Howard Friedman has a post on his excellent Religion Clause blog about Roy Moore’s address to the Southern Baptist Convention’s Pastor’s Conference recently. He cites the Florida Baptist Witness’ report on Moore’s speech, which contains this bizarre statement:
“There are consequences to what is happening in America today,” he said. The separation of church and state, a concept that has no basis in any U.S. founding documents – including the Constitution – does not mean a “separation of God and government,” Moore said.
In fact, the doctrine is “biblically based,” he continued, noting that in the Israelite nation God established the priestly and government functions to be separate – with the tribe of Levi handling the role of priests and the tribe of Judah in the role of civil leadership.
“God chose two separate bloodlines to keep those jurisdictions separate,” Moore explained. “The separation of church and state mandates an acknowledgement of God.”
I think we’ve all heard the ridiculous “separation of church and state isn’t in the constitution, it’s in the communist manifesto” argument. But this is the first time I’ve heard “separation of church and state is not in the constitution, it’s in the bible.” The mind absolutely boggles. Friedman also points out, as I have before, that Moore is likely to run for governor of Alabama in 2006 and, possibly, for President in 2008. That would certainly be a problem for the Republican party because, while the serious religious righters may embrace Moore, everyone else thinks he’s a nutball.