Ten Commandments Judge Displays New Monument
Chief Justice Roy Moore unveiled a monument to the Ten Commandments in the Alabama Supreme Court building Wednesday morning.
The monument is four feet tall and holds two tablets with the Ten Commandments displayed on them. Also engraved on the granite are quotes from America's forefathers supporting the Ten Commandments as the foundation for American law. Weighing 5,280 pounds, the monument is displayed in the Supreme Court rotunda.
The Alabama judge became known as the "Ten Commandments judge" for his defiant stand to post a homemade Ten Commandments plaque in his courtroom several years ago. As a a circuit judge in Gadsden, Moore challenged the American Civil Liberties Union and others to keep his handmade plaque posted.
Although there was never a ruling on the merits of the case, Moore's fight made him a national figure and helped get him elected chief justice.
"To restore morality we must first recognize the source from which all morality springs," Moore said in a speech after the statue was unveiled. "From our earliest history in 1776 when we were declared to be the United States of America, our forefathers recognized the sovereignty of God."
No taxpayer money was used, Moore said, in the creation of the monument. He said it was paid for by himself, sculptor Richard Hahnemann and other private donors. As leaseholder of the Supreme Court building, Moore placed the monument in the entryway Tuesday night, according to his attorney, Stephen Melchior.
The ACLU hasn't decided whether it will pursue a lawsuit to remove the Ten Commandments monument from the Supreme Court, but an attorney with the ACLU claimed there were probably Constitutional problems with the monument.
"Moore's basically taken a state building, established his version of religion and said if you don't like it, tough," Joel Sogol told the Los Angeles times. "Besides that being illegal, what could a public official do that's more divisive?"
Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, was quoted by the Birmingham News as calling the DISPLAY "a monumental violation of the U.S. Constitution."
"Moore's religious crusade is almost certain to spark a lawsuit. Our legal department is already investigating the issue," Lynn said.
© 2001 Maranatha Christian News Service
(Post date: August 3, 2001)