Roy Moore, also known as the Ten Commandments judge, has been pressing toward Election Day, still leading in the polls in the race for Alabama Supreme Court Justice despite an ever-tightening run-off with his Democratic contender.
Moore has been making a number of campaign stops in recent weeks, declaring a bold message regarding the state of the nation.
“It seems as if the foundations of our nation are becoming rotten, and Christians seem to act as if they think that God does not see what they do in politics,” he said to a crowd of approximately 200 attendees at the “Life, Marriage and Family” rally near the Alabama capitol building. “Well, I’ll tell you that God does see it and he will bless and curse this nation according to the course they take in politics.”
“Over 50 million innocent children have been slaughtered by the procedure we call abortion. Divorce has destroyed homes and families all across our land,” Moore continued. “Child abuse, neglect, rape and murder are everyday experiences which we see in our paper. And now there is an attack on the institution of marriage.”
Moore stated that at this time, Christians need to rise up and call sin exactly what it is.
“I believe the church has been silenced by political correctness. I believe the church has been afraid to speak out for fear of being called haters,” he explained. “I’m going to tell you, Christians love their fellow man, no matter the sin. But we are commanded to hate sin. If we are ashamed to say that, then we’ve got a problem.”
The latest poll showed Moore leading his Democratic contender Bob Vance, who joined the race in August after the party replaced former candidate Harry Lyon. Lyon was largely ousted from the race by Democrats this summer over statements that he had made on Facebook, in which he called homosexual marriage “an abomination of God.” He had also opined that “only sick and perverted persons believe in homosexuality or lesbianism, though there are a lot of them.”
Vance told reporters that he believes there are more important issues to focus on than abortion and homosexuality, such as jobs.
“It’s an unfortunate political tradition here in Alabama of politicians seeking to stir up people’s passions and trying to make political capital out of emotional, divisive issues that are not the most pressing problems confronting Alabama,” he said. “I don’t think most people in Alabama regard this a problem in their daily lives, they’re struggling to find a job or keep a job, make ends meet and they want their government to provide basic services.”
Vance’s wife, Joyce, was one of the first attorneys appointed by Barack Obama after taking office.
A local religious leader also took a swing at Moore in a recent article entitled, “Judge Roy Moore’s God is Hard to Reconcile.”
“Didn’t Jesus preach that we should take care of the least of these, and only those without sin are entitled to judge? I just can’t understand how my God and Judge Moore’s God occupy the same heaven,” wrote Jonathan Miller of Temple Emanu-El in Birmingham, who stated that it is “divisive” to oppose homosexuality and abortion. “The God that he would invoke on the bench should frighten every one of us. His God is an insult to the Divine and an assault to human compassion.”
However, most voters say that they plan to support Moore — some because of his strong stance on moral issues, and others because his name is widely recognized in the state.
“Most people see him as a Godly man with strong convictions,” stated Republican state party Chairman Bill Armistead.
As previously reported, in 2000, Moore ran for Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court after serving as a circuit judge in Etowah County. Upon winning his bid and setting up his office in the courthouse, he arranged for a two-ton granite monument of the Ten Commandments to be displayed in the building’s rotunda, which was installed the following year.
Soon after, Moore was slammed with two lawsuits from three separate groups: the ACLU, Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the Southern Poverty Law Center. Civil rights attorney Morris Dees of the Southern Poverty Law Center soon emerged as the central opponent to Moore’s display, arguing that the chief justice “placed this monument here to acknowledge the sovereignty of God over the affairs of men.”
Following a battle in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, who ruled that the display was unconstitutional as it violated the Establishment Clause, District Court Judge Myron Thompson then ordered Moore to remove the Ten Commandments from the courthouse rotunda within fifteen days. Moore refused, but the monument was later moved to a room that was not open for public viewing.
Days later, the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission filed a complaint against Moore. His position as Chief Justice was suspended, and he was placed on trial. During his hearing in November 2003, Moore firmly defended his decision to place the Ten Commandments in the courthouse, stating, “Without God there can be no ethics.” However, the assistant state attorney general argued that Moore’s defiance would have an adverse impact on how others treated court orders. “What message does that send to the public, to other litigants?,” he asked. “The message it sends is: If you don’t like a court order, you don’t have to follow it.”
On August 23, 2003, a unanimous panel of the Alabama Court of the Judiciary removed Judge Moore from the bench.
Moore has stated that if elected, he will not attempt to post the Ten Commandments in the courthouse, but will continue to assert his right to acknowledge God.
“I would not return the Ten Commandments because it would be more about me, and I think that would be detrimental to the true issue,” he explained. “The true issue is whether we can acknowledge the sovereignty of Almighty God over the affairs of our state and our law.”
Moore squares off against Vance on November 6th for what will be one the most significant Election Day observances in many states, and until then, is continuing to gather support via his campaign website.