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.