Friday, August 15, 2003

Church and State

I find it amazing that this Chief Justice of the Alabama courts is taking such an extreme position on his monument to the ten commandments. His statements seem to be more from a religious nut that the top judge of a state. His argument reminds me of the argument of the guns rights people, "The very purpose of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution was to allow the freedom to worship God, but today that freedom is being taken from us by federal courts who misuse the First Amendment as a sword to take away our rights, instead of a shield to preserve them for us." First of all, it is court house, not a church. Besides if someone wants to pray while they are there (and I'm sure lots of people do before they go into the courtroom), they are free to do so. You do not need a 5-ton marble monument to the ten-commandments in order to worship your god. Gun rights people claim that people want to "take away their guns" when any attempt is made to simply regulate the distribution of them.

"Separation of church and state never was intended to separate God from our government; it was never meant to separate God from the law," Moore said.
I think in many ways it was. The founding fathers knew of the history of abuses of the law by the church, and fully intended to prevent that. Putting such a blatant and massive religious relic in the entrance to a courthouse might make anyone question who was going to be deciding their case - a judge or a priest? Would an atheist get a fair trial?

'They have no power, no authority, no jurisdiction to tell the state of Alabama that we cannot acknowledge God as the source of our law,' he said. " Another problem with Moore's argument is that he is designating a specific religion to identify in his definition of god. While we allow "In God We Trust" on government issued documents, it is a generic, non-specific god [and even that might be wrong - some people don't believe in any god, while others believe in multiple gods]; Moore is clearly promoting Christianity with a display of the ten commandments. Alabama's Chief Justice Defies Court Order (

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