LYNCHBURG, Va. (BP)–Judge Roy Moore, chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, has vowed to fight a federal court order instructing him to remove the Ten Commandments monument he placed at the state judicial building in July of last year.
While anti-religion leftists and civil libertarians are attempting to portray his actions as an illegitimate quest to force religion into the public square, Judge Moore is simply conducting himself in the spirit of our founding fathers who boldly called on the God of the Bible to influence their actions.
In fact, the U.S. Supreme Court, the highest court in our land, has a unique association with the Ten Commandments. Depictions of the Ten Commandments appear in marble behind the justices at the court. In addition, friezes at the pinnacle of the U.S. Supreme Court building maintain the biblical figures of Moses (holding tablets representing the Ten Commandments) and Solomon. Plus, oak doors separating the courtroom from the central hallway of the Supreme Court building maintain a representation of tablets bearing the Roman numerals one through ten, although the Ten Commandments are not written out. It is readily apparent that the U.S. Supreme Court bears obvious reverence for the Ten Commandments’ impact on American law and justice.
It has only been in the last few decades that civil libertarians have begun their efforts to rewrite and transform history. Sadly, the U.S. Supreme Court has been largely responsible for giving credence to those who wish to camouflage the genuine Judeo-Christian legacy of our nation and enact hostility toward religion in government and the public square.
Judge Moore, a constitutional scholar and West Point graduate, believes it is time to reverse this disturbing trend in contempt toward religious values in our nation. Where will this trend lead us?
We’ve already seen the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco rule that the phrase “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance is unconstitutional, although that ruling has been challenged by the Department of Justice.
In my debates with Barry Lynn, president of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, I have been able to get him to admit that he wants to remove “In God We Trust” from American currency and to eliminate chaplains from the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Lynn, a so-called “reverend,” maintains a disturbing and absolute hatred of religious expression in the public square.
The fact is, anti-religion zealots like Barry Lynn want to completely eliminate the godly influence that our forefathers sought in the naissance of this great nation. (It’s interesting that the loudest critics against religion in the public square are the first in line to defend anti-Christian “art” funded through taxpayer dollars at the National Endowment for the Arts.) If he gets his way, Mr. Lynn would no doubt be glad to take a hammer to the beautiful friezes of Moses and Solomon and the Ten Commandments at the Supreme Court.
Nobody — not Judge Moore or me — is saying that the Bible should be the standard for conducting the affairs of men in this nation. People should — and do — have the right to believe or disbelieve. We are simply saying that our nation must not eradicate the spirit of the founding fathers by killing off the Ten Commandments and references to other religious traditions.
Where has this anti-religion climate brought us? Many students today are forbidden from praying before football games and graduation ceremonies. Kids wanting to start Bible clubs are forced to go to court because they are treated with disdain by school officials. Teens wearing pro-life T-shirts are told to remove them or go home. One student was even prevented from distributing Valentine’s cards bearing religious messages at school. And one kindergarten student had a poster removed from the classroom wall because she had drawn a depiction of Jesus on it. There are countless examples I could site.
The decision against Judge Moore’s monument is just one of thousands that persecute and disparage those who simply want to sanction a climate of respect toward our religious traditions.
Please join me in praying for this religious freedom hero as he appeals his right to maintain the Ten Commandments at the Alabama Supreme Court.
Falwell is pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church, Lynchburg, Va., and chancellor of Liberty University.