Mr. Moore: Wants to restore moral foundation of law (Ten Commandments)


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Date: 11/18/02
Time: 8:22:26 PM
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Moore: Wants to restore moral foundation of law 10/18/02


News staff writer

MONTGOMERY America's moral decline is directly linked to its failure to acknowledge the God of the Bible as sovereign over the nation and its laws, Chief Justice Roy Moore testified in federal court Thursday.

Moore said he placed a 5,280-pound granite monument to the Ten Commandments in the lobby of the state judicial building to help restore the moral foundation of law in Alabama. "The purpose was to restore the moral foundation, and you can only do that by recognizing the source of those moral laws, which is God," Moore said. Moore testified in the third day of trial in a suit by three lawyers who want the monument removed. They contend it violates the constitutional principle of the separation of church and state. U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson, who is presiding over the trial, told Moore at the start of proceedings Thursday that he is beginning to understand his point of view on church-state separation. Thompson said he has read Moore's opinion in a recent state Supreme Court case and plans to read an article by Moore in the Cumberland Law Review. "I really do want to understand," Thompson told Moore's lawyers. "It's beginning to gel. I think I'm beginning to understand where he's coming from, what he's doing and why he's doing it." Moore told Thompson the nation's loss of morality can be seen in the behavior of its elected officials and of its business leaders. Moore denied he kept the monument's construction and placement a secret, but he admitted he had not told the public or reporters about it before it was unveiled on the morning of Aug. 1, 2001. Moore said his lawyer did let Presbyterian evangelist D. James Kennedy's Coral Ridge Ministries of Fort Lauderdale know about the monument ahead of time, and allowed the ministry group to videotape the installation which concluded at 4:43 a.m. Plaintiffs' attorney Morris Dees asked Moore why he rejected a request from a black lawmaker, state Rep. Alvin Holmes, D-Montgomery, to place a plaque of civil rights leader Martin Luther King's "I Had a Dream" speech in the rotunda. Moore said King's speech was too long, plus he didn't want to post the speeches of men in the lobby because that might suggest that the source of our rights was men, rather than God. Moore said King believed, however, that he was being denied justice because the laws he was accused of violating didn't square with God's law, and that God's power would bring him justice. "He had a dream. It was the American dream," said Moore. "He quoted the Declaration of Independence, that our rights came from God." Moore said he wouldn't permit monuments to the influence of other faiths, such as Buddhist, Hindu, or Islam, to be placed in the judicial building lobby because they had nothing to do with the moral foundation of law. "There is no support in logic and no evidence in history that American law came from the Hindu faith," said Moore. Goddess of justice: Moore said he also refused requests from an atheist group and even from other Christian groups to put monuments in the building. "I didn't want the rotunda to be a hanging garden of ideas," he said. Moore said the courts have required the government to be neutral to Christianity, but not to other faiths. As an example, Moore said the federal government spent thousands of dollars of taxpayer money on a sculpture of Thebes, the Greek goddess of justice, in a waterfall in the front of the new federal courthouse in which the trial was being held. "The theme of that sculpture is apparent, that our justice is derived from the Greek goddess, that our system is derived from that concept," said Moore. Plaintiffs rested their case Thursday and Moore's lawyers called Rabbi David Novak, a religion professor at the University of Toronto, as their first witness. Novak testified that other cultures had adopted much of the moral laws in the Ten Commandments.

[Note: Grecia = (Greek) = (Greece)]