Justice Roy Moore and the 10 Commandments

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by mactastic, Aug 15, 2003.

  1. macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #1
    I'm wondering what you all think about this guy and whether he is trying to do the dreaded "legislating from the bench" that conservatives accuse liberal judges of doing. Bill O'Reilly was raking him over the coals last night for putting himself above the law, even though Bill himself isn't against the idea of displaying religious motifs in government buildings as "historical documents".

    Article

    I don't recall anyone asking him to deny his god, just to remove that monument from the courthouse. (Which is a beautiful rotunda IMHO)
     
  2. macrumors 68000

    mcrain

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    #2
    I can't stand these right wing bible thumpers who not only assume they are right all the time, but feel it is their right, no, more than that, their duty to make everyone else think and believe the way they do.

    I only have one thing to say to that jerk, "Keep your nose out of my beliefs."

    Moral foundation? Idiot, the laws were designed to be applied fairly and equally regardless of religion, beliefs, race, and everything else. He's sitting up there on the bench basically telling people that the laws are Christian, and if you aren't Christian, you're immoral.

    [sarcasm] I'm sure everyone who is not Christian feels like they are going to get a fair trial when they walk into his courtroom. :rolleyes: [/sarcasm]
     
  3. macrumors 601

    Backtothemac

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    #3
    Well, I know the man, so let me shed some light on this. 1st he isn't legislating from the bench. He had a monument in the rotundra. He doesn't quote the 10 commandments while sentencing people, and he hasn't offened anyone that I know. If you know the law, and mcrain I know you do, there are many laws that exist that were based on the 10 commandments. Roy isn't saying what you accuse him of. He believes that the commandments of God are a fundamental basis of the laws of our State. That is all.

    It has been so blown out of propotion. And remember. He is a Chief Justice of a court. Not a single Judge. Also, as far as people in Alabama that are not Christian. There aren't a lot my friend. Hell, even the name Alabama means God's land.
     
  4. macrumors newbie

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    #4
    I've been around this argument since before Madalyn Murray became Mrs. O'Hair. 1950s?

    About all I've seen is more hostility from those taking her view of the separation of church and state, and more shrillness in their arguments. The arguments themselves are the same now as they were then.

    Those opposed to her view are gritting their teeth more and getting more set in their own views.

    Me'n th' Lord get along pretty good. I try not to bother Him, and I generally hope He doesn't see fit to bother me. I generally ignore the self-anointed representatives here on earth who claim to know what He wants.

    And I generally ignore those who get their shorts all in a bind over something that seems to please multitudes more folks than it hurts--and I've never noticed the Word of the Lord ever hurting anybody.

    But the morality of our entire body of law is rooted in the precepts of the Judeo-Christian ethic.

    'Rat
     
  5. Ugg
    macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #5
    Nay, 'Rat, it is rooted in pagan, pre-christian societies. Christianity embraced a great deal of it along the way, it was the only way to get the natives to change their ways. One need only look to the Caribbean, South America and Africa to realize that the Catholic Church still gains converts through such tactics.

    Methinks the world would be a much better place if those holier than thou types would embrace the true moral precepts of society rather than merely the Judeo-Christian ones.
     
  6. macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #6
    'Rat, there is a huge difference between acknowledging the roots of law in many different traditions, including Judeo-Christian ones, and saying those traditions are our laws. Seems to me the Justice does the latter when he says,

    I have no problems in acknowleging the importance of such codes of conduct from the ancient world as the Ten Commandments or Hammurabi's Code or the legal systems of pagan worshipping Greeks and Romans, but please don't tell me that to remove a monument to one tradition is going to bring about the "disestablishment of the justice system of this state." There is a reason for the seperation of church and state clause in the constitution and this kind of thinking is it.
     
  7. macrumors newbie

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    #7
    No, removing the monument isn't going to destroy the rule of law/justice/whatever.

    I'm just fed up with the shrill jawjacking over the issue.

    I'm not offended by the symbols of any religion being displayed in any government's buildings in any country, anywhere. Fine by me. The real issue is whether or not that religion is codified into the law--and that is something to which objections seem to me to be legitimate.

    I don't object to a tablet of the 10 Commandments, nor would I object to any or all other religions having some equivalent right alongside. (Well, maybeso a blatant fertility god in fullblown priapism. :D ) Equal time, if you will. Seems to me that most folks going into a courthouse either need all the help they can get, or they need reminding they're not the biggest studhoss in the known universe.

    Folks are just raising hell over something that doesn't amount to a teaspoon of warm spit.

    Folks always yowling about "Democracy!" Okay. If folks in a town mostly want the Big Ten on display. fine. Some other town, they don't, that's fine also...

    'Rat
     
  8. macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #8
    No, folks yowling about their right not to be preached to from the state.

    How about this: your town wants to put Buddhist images and such all over its school buildings and have "historic lessons" about Buddha.

    You gonna move or let your kids be raised (or at least influenced) Buddhist?
     
  9. macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #9
    No, I'd say the morality of out entire body of law is rooted in English Common Law, which had more to do with property than morality.
     
  10. macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #10
    Wow. That's a hell of a statement.

    Are you suggesting that because there aren't that many non-Christians that everyone else should just accept a religious Christian government?
     
  11. macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #11
    go for the throat, pbrit. let's pick some random schools and teach the koran, then in some random courthouses in alabama make plaques, in arabic, of some koran scripture.

    then maybe we'll hear about separation of church and state?
     
  12. macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #12
    The importance of the monument is that no religion should be promoted by government. 'Rat, I take it by this statement:

    that you're a religious man and my guess that your belief is in a Christian god. Those symbols that are constantly fought over in public buildings are also Christian - so your generosity, if my guess is correct, in not being distrubed by any religious symbols is purely on a theoretical level. For those non-religious or non-christian members of our society it sends a powerful signal that their participation in our government is only on a second-class basis.

    But in many ways the monument itself is secondary in importance to the attitude of the Chief Justice of a State Supreme Court who could make such statements. Religious symbols are powerful things and people of all faiths have a right to expect they are dealt with in a respectful manner, but they have no place in a public building and a Justice who believes that he can decide a case based on his religious beliefs rather than well established law has no place on the bench.

    Now the good citizens of Alabama are unlikely to take my advice in this matter, so I think Chief Justice Moore is fairly safe. I don't think his ruling is however.
     
  13. macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #13
    Or about how Allah is just a terrorist god and my God can KICK HIS ****ING ASS!!! YEAH BABY!! look at my arsenal!! Your god sucks!!
     
  14. macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #14
    Guys,

    the sarcasm may not be evident to everyone.
     
  15. macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #15
    actually, i'm serious. wherever a civil servant's refusing to take christian icons down in a public building, let's get some non-christian icons going. buddhism, paganism, hinduism, vodoun, etc.

    then let's make individual judgements on hypocrisy and irony.
     
  16. macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #16
    Ok, my mistake. The problem with your proposal is that for many of us who don't believe in any religion including more icons doesn't solve anything. When I go into public buildings I don't want to be confronted with symbols that tell me I have to believe in any god.
     
  17. macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #17
    same here. i'd want to put them up to cause the stir, point out the hypocrisy to all the newly enlightened people, then take down _everything_.

    Q: how many newly enlightened people does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
    A: two
     
  18. macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #18
    zimv20,

    if the US Supreme Court is fool enough to not overrule the Alabama Court then I'm with you.

    The answer to your riddle should also say that it takes three to do a bang up job. ;)
     
  19. macrumors newbie

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    #19
    I don't know that I'm particularly religious. ABout the only time I'm in church is for a funeral. I sure don't have a lot of use for the churchy/preachy sort. I think I'm pretty moral, from the standpoint of ethics and honor. Put it this way: I know dirtier limericks than anybody else on this board, but I won't tell them around women and children. :)

    When I'm out meddling around at night in the desert, looking at the stars and listening to a panther scream or a yodel dog singing...or exploring a canyon and finding signs of those who were around some thousands of years ago...or watching a thunderstorm cell sweep across the land: I just feel there's something a helluva lot bigger than people. I don't care if you say God or Gaia or Big Hodad In The Sky. If you don't think there's anybody at all, IMO you're missing out, 'cause you got nobody to talk to. And the possibility of our having Budweiser just can't be accidental!

    I do know as certainty that the desert doesn't give a hoot if I live or die. When I'm 20 miles from any other people, there's only me and The Boss to get me home. A time or two it's been a long, hot walk...

    Sayhey, religious symbols in a public building don't tell you what you ought to believe. They tell you what other people believe. What others believe doesn't define your own reality for you. If you know who you are and what you are, those symbols are as little raindrops bouncing off the umbrella of your self confidence.

    And I'm back to the teaspoon of warm spit...

    :), 'Rat
     
  20. macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #20
    so you believe in a vengeful god.

    ;-)
     
  21. macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #21
    Just a point of order: The courts have already ordered Moore to take down the monument and Moore is in defiance of that order. As it stands, if the Supreme Court overruled, it would be a victory for Moore.
     
  22. macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #22
    Thanks for the correction, IJ.

    'Rat, first, it sounds like you have a great life in West Texas. But, back to that "teaspoon of warm spit" for a moment, it's not that I'm afraid of others defining my view of reality. It is that the persecution and denial of liberty of those who don't conform to the dominant religious viewpoint has far too many precedents in history. Although I think the monument itself is unlikely to lead to such dire consequences, the view of the Chief Justice is dangerous because he places his religious views above the law - indeed he substitutes them for the law. What might be laudable as a position of conscience in a private citizen placing themselves subject to a "higher" law is outrageous in the head of a State Supreme Court.

    'Rat, when I see fundamentalists who try to supplant the laws of the land with religious dogma, my reaction is to fight back. I don't look at it as getting upset about a "teaspoon of warm spit." All one has to do is look around the world to see what has happened to other societies where fundamentalism of other religions has taken control and you can see my point.
     
  23. macrumors newbie

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    #23
    "'Rat, when I see fundamentalists who try to supplant the laws of the land with religious dogma, my reaction is to fight back."

    I agree 100%. I just never have made the connection between seeing the 10Com in a public building and "supplanting". Same for the Christmas stuff.

    "All one has to do is look around the world to see what has happened to other societies where fundamentalism of other religions has taken control and you can see my point."

    Amen. :)

    Thing is, I remember when "Blue Laws" precluded sales of almost everything on Sundays. Now, it's pretty much down to no sale of booze, most states. Even when the Blue Laws weren't part of codification of law in general, "Christian Principles" affected a lot of what was decided in a court of law. That's much, much less the case nowadays.

    To me, then, such things as the 10Com and the Christmas displays on public property are pretty much vestiges instead of symbols of resurgence of a repressive public attitude or religion-based repressive laws.

    The 10Com are reminders of morality. As I look at Clintonian behavior or EnronExec behavior or porno in general, it seems to me that morality isn't getting "equal time".

    I will say that if I really thought that religion was moving toward an ascendency in the law, I'd be hair, teeth and eyeballs into raising hell in all directions. Right now, IMO, it's in decline.

    'Rat
     
  24. macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #24
    'Rat, I hope you're right. When I look around and see Ashcroft's actions, Pat Robertson's prayer for the Lord to "takeaway" Supreme Court Justices, the recent Vatican position on Gay marriage, and the like, combined with Justice Moore's statement; I don't have your optimism.
     
  25. macrumors newbie

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    #25
    I don't see an overall public mood supporting any of those people. If public people of importance in California or New York or Texas started emoting in such fashion, I'd worry. We've always had individuals here and there offering their versions of reality to the public.

    These sorts of efforts were of a much greater extent in the 1920s and 1930s, but their efforts came to naught. Today's world, with TV and the Internet make it much more difficult. Lexis-nexus adds to their problems.

    Ashcroft seems to be digging his own political grave with his mouth; Pat Robertson already has. The Pope's comments are to be expected as a matter of course. For now, Moore is just one little judge in not-very-influential Alabama, and is more an object of derision (nationwide) than anything else. Derision does not generally lead toward having great influence.

    What worries me more is the polarization engendered by efforts at removing vestiges. It creates hostility. I am reminded of the intro to Ruark's "Something of Value": "When you take away a man's gods, you must replace them with something of value."

    'Rat
     

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