Holy War Rages On
|Judge Roy Moore announces to his followers that Kool-Aid is now being served in the rotunda.|
Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore has continued to defy a federal judge’s order to remove the Ten Commandments monument from the rotunda of the Alabama Judicial Building. In a ruling that has galvanized Christians across the nation, U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson threatened to fine the state $5,000 for each day the granite icon remains.
On Saturday, August 16, thousands of religious zealots rallied at the State Capitol in Montgomery in support of Moore. An hour before the rally began, a Jewish supporter of the 5,300-pound monument attempted to parade around the block of the Capitol while blowing a shofar (a trumpet made from a ram’s horn). “Just like Joshua did when he blew down the walls of Jericho,” an elderly woman filling water coolers explained. Montgomery police put an end to the piercing, horn-blowing call to arms when they told the man he was in violation of a city noise ordinance. A five-foot Styrofoam replica of the Ten Commandments tablets stood nearby as protestors leaned against parking meters, praying. A giant Liberty Bell sat on the back of a flatbed truck like a parade float. A homemade sign read IRS: Stop Defrauding America, while another noted Stop ACLU Tyranny, the “C” drawn like the old Soviet hammer and sickle. A teenager with a T-shirt that read Body-piercing saved my life below a rendering of a hand nailed to a cross passed out anti-abortion pamphlets containing photos of aborted fetuses. A man in a NASCAR cap handed out Southern heritage newspapers. It was showtime at the State Capitol, and summer temperatures made the streets hotter than a tent revival.
Reverend Jerry Falwell and former presidential candidate Alan Keyes were among the notables who journeyed to Montgomery to address the crowd. “If God be for you, who can be against you?” Falwell asked as he opened his address. The reverend compared Judge Moore to Jesse Helms, “It was such a tragedy when the U.S. Senate lost Jesse Helms, ’cause he was one of the few men you could count on every time to say the right thing in the right way about the right subject . . . Roy Moore is one of the few judges in our land with the courage to stand against the tide of secularism.” Falwell condemned “the American Civil Liberties Union, the Americans United for Separation of Church and State, People for the American Way, Hollywood, liberal politicians, Bill and Hillary Clinton . . . and the many, many, many others, in my opinion, who are enemies of the Cross and enemies of America!” Concluding his speech with words from “the first freely elected” governor of Virginia, Falwell quoted Patrick Henry: “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded not by religions, not on religion, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ.” The Jewish man with the shofar, who had been blowing his horn intermittently to acknowledge support for Falwell, remained silent.
With the flair of a faith healer, Alan Keyes followed Falwell, explaining that religious belief was a viable way by which to govern. Keyes, who looks like civil rights activist Dick Gregory from a distance, was apparently confused about the kind of religious symbol he was endorsing, however. “Here we stand in the midst of a crisis. A federal judge has threatened the chief justice of the state of Alabama,” barked Keyes with evangelistic fervor. “And the judge has told him he’s got to take the Ten Commandments off the wall of the courthouse!” The crowd erupted, as one supporter waved a sign that read I’m a raw-boned, redneck, deer-hunting, devil-hating, Communist-stomping Alabama farm boy and I’m here to say no to the United States federal courts of atheism. Another sign suggested that violence was in order: BOMBard the SOUTHERN PERVERTED (abortionist, homosexuals, anti-God) LAW CENTER with prayer. SEND down the fire on the heathen.
Judge Roy Moore surprised everyone with an unannounced visit to the rally, whipping the crowd into a frenzy with his entrance. He thanked the organizers of the rally and the Foundation for Moral Law for raising money to pay legal fees. “It’s very important, because at this time we have a lot of attorneys’ fees,” he noted with a grin. Moore thanked a rabbi “friend” from New York City who was present, repeatedly attempting to pronounce the Rabbi’s name correctly. “I’ll say it right in a minute,” Moore laughed. Noting that the Ten Commandments controversy is about the “inalienable right to acknowledge God,” Moore, who is fond of writing poetry and posting it on the Internet, explained the importance of his monument. “It’s not about me. I will pass away, as every politician and every pastor will. But the laws of God will remain forever! If this ruling is allowed to stand, it will reverberate from state to state to state to the nation’s capital. And the acknowledgement of God will be taken from us. If we sit quietly by while this inalienable right is taken, even the rocks and the trees and the stones that you see will cry out for judgement! If I should fail to do my duty in this case, for fear of giving offense, I would consider myself guilty of treason toward my country and an act of disloyalty toward the majesty of heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings!”