Ethics & Religion
A Column by Michael J. McManus


For Current Column
See the Home Page


About the


Search this


Column Archives
List of all columns 









For 2003 and earlier
only the title is listed.
Use the Search Function
to find the article.








About The


to Mike

September 6, 2003
Column #1,149

Judge Moore's Cause Right; Tactics Wrong

     I pray that the Ten Commandments Monument will be restored to the rotunda of Alabama's Supreme Court. I hope that Alabama's now deposed Chief Justice Roy Moore wins his case in the U.S. Supreme Court.

     However, Moore's tactics have harmed his case, and may bring it to defeat. He should have asked the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for a stay, an order allowing the monument to remain in the rotunda while he appealed to the Supreme Court. Had he done so, it would be there today, and his case for appeal, even stronger.

     Instead he broke the law by refusing the 11th Circuit's order to remove it. All eight of his fellow justices voted to overrule their boss, and suspended him from office. The Supreme Court could legitimately refuse to hear the case of a deposed justice who defied a court rule.

     Moore brilliantly designed the monument to depict what he called "the moral foundation of law," reflecting "the sovereignty of God over the affairs of men." The 5,280 pound granite is carved to look like an open Bible, with the Ten Commandments on top.

     Less publicized are the words carved into the monument's four sides. A large quotation is at the top of the front panel: "LAWS OF NATURE AND NATURE'S GOD - Declaration of Independence." Below is a quote from George Mason: "The laws of nature are the laws of God whose authority can be superseded by no power on earth."

     "IN GOD WE TRUST National Motto" is on the right. Below is a quote from Alabama's Constitution in which the people of Alabama invoke "the favor and guidance of almighty God." as they form a government.

     "SO HELP ME GOD" at the back is followed by Washington's Farewell Address; "Let it simply be asked, where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation deserts the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in the courts of justice?"

     "ONE NATION UNDER GOD...- Pledge of Allegiance" passed by Congress in 1954 is on the left. Thomas Jefferson is quoted: "And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God?"

     Americans need to be reminded of the republic's founding truths. I, for one, would contribute to a campaign to put a similar monument prominently displayed in every state capital. Focus on the Family Chairman James Dobson flew to Montgomery to address 1,000 supporters of Judge Moore: "This struggle that we're involved in is not really about the Ten Commandments...It is primarily a battle against judicial tyranny...The liberal elite and the judges at the highest level are determined to remove every evidence of faith in God from the entire culture."

     Tony Perkins, the new President of the Family Research Council, also spoke there: "We must first take the jack hammer away from the federal courts. We must demand that Congress act now by limiting the federal judiciary's authority on such issues as prayer in schools, partial-birth abortion, marriage and the Ten Commandments."

     I agree, but not with Dobson's support of disobedience: "There are times when you have to respond to a higher law."

     Richard Land, President of Southern Baptists' Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, argues, "We are a nation of laws, not of men. If we disagree with a judicial interpretation of the law...then we must change the judges and, if necessary, change the law."

     Of course, that is what President Bush has been trying to do, by nominating men such as Alabama's Attorney General Bill Pryor, who, ironically was named to a seat on the very 11th Circuit ruling on Moore's case. His nomination has been filibustered by Senate Democrats. Pryor would have supported Moore, but he said, "As Attorney General, I have a duty to obey all orders of courts even when I disagree."

     Land asserted, "Think back to the middle of December, 2000 when the Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, said a state does not have the right to count votes differently in different counties. Bush argued it is a violation of the 14th Amendment which guarantees equal protection under the law."

     "What if Florida' s Supreme Court had said, "We will not accept the decision. We will continue to count votes." We would have had an constitutional crisis.

     Instead we had an orderly transition, because there is widespread common commitment to the rule of law, even when we disagree."

  Since 1981...
2000+ Columns
  September 17, 2020: Column 2040: The Importance of Grandparents
  Recent Columns
  Couple Bible Study
  The Seven Last Words
  Americans Are Losing Faith
  Overcoming Porn Addiction
  The Devastation of Pornography
  Marriages Are Falling - But Improving
  Divorce Rates Are Falling
  Cohabitation: the Enemy of Marriage
  America's Belief in God Plunges
  How To Reduce Suicide
  How to Help Your Marriage Grow
  How To Stop Drug Addiction
  Love Your Spouse
  Reform No Fault Divorce
  Cut Federal Funds for Planned Parenthood
  Saving Marriages In Crisis
  The Horror of Soaring Suicides
  Make Adoption More Appealing
  Want a Successful Marriage?
  Why Go To Marriage Encounter
  Where Are the Fathers?
  The Addictive Nature of Pornography
  Abortion Becoming Illegal
  Protecting Girls from Suicide
  The Worst Valentine: Cohabitation
  Pornography: A Public Health Hazard
  Sextortion Kills Teens
  Cohabitation: A Risky Business
  Recent Searches
  gun control, euthanasia, cohabitation, sexting, sextortion, alcoholism, prayer, guns, same sex marriage, abortion, depression, islam, divorce, polygamy, religious liberty, health care, pornography, teen sex, abortion and infanticide, Roe+v+Wade, supreme court, marriage, movies, violence, celibacy, living+together, cohabitation, ethics+and+religion, pornography, adultery, divorce, saving+marriages
©2020 Michael J. McManus syndicated columnist  /
Ethics & Religion at
82 Tuckaway Lane, Kilmarnock, VA 22482 / 804-435-5192
President & Co-Chair Marriage Savers /
Site Sponsored by