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defending the First Amendment against the Christian right ...

Jews On First!

... because if Jews don't speak out, they'll think we don't mind

Roy Moore, icon-candidate of the Reconstruction movement

Background. Roy Moore was removed as Alabama's chief justice when he refused federal court orders to remove a Ten Commandments sculpture from the state courthouse. According to John Sugg, writing in Mother Jones (click here) Moore has an adulatory following in the Christian Reconstruction movement and frequently speaks at its events.

Christian Right Gathering Honors Deposed Alabama Judge Roy Moore -- Under a Confederate Flag

by Jane Hunter and Rabbi Haim Dov Beliak, JewsOnFirst.org, July 9, 2007

Leaders of the hardcore Christian right gathered under a Confederate flag in Maryland on July 3rd to honor Roy Moore, the deposed Alabama Supreme Court chief justice. That flag, and those present beneath it, concatenated Christian nationalism and Southern irredentism.

The day's honors included the naming of an athletic field after Moore, the unveiling of a "Marylandized" Ten Commandments "monument" -- nearly identical to the one that Moore famously installed in his Alabama courthouse -- and the presentation to Moore of a cake decorated as a replica of the Alabama monument.

We have posted recordings and photographs of the ceremony. Our report also includes background on the "dignitaries" seated on stage. Several of them are adherents of Christian Reconstructionism which advocates replacing U.S. democracy with a theocracy. One has ties to the neo-Confederate League of the South. Also present was a member of the Maryland legislature, whom we interviewed. Please click here.

Roy Moore turns crusade into campaign of religious fear
More preacher than black-robed magistrate, Roy S. Moore whips his Jesus-loving crowd into a frenzy.

Column by Tony Messenger, editorial page editor, News-Leader (Springfield, Missouri), July 29, 2007

"We have been asleep for too long in this country," says the former Alabama Supreme Court justice. His voice drips with the authoritarian Southern drawl of a Southeastern Conference college football coach selling mama and her son on his school. Moore, the judge who was the focus of national attention when he refused a federal order to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the court, came to Springfield last week to save a few lost souls.

His crowd, a standing-room-only grouping of well-dressed lawyers and judges, friends and neighbors of defense attorney Dee Wampler, and Christians who were primed for Moore's message, crowded into a banquet room at the Highland Springs Country Club, sipping on Wampler's wine, nibbling on the buffet he paid for and soaking in Moore's dynamic speech.

Moore's message is clear. This is God's country and judges and politicians who deny it — such as those who removed him from office — are part of the problem. The nation, Moore says, is wallowing in Godlessness because we won't own up to the truth, or at least his version of it. Continue.

AP Interview: Ten Commandments judge starts new group

By Phillip Rawls, Associated Press, The Ledger-Enquirer, (Columbus, Georgia), February 3, 2007

MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Alabama's Ten Commandments judge, Roy Moore, didn't stay out of the political arena very long after losing the race for governor.

Moore is back, but it's with a new organization rather than a new candidacy.

Moore has started the Coalition to Restore America. So far, it's just what the name implies - a loose-knit coalition of conservative organizations that Moore has interacted with during his speaking trips across America. Continue.

Acknowledging God in law
Former judge Roy Moore addresses congregation on religion, government

By J.J. Stambaugh, The Knoxville News Sentinel (Knoxville, Tennessee), November 6, 2006

BEAN STATION - Former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore offered his own interpretation of the First Amendment to a packed church Sunday in Grainger County.

Moore, who was ousted in 2003 after defying a federal court order to remove a 5,300-pound Ten Commandments monument that he installed in the state courthouse, told the crowd of more than 230 people at Barnard's Grove Baptist Church that some judges are creating laws rather than interpreting them.

He also told his audience that, while American soldiers are fighting overseas, there is also a war going on in the United States. Continue.

Alabama judge stands by decision
Ten Commandments rock acknowledged God, Moore says

By Amanda Reavy, The State Journal-Register (Springfield, Illinois), July 9, 2006

Recently defeated in the Republican gubernatorial primary, Moore is back on the religious right speaking circuit. This interview describes his view that the US was established on religious principles. "'Did you ever know that was the whole purpose of this country - to glorify God? Have we forgotten our history?' he asked a crowd of more than 100 people Saturday night. 'Have we been deceived by the Harvard and Yale law professors who will tell you God has nothing to do with this country?'" Continue

Roy Moore loses Alabama Republican gubernatorial primrary

Can Roy Moore return?

Sean Reilly and Eddie Curran, Press-Register (Mobile, Alabama), June 8, 2006

In the early 1980s, an obscure Gadsden lawyer, disheartened by his loss in a hard-fought local judicial race, took to the road to learn kickboxing in Texas and herd cattle in Australia. That footloose attorney was Roy Moore and, on another level, his travels were just beginning.

More than a decade later, his fame as the "Ten Commandments Judge" would catapult him to head of the state's highest court and national notoriety. After his crushing defeat to Gov. Bob Riley in Tuesday's Republican gubernatorial primary, Moore was coy about his future.

This time, however, analysts strongly question whether he will be able to reconstruct a political career. Continue

Too much religion? Analyst says Moore 'overreached'
Candidates said hurt by single-minded message, few funds

By Taylor Bright, Huntsville Times (Huntsville, Alabama), June 8, 2006

MONTGOMERY - Alabama voters Tuesday approved a same-sex marriage ban, while a large majority washed their hands of former Chief Justice Roy Moore and several like-minded religious conservatives who ran for the Supreme Court.

But experts say religion will not disappear from Alabama politics. Continue

Election results speak well for Alabamians

Editorial, Press-Register (Mobile, Alabama), June 8, 2006

ALABAMA VOTERS repudiated demagoguery and scandal in public office Tuesday, rejecting Roy Moore, Don Siegelman and a slate of Republican state Supreme Court candidates associated with Mr. Moore.

Republican primary voters emphatically affirmed incumbent Gov. Bob Riley and emphatically rejected Supreme Court Justice Tom Parker and three other candidates who sought to turn the conservative Supreme Court away from the rule of law. Continue

Roy Moore goes down to defeat as rival wins GOP nomination

Robert Marus, Associated Baptist Press, June 7, 2006

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (ABP) -- In what may be the final act of the drama that has been Roy Moore's political life, the so-called "Ten Commandments Judge" went down to resounding defeat June 6 in his race for Alabama's Republican gubernatorial nomination.

One of Moore's protégés, meanwhile, also lost a race for the seat that Moore held until he was ousted from it -- chief justice of Alabama.

Moore lost to sitting Alabama Gov. Bob Riley (R) 67-33 percent, according to the Montgomery Advertiser. Meanwhile Moore's former associate, Tom Parker, lost the Republican nomination for chief justice to the incumbent, Drayton Nabers, by a 61-39 percent margin.

Both races pitted evangelical Christians against each other. Continue

Controversial ex-justice loses governor bid

June 7, 2006, Jewish Telegraphic Agency

A former chief justice in Alabama who had displayed the Ten Commandments in his court lost a Republican primary for governor. With 70 percent of precincts reporting, Roy Moore was losing to Gov. Bob Riley by 64 percent to 36 percent in Tuesday's primary, The New York Times reported. Continue

Roy Moore runs for Alabama governor

'So Help Me God'
The "Ten Commandments Judge" battles to become Alabama's governor.

By Kyle Wingfield, Wall Street Journal, May 27, 2006

MONTGOMERY, Ala.--Most politicians would kill for--or spend millions of dollars to acquire--the name recognition Roy Moore has in Alabama. Not necessarily the kind of name recognition, mind you. Just the level.

That's because here, and across the country, he's known not just as Roy Moore, but as "Roy Moore, Ten Commandments Judge"--the Southern Baptist-cum-chief justice of Alabama who defied a federal court order to remove his 2 1/2-ton monument to the Commandments from the state courthouse, and lost his job as a result. It's a moniker that wins him automatic support in some quarters, and deafens ears before he even opens his mouth in others. And as he runs for the Republican nomination for governor in his native state, that notoriety is both a blessing and a curse. Continue

The rise and fall of Judge Roy Moore
Controversial Ten Commandments judge polling poorly in governor race

By Mark Murray, Political reporter, NBC News, May 23, 2006

WASHINGTON - Three years ago, Roy Moore was well on his way to becoming the Next Big Thing in American politics.

Despite being ousted as Alabama’s chief justice for defying a federal order to remove his controversial 5,300-pound monument of the Ten Commandments inside the state’s judicial building, Moore quickly became one of the most popular figures in Alabama and an icon among religious conservatives. Supporters saw him as a possible candidate for governor, senator -- or even president. Continue

Wing and a Prayer: Religious Right Got Bush Elected - Now They Are Fighting Each Other
Campaigners who fail to keep the hardline faith face threats and intimidation

by Stephen Bates, published on May 31, 2006 by the Guardian / UK, via Common Dreams

There's nothing new here, but it's interesting to read how the British reporter interprets the religious right for his compatriots. For example:

Such partisan tactics are perhaps to be expected in a divisive political climate, with both sides excoriating each other in moralistic terms in a way that has not been seen in Europe for many years - and which is increasingly incomprehensible to many Europeans.
To Judge Roy Moore, who was unseated as chief justice of the Alabama supreme court in 2003 for refusing to remove a five-tonne granite monument on which were carved the Ten Commandments from the court's foyer, that just shows how far Europe has slid.
Judge Moore, campaigning in the state's primaries to supplant the incumbent Republican governor, during a visit to address a women's club in the town of Enterprise, told the Guardian America was falling into Godlessness, too: "That's it, we're going the same way England is now, without God. Is it true that Islam is taking over there?" he asked.
This is a common idea in rightwing circles and, if some of the arguments sound overheated - a recent radio discussion in Virginia on stem-cell research took it as read that only Christians were capable of moral decisions - the religious right has reason to fear that its reach is declining.

Please click here for the report.

Moore tops other candidates for Alabama governor in donations

AP, WTVM (Columbus, Georgia), April 28, 2006

MONTGOMERY, Ala. Former Chief Justice Roy Moore has raised more money since January first than any other candidate for governor. Moore got most of his $583,000 from out of state. Governor Riley raised $486,000, but leads in overall contributions.

Moore says nation's laws recognize the sovereignty of God

By David Yonke, The Toledo Blade, March 11, 2006

"'The Constitution, by its very mention of religion in the First Amendment, recognizes a creator God and the rights that come from it and the duties that you owe to it,' said Chief Justice Roy Moore..." Continue.

Editorial: Former Moore supporter reveals chilling prophecy

Decatur Daily (Decatur, Alabama), December 14, 2005

"The woman who filed suit to reinstate Roy Moore as Alabama's Supreme Court chief justice now fears his election as governor.

"Whether Christian talk show host Kelly McGinley had a falling out with the right wing of the Republican Party or saw a vision of the future, she's saying some chilling things." Click here to read the report.

Editorial: Moore may need refresher course on Constitution

The Decatur Daily (Decatur, Alabama), January 1, 2006

"Judge Moore's campaign communications director, J. Holland, characterizes the candidate's struggle as 'upholding the right of ordinary citizens to acknowledge God in public.' But that is far from the issue. "Ordinary citizens have every right - in fact ought to - acknowledge God in public as they see fit. But the U. S. Constitution specifically prohibits government from creating laws establishing or endorsing religion and from prohibiting the free exercise of religion." Click here to read the report.

'Ten Commandments Judge' Using Gay Marriage In Gubernatorial Bid

By 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff, 365Gay.com, January 25, 2006

"Former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore is making a state ban on same-sex marriage a key component of his bid to succeed Gov. Bob Riley. At a news conference Tuesday, Moore joined 16 ministers from across the state to urge a strong turnout at the polls to pass the proposed amendment." Click here for the report.

Judge Roy Moore Speaks!
A Christian right presidential run creaks a half-inch forward.

ByTimothy Noah, Slate's "Chatterbox," March 11, 2004

This round-up on Moore and what was then seen as his possible presidential candidacy contains many quotes and links to more information, including a NPR "Day-to-Day segment." Click here to read the report on the Slate site.

Judge Roy Moore, Preachers and Dixie Hypocrisy
Alabama's Taliban

By J.L. Chestnut, Jr., Counterpunch, December 2, 2005

"Californians are often No.1 in making fools of themselves but Moore seems to brook no competition in his making of Alabama appear the most backward state in the union." Go to the article on Counterpunch.