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Chief Justice Of Alabama’s Supreme Court Says First Amendment Only Protects Christians

Facepalm

Roy Moore, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama is no stranger to controversy. During his first term in office (Chief Justice is for some bizarre reason an elected position in Alabama), Moore became famous, or I suppose the better phrase is infamous, when he became the subject of a lawsuit primarily because of his decision to erect a monument depicting the Ten Commandments on state property. After refusing to abide by several orders from a Federal District Court Judge, Moore was removed from office by his fellow Justices. Sadly, this was not the end of Roy Moore.  He ran for a few other offices in Alabama unsuccessfully but, then, in 2012 he was once again elected, as a Republican, to the position of Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court.

Now, the highest legal authority in the State of Alabama is telling us that the First Amendment only really applies to Christians:

Speaking at the Pastor for Life Luncheon, which was sponsored by Pro-Life Mississippi, Chief Justice Roy Moore of the Alabama Supreme Court declared that the First Amendment only applies to Christians because “Buddha didn’t create us, Mohammed didn’t create us, it was the God of the Holy Scriptures” who created us.

“They didn’t bring the Koran over on the pilgrim ship,” he continued. “Let’s get real, let’s go back and learn our history. Let’s stop playing games.”

He then noted that he loves talking to lawyers, because he is a lawyer who went to “a secular law school,” so he knows that “in the law, [talking about God] just isn’t politically correct.” He claimed that this is why America has “lost its way,” and that he would be publishing a pamphlet “this week, maybe next” that contained copies of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, thereby proving that all the people “who found this nation — black, white, all people, all religions, all faiths” knew that America was “about God.”

The most pathetic part of this is that stuff like this will likely only help his re-election chances.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. gVOR08 says:

    This would seem to provide grounds for a constitutional challenge to pretty much any decision by the AL supreme court that even peripherally touches on religion.

    I’ll skip my usual where do GOPs find these people crack and point out that the Republican Party has marginalized itself to the point the only way they are surviving is by pandering to this stuff. James, you may be surrounded by reasonable moderate GOPs in the Atlantic Council and northern VA. Even outside the South where I live, in SW OH, this kind of stuff is what we get for Republicans. Boehner, from just north of me, may be a closet moderate, but as long as he folds to the TP, he effectively is TP. Your party doesn’t only pander to this craziness, they actively stoke it. Proud?

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  2. ADM says:

    I guess he would be shocked to learn that Muslims worship the same god we do (the god of Abraham), and that they believe Mohammad was a human prophet, not a god.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 1

  3. de stijl says:

    Chief Justice is for some bizarre reason an elected position in Alabama

    He ran for a few other offices in Alabama unsuccessfully but, then, in 2012 he was once again elected, as a Republican, to the position of Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court.

    What is worse than having the Chief Justice being an elected position is having the Chief Justice elected as a party affiliated position. Super bad idea on so many levels.

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  4. al-Ameda says:

    I understand, many disagree with me on this but, Lincoln could have saved us all about 160 years of this kind of stuff by letting the South secede.

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  5. Rafer Janders says:

    @al-Ameda:

    I understand, many disagree with me on this but, Lincoln could have saved us all about 160 years of this kind of stuff by letting the South secede.

    True, but at the cost of letting millions of black slaves endure generations more of a living hell.
    Slavery was an evil that had to be stamped out, even if the result was shackling us to these yokels forever.

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  6. Tillman says:

    @ADM: And that Jesus [arguably] has a larger role in their eschatology than Mohammed does. Which has always struck me as incredibly awkward.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  7. Tillman says:

    Speaking at the Pastor for Life Luncheon, which was sponsored by Pro-Life Mississippi, Chief Justice Roy Moore of the Alabama Supreme Court declared that the First Amendment only applies to Christians because “Buddha didn’t create us, Mohammed didn’t create us, it was the God of the Holy Scriptures” who created us.

    Roy Moore, let’s say you’re right. Completely and utterly right. I mean, I’m a Christian, I’m technically on your side. Point me to the section of the Constitution that says the document only applies to Christians. Or, failing that, point me to the verse of the Bible that says the United States Constitution is the law of Christians only. I’m sure somewhere in either one of those is your answer. While you’re looking, reread that part of the First Amendment that stresses no laws shall be passed regarding an establishment of religion. Then reread Mark 12:14-17. Then stop talking before you pollute the discourse further.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for the notion that we shouldn’t intimidate our opponents out of debate but actually debate them, but how do you debate someone with this kind of cultural insularity and vanity? Dude, read some Ecclesiastes.

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  8. BIll says:

    Potentially dumb question- Where does Moore say flat out that the 1st amendment only applies to Christians?

    I know there’s a video at the website. But if its in the video, then the writer of the article fails Journalism 101. The direct quote should be in the article.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  9. gVOR08 says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    True, but at the cost of letting millions of black slaves endure generations more of a living hell.

    True enough, and reason enough. But the war was really fought over secession. Slavery led to secession, and secession started the war. Most in the North believed they were fighting for the Union, not for emancipation. Democracy becomes impossible if the losers in any election can just decide to drop out. Balkanization becomes inevitable.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  10. mattbernius says:

    @BIll:
    Just to respond in both places:
    Here’s a longer transcript I just found that includes the passage in question:

    It’s politically correct not to say prayers before council meetings. Not to acknowledge God. Oh, we do it when we get in trouble, when they bomb the Twin Towers. All the Congress line up on the steps and acknowledge Buddha.

    No, they don’t acknowledge Buddha! They acknowledge the God of the Scriptures from which this nation was founded.

    But I’ll tell you this: everybody, to include the United States Supreme Court, has been deceived as to one little word in the First Amendment called “religion.” They can’t define it. That’s what the Ten Commandments case was about. I wanted them to define it and they backed off and just decided not to take the case. Because they can’t. They can’t define it. When Mason, Madison, and even the United State Supreme Court define it, “the duties we owe to the creator God and the manner of discharging it.” They don’t want to do that, because that acknowledges the Creator God. Buddha didn’t create us. Mohammed didn’t create us. It’s the God of the holy scriptures.

    They didn’t bring the Koran over on the pilgrim ship, Mayflower. Let’s get real. Let’s go back and learn our history. Let’s stop playing games.
    [transcription source]

    Does he explicitly state “the first amendment” only applies to Christianity? Not using those words. However, he is stating that “religion” in the first amendment *means* “Christianity” (i.e. the Religion of the Pilgrims). You *might* be able to squint and get Judaism in there, but he is explicitly excluding Islam and Buddhism.

    Following this logic, he just said that the first Amendment should be read as:

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of [Christianity], or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  11. Ron Beasley says:

    @ADM: I imagine he would even be more shocked that the Abrahamic religions are spin offs from Zoroastrianism, a Persian/Afghan religion.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  12. DrDaveT says:

    @mattbernius:

    he is stating that “religion” in the first amendment *means* “Christianity” (i.e. the Religion of the Pilgrims)

    The biting irony is that I’m pretty sure Judge Moore would reject out of hand the particular flavor of Christianity brought to these shores by the Pilgrims, and the suffocating theocracy that was their idea of “religious freedom”.

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  13. trumwill says:

    One of the only times I underestimated Alabama was when he ran for governor twice and lost big-time both times. Why they elected him back to the state supreme court I do not know, but at least they clearly didn’t want him to be their governor. So, there’s that.

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  14. Franklin says:

    Wow. I mean I’ve heard the argument that ‘freedom of religion’ doesn’t apply to atheism/agnosticism/etc. because you could conceivably see them as the opposite of religion. But this is a whole new level of derp.

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  15. Jaymes Joiner says:

    @gVOR08: Yes, I am proud, and I’m also going to vote Republican in 2016. Even though our presidential nominee might espouse extreme right wing positions, the real Rand/Jindal/Huckabee/Cruz/Perry/Santorum is a moderate deep down inside. I’m also would have voted R in the 1991 Louisiana gubernatorial election, because I just can’t see myself voting for a Democrat.

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  16. giniajim says:

    wow, this is pretty bizarro even by Tea Party standards. Although maybe not; I’ll wait and see if some Tea Partiers weigh in.

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