MONTGOMERY, Ala. (BP)–A Kenyan official told Chief Justice Roy Moore Tuesday that his government agrees with the Alabama judge’s display of the Ten Commandments because God’s law is the foundation of freedom.
“We teach the law of God in our schools,” said Peter Raburu, provincial commissioner of Kenya’s Nyanza province in an interview with The Birmingham News.
Raburu said he is taking back to Kenya thousands of copies of the Ten Commandments to be posted in schools and public offices throughout the country, and he will ask Kenyans “to pray and fast for America to come back to God.”
In comments to reporters before meeting privately with Moore, Raburu said America has been able to provide leadership to troubled areas of the world because it was founded on God. But when the acknowledgment of God is removed, “the vacuum is filled by the devil to kill and destroy,” he said, causing violence, drug abuse, teenage pregnancy and abortion.
Moore, whose refusal to remove a plaque of the Ten Commandments from his Gadsden courtroom boosted his election bid last year, said the visiting Kenyans brought “a message we need in America today.”
“There is no freedom without God,” Moore told the Birmingham News. “We wonder why all these problems in the schools. The knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. We search for it in the wrong places.”
The commandments were also in national news May 30.
The U.S. Supreme Court chose not to hear a case from Indiana about whether displaying the commandments on city property violates the principle of separation of church and state.
The high court’s decision lets stand a lower court ruling that a granite marker inscribed with the Ten Commandments, which has been on the lawn of a city building in Elkhart, Ind., since 1958, is unconstitutional.
Moore said he was glad that Chief Justice William Rehnquist, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas dissented.
“The acknowledgment of God can never be a violation of church and state,” said Moore. “It is not prohibited by the First Amendment.”
Raburu said he is traveling through the United States under the authority of Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi, who has served two decades as president.
Moore praised Kenya as “a model of peace and unity.” But a U.S. State Department report dated Jan. 30, 1998, states that Moi’s forces “committed serious human rights abuses” during the previous year and that “police continued to commit extra-judicial killings and to torture and beat detainees.”
In the months before Moi’s re-election, “government harassment and intimidation of opponents significantly increased,” and the government detained critics of the ruling party for hours or days, the report stated.
The Kenyan government doesn’t permit independent monitoring of its jails and prisons, where 631 people died in 1997 “due chiefly to anemia, heart attack, malaria, typhoid fever, dysentery, tuberculosis and AIDS,” according to the report.
Raburu was asked why Moi’s forces violently suppress his political opponents. Raburu said every country has political opposition. Kenya, he said, allows criticism of the president because “we are a nation of law.”