HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, also known as the Ten Commandments Judge, is reprimanding the city of Huntsville for its prayer policy at city council meetings, which allows for atheists and Wiccans to lead the invocation.
“We’re having prayers [by] atheists? We’re having Wiccans say prayers? How foolish can we be?” he stated before the Madison County Republican Men’s Club this past week, according to AL.com.
Moore said that this shift away from Christianity is hand-in-hand with other controversial attempts to “change what doesn’t need to be changed” in America, such as the push for societal acceptance of homosexuality and the defense of transgenderism, also called gender confusion.
“I’ll say this in Huntsville because I think it needs to be said in Huntsville,” he stated. “There is one God and it’s the God on which this nation was founded. And it’s the God of the Scriptures. I don’t need applause for that. It’s a truth in history and it’s a truth in law. And we’re trying to change that.”
As previously reported, a Wiccan priest opened the Huntsville City Council meeting last month in an effort to make the prayers that open each session more diverse, appeasing church-state separation groups.
“O gentle goddess and loving god, we thank you for the beauties and the wonders of the day that you have given to us, and for the opportunity we have this evening to assemble here and work together to make Huntsville a better city for all of its residents,” Blake Kirk, a “Priest of the Oak, Ash and Thorn tradition of Wicca” declared at the meeting.
The majority of prayers being offered at Huntsville’s meetings have been Christian as the area is largely populated by Christian churches. However, in 2012, the Madison,Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation threatened to file suit over the prayers predominantly in Jesus’ name, and further contended that the practice of any kind of prayer at city council meetings was “unnecessary, inappropriate and divisive.”
In a compromise on the matter, Huntsville officials decided to open up the invocations to other religions in order to be more diverse in its presentation. However, in June, an invitation to Kirk was rescinded after residents expressed concern over having a Wiccan priest open the city council meeting.
“I gave the invocation earlier this year. At the time they did not ask me what my faith affiliation was, but when they did this time and I told them ‘Wiccan,’ I was told I was no longer invited to give it,” Kirk told television station WHNT.
But the city said that it didn’t completely ban the Wiccan priest, but rather wanted to lie low until the controversy had subsided.
“We decided to pull back, to do some education maybe, and to introduce him more gently at another time,” said Huntsville City Attorney Peter Joffrion.
In September, atheist Kelly McCauley of the North Alabama Freethought Association spoke during the meeting, and two months later, Kirk was permitted to present his invocation to his “goddess.”
The majority of city councils across America allow for those outside of Christianity to present invocations, but some like Moore find such invitations to be impermissible compromises and an ultimate offense to the Creator.