As defenders of “10 Commandments judge” Roy Moore continue their vigil at the Alabama judicial building, a prominent evangelical leader is urging his 3 million radio listeners nationwide to head to Montgomery in a show of support.
“It’s not just an Alabama issue, and it’s certainly not just (about) Justice Moore,” said Dr. James Dobson, founder and chairman of Colorado-based Focus on the Family.
Roy Moore speaking to supporters (Photo: Wsfa.com)
“There’s much more at stake here,” Dobson told listeners yesterday. “This is part of a larger plan to remove every vestige of faith or reverence for God from the public square. That’s where this is headed.”
Moore told a cheering crowd yesterday he would fight to return to his elected position as the state’s chief justice.
He was suspended Friday by a judicial ethics panel for refusing to remove his Ten Commandments monument from the judicial building’s rotunda in compliance with a federal court order.
In his appearance before supporters, Moore insisted he had done nothing wrong, contending the case against him is because “I’ve kept my oath.”
Invoking the name of Patrick Henry, Moore said the actions of many of Alabama’s officials are offending Christians.
“We should be offended when the elected representatives of this state, the governor, attorney general, and the justices of this court fail to acknowledge God as the basis of our justice system, simply because one federal judge says we can’t,” he said to shouts of “Hallelujah.”
Supporters file suit
Sponsors of the vigil, the Washington-based Christian Defense Coalition, filed a motion yesterday in federal court in Mobile, Ala., to block the monument’s removal by the acting chief justice, Gorman Houston. The lawsuit asserts forced removal of the monument would violate the constitutional guarantee of free exercise of religion. A hearing is set for Wednesday.
Houston, who took over when Moore was suspended, issued another order yesterday directing the judicial building manager to remove the monument.
“We’re at a pivotal point in the history of this country,” Dobson said to his audience during a program featuring an interview with Moore and former United Nations Ambassador Alan Keyes. “Be a participant. Don’t sit on the sidelines while our basic freedoms are lost.”
Another guest on the program, Focus on the Family President Don Hodel, likened Moore’s fight to the “moral battle that was waged to get rid of slavery and segregation.”
The former Reagan cabinet secretary joined Dobson in challenging Christians to stand up for the principles the chief justice is fighting for.
“What we have now is a perfect usurpation by the courts of our rights as citizens,” Hodel said. “If the court hadn’t distorted the meaning of the Constitution with regard to religion and this arbitrary, false doctrine of the separation of church and state, there wouldn’t be an issue here.
Hodel said, “If the American people, Christians and others, don’t stand up now, they won’t be able to protect these freedoms in the future. It will be too late.”
He took issue with some who say Moore is engaging in civil disobedience.
“The Constitution does not make the order of a federal judge into a law, and in this case, the order is not even based on a statute. It is judicial usurpation, pure and simple,” Hodel said.
Rallies will continue
Over the weekend, several hundred supporters maintained a vigil at the monument, praying, singing hymns and reading Bible verses, according to the Birmingham News. Between 500 and 600 showed up Sunday night.
The paper said across the street from the judicial building Sunday, eight atheists played a drum. The drum beating stopped, however, when Moore supporters began to chant “Jesus loves you” to the beat.
The Christian Defense Coalition’s director, Rev. Patrick Mahoney, said the prayer vigil and daily rallies would continue through Saturday night regardless of what happens to the monument.
The News said a Birmingham chiropractor, Doug Charles, prayed for Christians to “get on our knees and on our faces and cry out … and turn from our own wicked ways.”
“God, we’ve got to have you move,” Charles said.
Moore’s supporters have attracted counter-protesters, the Mobile Register said.
Bob Kunst, a practicing Jew who traveled 12 hours from Miami Beach, Fla., told the Register he wants to emphasize there are people of faith who oppose Moore’s way of acknowledging the Almighty.
“God doesn’t need symbolism. God is God,” Kunst said, holding a sign reading “Sodomites For The Separation of Church and State.”
The sign was a rejoinder to some Moore supporters who insulted him, but Kunst said most protesters were friendly, the Mobile paper said.
Larry Darby, director of American Atheists’ Alabama chapter, planned a rally yesterday for supporters of separation of church and state.
Moore wrote a treatise on his battle to retain the monument in the July issue of Whistleblower magazine, WND’s monthly print publication.
In the August issue, entitled “LAW-LESS: Why many Americans fear attorneys and judges more than terrorists,” Roy Moore is the subject of an in-depth profile. Subscribe to Whistleblower magazine.