Dispatches from the Creation Wars

The Wall Street Journal has an interview with former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore that contains some predictably absurd statements. Like this one:

Roy Moore makes no apologies. “I’m not trying to dodge or get away from my past,” he tells me over lunch at a Montgomery seafood restaurant. “I think what we stand for in this state is exactly what our motto is: ‘We dare defend our rights.’ And Alabamians have always dared defend our rights, whether it be Martin Luther King, or what I did, or the beginning of the Civil War. We dare defend our rights.”

Wow. It takes some serious chutzpah to compare himself to Martin Luther King and to those who fought in the Civil War to maintain the “right” to own slaves. Or even to compare himself to MLK at all. If Moore can be compared to anyone in the civil rights movement, it’s George Wallace, the man who once held the position that Moore is running for in Alabama. Wallace, like Moore, declared that he had the authority to ignore a Federal court ruling if he didn’t like it. Wallace, like Moore, was wrong.

“Every function of government is related” to the acknowledgment of God, he says. “For example, an understanding of God leads to an understanding of the fallen nature of man, which leads to the separation of powers, checks and balances. . . . Then you understand why judges can’t make law, and legislators can’t enforce law, and the executives can’t put themselves above the law.”

You’ve got to love absurd arguments like linking separation of powers and checks and balances to the “fallen nature of man”. One can trace those ideas back to Locke and Montesquieu, not to the Bible. As for judges not making law, this is the same guy who actually cites the English common law in his rulings to justify throwing gays in jail. And what was the common law? Largely judge-made law. And another irony meter bites the dust.

Can more than one deity, I ask, be held in official esteem in America? Not if religious tolerance is to be maintained, Mr. Moore argues: “The Judeo-Christian God is the one that gives religious liberty. The Muslim God, Allah, does not give religious liberty. If you want to prove that, go to Saudi Arabia and lift up your Bible on a street corner, and you’ll find out what the Muslim God–they say–dictates.

Wow. I’d love to hear just one verse in the Bible that argues for religious liberty. I see lots of them that prescribe punishments for religious liberty (for blasphemy, for example, or for worshipping other gods, or for witchcraft); I don’t see a single verse that endorses the notion of religious liberty. Nor did any Christian theologian or political leader manage to believe in religious liberty from Constantine to the authoritarian rulers of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.The only difference between the Bible and the Quran is that the Bible is now interpreted through the lens of Enlightenment thinking. It is humanism which has, well, humanized Christianity. One can only hope that it will do the same to Islam, and soon.

Comments

  1. #1 Pieter B
    May 30, 2006

    The Judeo-Christian God is the one that gives religious liberty.

    * head explodes *

    Did he forget the first line on that monument he put up in the courthouse?

  2. #2 Miguelito
    May 30, 2006

    Which such shiatty critical-analysis skills, how do these kinds of clowns get to be judges in the first place?

  3. #3 Ginger Yellow
    May 30, 2006

    That’s some fine logic. The Judeo-Christian God is the only God that gives religious liberty. Therefore all other Gods will be banned!

  4. #4 BillySixString
    May 30, 2006

    an understanding of God leads to an understanding of the fallen nature of man, which leads to the separation of powers, checks and balances…

    This reminds me of that South Park episode with the Underpants Gnomes

    1. Collect underpants
    2. …
    3. Profit!

  5. #5 llDayo
    May 30, 2006

    Double you tea eff??

    Isn’t Allah and the Christian god the exact same god?! And Pieter B, above, get it right in the first comment: the First Commandment. Roy Moore has to be freakin’ insane.

  6. #6 Sexy Sadie
    May 30, 2006

    “Roy Moore has to be freakin’ insane.”

    That, or he’s a well-seasoned liar.

  7. #7 Raging Bee
    May 30, 2006

    I notice he only mentioned Islam as “proof” that only “the Judeo-Christian God” gives us religious freedom. How many other religions has he even heard of?

  8. #8 natural cynic
    May 30, 2006

    re: Moore and the rights of slaveholders, George Wallace etc. vs MLK

    Of curse it’s within my rights to deny you your rights. If there’s any doubt – ask his views on gay marriage

  9. #9 Mark Paris
    May 30, 2006

    … and that’s why they call his followers the Moore-ons.

  10. #10 tacitus
    May 30, 2006

    Considering that Roy Moore was a mediocre judge who vaulted to stardom on the back of hanging the Ten Commandments in his court room, it’s not surprising to find out that he’s an idiot.

  11. #11 Kimball
    May 30, 2006

    Would that be ignorance of history or ignorance on a historical scale?

    or both…

  12. #12 386sx
    May 30, 2006

    Can more than one deity, I ask, be held in official esteem in America?

    I think that question should be: Can any deity be held in official esteem in America? But I would guess that the interviewer was probably fishing to see just how tolerant Mr. Moore could be.

    Not if religious tolerance is to be maintained, Mr. Moore argues: “The Judeo-Christian God is the one that gives religious liberty.”

    Naturally, Mr. Moore’s belief that the Judeo-Christian God is the only freakin God in existence has nothing to do with his opinion that the Judeo-Christian God is the one that does whatever it is he wants it to do, for Mr. Moore is a fair minded and religously tolerant person, I can assure you.

  13. #13 Andrew_Wyatt
    May 30, 2006

    Can more than one deity, I ask, be held in official esteem in America? Not if religious tolerance is to be maintained, Mr. Moore argues: “The Judeo-Christian God is the one that gives religious liberty.”

    Well, of course, but I…

    [Scooby-Doo Double-Take] WHAAAAAAAA??? [/Scooby-Doo Double-Take]

    War is peace, freedom is slavery, state endorsement of one religion is religious liberty.

  14. #14 theRidger
    May 30, 2006

    You know, if a man believes that

    “judges can’t make law, and legislators can’t enforce law, and the executives can’t put themselves above the law.”

    why on earth does he become a judge in the first place?