CNN story Moore: 'Absolutely no regrets'
A nine-judge panel unanimously voted to remove Roy Moore from his position as Alabama state Supreme Court chief justice Thursday, midway through his term. The judicial ethics panel removed him for defying a federal judge's order to move a Ten Commandments stone monument from the state judicial building's rotunda.
Miles O'Brien: Why will you continue to appeal this? Why continue the fight?
Moore: Well, because it's very wrong for a public official to be excluded from his office because of his religious beliefs and the acknowledgement of God. The acknowledgement of God is a predicate upon which this nation and our country was founded. It's contained in the First Amendment. The very first amendment gives us the right to acknowledge God. And our state Constitution says that our justice system is established upon God. That's what this issue is about, whether or not a state official can acknowledge God, and the court said we cannot.
O'Brien: Do you have any regrets at all in picking this fight?
Moore: Absolutely no regrets. We've done what we swore to do. When I took office, I said I would uphold the moral foundation of our law. That I have done. I have not denied God. That's exactly what they asked me to do to hold office, and I said I could not. They removed me.
I'm English, haven't studied the constitution or amendments in depth, I'm not a lawyer, your mileage may vary, contents may settle in transit, manufactured in a facility that processed peanuts, etc ad nauseum.
I think that having something around in a courthouse saying that theft, murder, lying and adultery are forbidden makes sense, after all, if people obeyed the commandments, they wouldn't be on trial. The ten commandments are the basis for law in the US and UK. I also thought there were laws against discrimination on religious grounds, and protecting free speech. This next quote from another CNN article:
Only one in five Americans approved of the federal court order to remove the monument, according to an August poll from CNN-USA Today-Gallup. The poll found 77 percent of the 1,009 Americans interviewed disapproved of [U.S. District Judge] Thompson's order to remove the monument.
Moore and his supporters contend the Ten Commandments are the foundation of the U.S. legal system and that forbidding the acknowledgment of the Judeo-Christian God violates the First Amendment's guarantee of free exercise of religion. But a lawsuit filed after the monument was put in place in 2001 argued that the massive stone marker constituted a government endorsement of Christianity.
The First Amendment reads: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." With Thompson threatening to fine the state $5,000 a day for defying his order, [Alabama Attorney General] Pryor and Gov. Bob Riley refused to support Moore.
Correct me politely if I'm wrong, but I thought the First Amendment was to prevent a Church of America along the lines of the Church of England. I didn't think it was to outlaw all expressions of religion, which would come under the freedom of religious expression protection.
It strikes me as inconsistent for people to want to remove the monument of the ten commandments and not be campaigning to remove the words "In God We Trust" that appear on every bill and coin in the country. Doesn't that count as a government endorsement of Christianity? Why attack one and leave the other? The newly redesigned twenty dollar bill still has those words on.
This is similar to the lawsuit that ruled the pledge of allegiance unconstitutional back in June 2002.