Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore: Seeking a Return to the Dark Ages

I wrote this last year about “Judge” Roy ‘get ’em while they’re young” Moore.  If a Supreme Court Justice can’t follow federal law, how can he represent Alabama in the Senate?

This is just one aspect of a troubled, character-flawed, hypocrite. Mix in unlawful sexual proclivities, and it is frightening. Come on, Alabama, this is not the America you are part of.

 

In case you have never heard of Justice Roy Moore, he is the current Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. He’s held the job twice and lost it once.

So far.

In 2003, he was removed from office when he refused to comply with a federal court order to remove a Ten Commandments monument he installed in the rotunda of the court.

So, of course, the progressive segment of Alabama voters re-elected him in 2012.

Now his battle is same-sex marriage. He is suspended from office for sending an administrative order to Alabama probate judges telling them Alabama Law banning Same Sex Marriages was in full force and effect.

He lied. It was not.

In 2015 the US Supreme Court, in Obergefell V. Hodges, legalized gay marriage thus trumping (I love that word) any State prohibitions. Keep in mind, the US Supreme Court still had the full complement of Judges. Scalia, a staunch opponent of same-sex marriage, still sat on the court.

Even he couldn’t persuade the court to uphold the ban; law and rationality prevailed.

Moore sent the letter six months after the Supreme Court decision. He either knew the letter was not based on established law or didn’t care.

But, to Justice Moore, it makes no difference. He has God on his side. Just ask him, he’ll tell you he does. He’ll tell you that his faith is the one true interpretation. The one true path. The basis for the entire government of the United States.

He’ll tell you that the diversity of this country, the willingness to accept people as they are not as we think they should be, will be its demise.

The law be damned.

Justice Moore is the poster child of our sordid and bigoted history. Those in a position of power imposing their faith, their beliefs, their views on those with no power. The fact that someone holding such archaic and prejudicial beliefs can rise to such a position speaks volumes about the lack of progress toward true universal tolerance in this country.

It is because of people like him that we need a strong and intellectually honest judiciary. One that looks at the law and ensures its fair application. One that also abides by their decisions.

There is no better evidence for the gravity of the upcoming Presidential election than someone like Justice Moore.

Bigots embrace this man’s philosophy and seek to impose it on all by seizing power in government.

A true nightmare would be a US Supreme Court comprised of people like Justice Moore. A man who seeks to justify his own ignorance, intolerance, and lack of empathy for his fellow man by cloaking himself in a judicial robe.

I don’t know where Justice Moore went to Law School, but he should seek a refund. To the people who elected him and re-elected him, do the country a favor and skip the election in November.

Same Sex Marriage and the Uncivil Arguments by Opponents

From a story in Providence Journal 5/2/2013

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The Rhode Island chapter of the National Organization for Marriage has denounced the General Assembly’s passage of legislation allowing same-sex couples to marry in Rhode Island.

“Redefining marriage into a genderless institution to satisfy the demands of a small but politically powerful group is short-sighted policy that fails to take into account the rights and needs of the generations to come,” said Christopher Plante, regional director of NOM Rhode Island.

“Children deserve to know and be cared for by a mom and dad,” Plante said. “This law will intentionally deny children one or the other. “The full impact may not be seen next week or next year, but our children will be the ones who pay the price for this decision.”

“Without robust legal protections to allow these faithful people and groups to maintain fidelity in the public square to their religious beliefs, we’re likely to see a raft of lawsuits and governmental action such as license revocations, fines and denial of governmental contracts to these faith-based groups and individuals.”

When I read this statement, I was struck by the fact that Mr. Plante has chosen to ignore much of the scientific and social research into what makes a successful family and, therefore, promotes a healthy childhood.

There are millions of individuals, raised in “non-traditional” environments, that have gone on to successful, healthy, and productive lives.  As well as there are millions of individuals, raised in “traditional” environments that have gone on to wreak havoc in the world.

The key is a loving, supportive, involved approach to raising a child, not the presence of both genders.

I have no doubt Mr. Plante would be the first to scream indignantly if the Federal Government interfered with his right to practice his religion.

Yet, he demands the same government intrude on the right of same sex couples to the civil, legal, and moral right to marry.

Marriage, in spite of religious organizations claim to the contrary, has been institutionalized as a civil, non-sectarian, non-denominational, institution with legal and ethical benefits.

All of which I am sure Mr. Plante claims as his rights, but would deny others based on his particular religious bent.

There was a very good reason for the founders of these United States to specifically separate Church and State.

Mr. Plante said,

“Without robust legal protections to allow these faithful people and groups to maintain fidelity in the public square to their religious beliefs, we’re likely to see a raft of lawsuits and governmental action such as license revocations, fines and denial of governmental contracts to these faith-based groups and individuals.”

These words alone should be example enough that this is a battle over keeping Religion in Government, as long as it’s the “right” religion.  I wonder if the opponents would be so vocal if the government began requiring women to be covered in public, escorted by male relatives, and denied the right to drive.  All of which are enforced now by governments in this world.

Therein lies the danger of Governmental enforcement of religious doctrines.

Believe it can’t happen here?  There are those in this country that would welcome it.

No clearer example exists than this battle over defining marriage as Judeo-Christian believers would have it.

Opponents of same sex marriage want confirmation of the validity of their beliefs, and denial of those that hold different views.

This country prohibits polygamy, in spite of its well established holding in many flavors of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Mormonism, et.al.  I do not see the major religious groups arguing for eliminating that restriction on religious doctrine.

The basis of marriage under law is contractual.  It has requirements, benefits, obligations, and creates these between two people.

We enforce the law regarding polygamy to protect, primarily, women from subjugation.  No one can deny the moral, ethical, and legal rationale for this.

I do not deny Mr. Plante’s right to hold his beliefs.  The religious sect that he belongs to is perfectly free to deny recognition to Same Sex marriages within the framework of their doctrine.

However, they cannot demand the use of Federal, State, or any other governmental authority to enforce it upon others.

There was a time in this country when we restricted businesses from being open on Sundays. When those laws were rightfully challenged and changed, the same prediction of moral decay was made, and it failed to come true.

One of the concessions opponents to Same Sex marriage offer is to call the union of same sex couples a “Civil Union”.  I would propose an alternative.  Since Mr. Plante and others like him would be relieved by just a change in a name, why don’t they change Marriage under a religious ceremony to Uncivil Union?

It would be closer to the truth of what they seek to prevent.

Same Sex Marriage Chicken Sandwich Morality

August 5, 2012

I came across a recent letter to the editor in the Florida Today newspaper.  The letter expressed agreement with Chik-Fil-A President Dan Cathy’s position on Same Sex Marriage.

I will give them one thing, at least they didn’t hide behind the smokescreen of understanding with the requirement to seek forgiveness of one’s sins.  They went right to the policy of zero tolerance as God’s word.

There isn’t enough space here to point out the various Biblical passages regarding intolerance, racial hatred, human sacrifice, stoning, treatment of women as chattel that clearly refute the Bible as the ultimate guide to good government.  If one is going to quote the Bible as absolute authority, you cannot quote the good stuff and “interpret” the conflicting ones.

But the passage that is most frightening is the following;

We have been tolerant too long.  Someone has said that tolerance is the last virtue of a depraved society.  Did you realize that Jesus himself was intolerant? He did not tolerate sin, and neither should we”

They do not attribute the quote to anyone but I have a few suggestions,  Hitler, Stalin, Governor George Wallace.

In reality the “quote” is one of those convenient urban myths, attributed to many, designed to “prove” a point.  Like most myths it fails once it is examined.

The Bible has been the tyrant’s tool to manipulate mankind since first written (and re-written and edited and adapted and changed and interpreted).  Relying on such a document as a basis for the conduct and laws of our society is dangerous.  It is precisely the approach most feared by the Founding Fathers of this great nation.

There was a time when certain religious leaders referred to the Bible when opposing organ transplants.  Organ transplants were an abomination before God?  Said so right in the Bible!

The Bible wouldn’t pass the first standard of admissibility in any court in the land as being “evidence”, why would we use it to provide a basis for law?

My brother and his partner have been together for 18 years. They have a loving relationship, great family, treat others as they want to be treated, and feel that this was God’s plan for them.

They are denied rights and benefits available to me through the secular laws of this country by virtue of the imposition of religious beliefs. There was a time in this country where people were denied rights by virtue of the color of their skin, sex, and ethnicity.  We changed the law to correct those issues and we need to do the same regarding the inequities in the law limiting access to the benefits of marriage.

I think the writers have a point, we should not be tolerant.  We should never tolerate the imposition of a belief on any other person by the use of governmental authority.

Yet this is precisely what we are doing by denying the legality of Same Sex Marriages.

If a church refuses to recognize Same Sex Marriage it is entirely acceptable as a “private” institution. If the IRS, the City of Fort Myers, the State of Florida, or a public Hospital, refuses to recognize Same Sex Marriage as of equal legal standing,  that is wrong.  Morally,  ethically, and legally wrong.

Religions are not the exclusive standards of morality. A tolerant, understanding, empathetic, and moral society is.  The morality arising from the fair, equitable, and consistent treatment of all under the law

Religious majorities change. The fastest growing religion in the US is not of the Judeo-Christian tradition according to the Pew Forum of Religion and Public Life (www.pewforum.org).  I am sure the writers would fear what “passages” might be used then to set the standards of behavior.

This is not about religious beliefs.  Everyone in the country is free to believe, or deny, the validity of any and all religious sects.  It is about fairness.

If even one person in this country is denied a right and privilege available to their fellow citizens, then this country has not lived up to the hopes of those who crafted this great democracy.

If you do not believe in Same Sex Marriage, marry someone of a different sex.  I fully support your right to your religious beliefs, as long as you agree that everyone has a right to their own relationship with God, and to hold any beliefs.

This country’s greatness is our willingness to “tolerate” differing opinions, to defend that right, and to ensure everyone’s opportunity, under the law, to freely express them, without fear of being “condemned for doing so”.

Tolerance is in fact the first virtue of an enlightened society.