to the exclusion of others," wrote ACLU Legal Director Lois Perrin. When the county added other religious items to create a true holiday display, the ACLU smiled, thanked them, and moved on to other cases.
Mr. Crayton peacefully picketed for about 40 minutes on a public sidewalk with a sign that said "Christians: Wal-Mart Supports Gay Lifestyles And Marriage. Don't Shop There." Then, he was approached by a Natchitoches police officer who refused to allow him to continue without obtaining a permit from the City. Mr. Crayton received permission from the chief of police to hold an "open air meeting," but he also needed permission of the Mayor. Despite the passage of several weeks since his application, the Mayor has still failed to approve Mr. Crayton's request.
The ACLU sued the city to protect the mans First Amendment right to speak freely from government censorship. While I strongly disapprove of his actions and think it's a bigoted act of hate, I staunchly defend his right to be a bigot free from government censorship. I have the right to tell him to shut his mouth and go home and be ashamed of himself, but the city does not.
In New Jersey, a second-grader was barred from singing "Awesome God" in an after-school talent show. The ACLU joined the lawsuit to protect the girls rights to sing religious songs when students are given the option of singing pretty much whatever they want.
Because the school left the choice of songs up to each individual student, the ACLU said, no reasonable observer would have believed that the school endorsed the content of each student's selection.
This last one bothers me the most because I'm absolutely torn between personal disgust for what they ACLU is defending, and why they are doing it. It's pretty well known that a number of extreme religious groups have been going around the country and "protesting" at the funerals of soldiers felled during the Iraq war. These are people who had no say in what wars they would fight in and swore to do whatever their country told them to do, giving their lives in necessary, for no other reason that to serve their people in the best way they knew how.
As if the price of death wasn't enough, these "protesters" gathered at their funerals en masse with signs in hand, screaming at the families of the fallen that their sons and daughters, husbands and wives all deserved to die and will burn in hell, because gays are allowed to serve in the military in hiding.
I think these "protesters" should be forced to serve a couple of tours in Iraq before they get the right to pull this awful crap at funerals, losing a few of their own in the process. It's disgusting to the point that it makes me ashamed to be from the same country as these people, and if necessary, ashamed to be human if this is what humans are capable of and allowed to get away with.
Despite that, the ACLU stood up to protect their right to protest, regardless of what the message was.
The lawsuit challenges Missouri laws banning protest or picketing "in front of or about" any location in which a funeral is being held or any funeral procession. The law was enacted to prevent members of Phelps-Roper's church from conducting their protests, which many find to by anti-gay and anti-American.
"Free speech and the right to protest peacefully extend to all Americans, even if their messages are unpopular and distasteful," said Brenda Jones, Executive Director of the ACLU of Eastern Missouri. "The government cannot pick and choose whose rights it is going to honor. Laws that restrict First Amendment rights never harm only one group; they pave the way for restrictions on the right to dissent for all groups."
If you want evil, Judge Moore, then have a feast. The ACLU may step on your turf more than you would like, but they step on everyone's toes eventually, which is why I'm proud to support them now and always. You can read the crap coming out of Moore's mouth here if you'd like to know what inspired this, and here is my source list for the ACLU's defense of Christians and religion in general.