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Thursday, August 28, 2003
The Commandments are removed...now what?

That's the title of this remarkable screed from the Reverend Jerry Falwell, who I believe could stand a bit of extra time studying that part about not bearing false witness.

What an ominous sight it was today as workers detached and rolled away the now legendary Ten Commandments monument from the rotunda of the Alabama Judicial Building and into a private setting within the facility.
Nice start. Really, legendary?
As you know, a federal judge ruled that the monument violates the hypothetical separation of church and state...
Well, actually the federal judge ruled that the monument violates the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of religion.
Barry Lynn, the reverend-in-name-only....
This seems to be the preferred form for ad hominem attacks on Rev. Lynn these days.
I can wholeheartedly report that this is a man who is sincerely following his convictions in defending the Commandments as the bedrock of American jurisprudence.
Oh really? I'd love to be able to ask the good Reverend why, if they are the "bedrock" of American jurisprudence, only 4 of the 10 have ever been a part of US law? And that's if you squint. Of course, then we get to the real agenda:
I believe Chief Justice Moore — a hero in the state — will probably become the next governor or senator from Alabama. What’s more, you can virtually guarantee that the state will elect another conservative justice to head the Alabama Supreme Court.
And the big finish...
Don’t grow weary in well doing. Keep praying for America. Support candidates who uphold Judeo-Christian values (emphasis mine). Remain socially and politically active. Attend church where the pastor boldly proclaims the Word of God. Let’s utilize this setback to turn back the tide against the purveyors of religious tyranny who want God eradicated from the public square.
And if one is not a Jew or a Christian? I chuckle over the furor that would no doubt ensue from the good Reverend if someone prominently displayed excerpts from the Koran, or perhaps the Book of Mormon in a courthouse. In fact, I wonder if he'd be so vehemently defending a monument with the Catholic version of the Commandments from the NIV?

The fact is that despite all the brouhaha that's been stirred up by Moore and his supporters -- who are largely from outside of Alabama -- there is no controversial legal issue here. There was no new ground broken by Judge Thompson. Moore should have known, and I suspect did know, that he was well outside the bounds established by a significant amount of case law when he brought his graven image into the courthouse.

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