Do Moore’s Actions
Really Represent Religious Freedom?
past several months, I’ve heard the pros and cons regarding
Judge Roy Moore and his Ten Commandments monument. I will say at
the onset that I supported the removal of both the monument and
being condemned by the fundamentalists, you should know that
I’m neither anti-religion nor anti-Christian. In fact, I
visited the judicial building to view the monument and was not
offended by its presence. However, after reading the court case
(Glassroth v. Moore) and relying on my political ideology and
belief in the rule of law, I can’t support Moore or his
Moore’s supporters assert that the government is
infringing upon their religious liberties and preventing them
from acknowledging God. Their arguments are groundless. To my
knowledge, there are no documented incidents in which Alabama
State Troopers have set up roadblocks preventing them from
getting to church on Sunday mornings nor are there any cases
where the government has went into their private homes to
confiscate Bibles and other religious items. If such were true, I
would be fighting along their side. Though, such is not the
is and should be a personal matter. An individual may choose to
be one of deep faith or agnostic, what church he or she wants to
attend, whatever faith he or she wants to pursue, or whether or
not he or she wants to believe in God. Regardless of the
decision, an individual has the right to pursue his or her
spiritual journey without outside intervention so long as it does
not infringe upon the life, liberty, and property of another
does the government fit into this picture? The government’s
constitutional duty is to preserve and protect religious choices
and liberties. Freedom of religion is not and never has been
defined by how many religious monuments the government can put in
the public square. John Locke, the seventeenth century English
philosopher, stated that a government’s primary obligation
in its social contract with the citizenry is to protect their
Founding Fathers were men of deep faith and asked for divine
guidance in establishing this nation. While our history is one of
Christian values, it’s imperative to note that our nation
was founded on the principles of religious freedom. The U.S. was
never intended to be an entirely Christian state.
Founding Fathers knew the dangers that were present with an
established religion. Think back to your American history.
Didn’t the Pilgrims set sail for Plymouth to escape a
government-sponsored church and a tyrannical English king who
punished those with different religious views?
forward to present day Alabama. Why are some people so adamant
about using public property to advertise and validate their
religion? It’s not the government’s duty to serve as
a billboard for religion nor is it responsible for ensuring that
the masses get their spiritual nourishment.
has to be a personal decision. Will having a religious monument
in the judicial building make the State of Alabama any more
moral? Not if isn’t in the heart and soul of the
brings us to Moore’s monument. Based on the evidence
presented in the court case, Moore’s monument was designed
to establish religion. True, there is a sculpture of Moses with
the Ten Commandments on the south wall frieze in the U.S. Supreme
Court building. However, Moses is among other noted lawgivers
such as Hammurabi and Confucius, thereby giving this presentation
a historical context and not a religious one.
monument’s unveiling ceremony, Moore stated that “to
establish justice we must invoke ‘the favor and guidance of
almighty God’” and kept referring to God throughout
the speech. It doesn’t take a Biblical scholar to figure
out the God for which Moore was referring.
court testimony, Moore defined religion as a “duty of the
Judeo-Christian God,” which based on a literal
interpretation means that Islam and Buddhism are not
designed the monument based on his personal interpretation of
religion. He refused other groups who wanted to put their
displays in the judicial building because it didn’t conform
to his interpretation. Had the monument been installed for
historical reasons, Moore shouldn’t have had a problem with
other monuments since the Ten Commandments are “a”
source and not “the” source of American law. Instead,
his position created the appearance of an established religion,
which violates the First Amendment.
of law is the foundation of American government. If it goes, so
does our government. Roy Moore is entitled to his beliefs just as
I’m entitled to mine. However, he isn’t entitled to
disregard the law and use public property to push his
interpretation of religion. No one is above the law.
serve in public office, you take an oath to uphold the law of the
land. That includes laws that may conflict with your personal
views. If Roy Moore can’t do that, then maybe he
doesn’t need to serve in public office.
Powell resides in Greenville.