Vowing to maintain his campaign despite removal of the Ten Commandments monument from public view, Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore will host a rally today in Montgomery joined by evangelical leader James Dobson and former U.N. Ambassador Alan Keyes.
Dobson, founder and chairman of Focus on the Family, will address the rally, called “Restore the Foundations,” at noon at the judicial center.
Ten Commandments monument was moved yesterday (Photo: Wsfa.com)
“The issue in Alabama is not simply about a 5,300-pound monument depicting the Ten Commandments in an Alabama courthouse,” Dobson said. “The larger issue is that the unelected, unaccountable judiciary, who are appointed for life, have become so powerful.”
Focus on the Family said Dobson has received an “outpouring of support” since he urged listeners to his daily radio show Monday to travel to Alabama and stand with Moore.
The fight over the Ten Commandments monument ordered removed from the rotunda of the Alabama Judicial Building by a federal judge came to a head yesterday as workers moved the two-ton Decalogue from its display area.
U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson ruled last year the monument violates the establishment clause of the First Amendment, which provides that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”
It took little more than an hour for three workers and a security guard to hoist the washing machine-sized granite cube onto a dolly and scoot it out of view of television cameras to an undisclosed location.
Seeking to head off any eruption of violent protest to the move, security guards sifted through the throngs of dismayed and angered Moore defenders gathered on the steps outside the building.
Moore supporters protesting yesterday (Photo: Wsfa.com)
While many demonstrators knelt on the ground and prayed, others began chanting, “Put it back!”
“Get your hands off our God!” one man shouted as fellow protesters urged him to stay calm.
Vigil organizer, the Rev. Patrick Mahoney with the Washington-based Christian Defense Coalition, pledges the protesters will remain peaceful.
Mahoney told Fox News the building manager informed him the monument was relocated to a back room of the building so that it would be out of view of the public. This “temporary” relocation is described as the first step to comply with the federal court order which was upheld by Moore’s eight associate justices last week.
“This is a tremendous victory for the rule of law and respect for religious diversity,” the Rev. Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, told Fox News.
Lynn’s organization teamed up with the American Civil Liberties Union and the Southern Poverty Law Center to sue the state to have the monument removed. The Alabama lawyers argued it is offensive and causes them to feel like “outsiders.”
“Perhaps Roy Moore will soon leave the bench and move into the pulpit, which he seems better suited for,” Lynn said.
Monument of Ten Commandments
A district court hearing scheduled for yesterday afternoon in Mobile, Ala., on a motion filed yesterday by the Christian Defense Coalition to keep the monument on display was canceled. The lawsuit asserted the forced removal of the monument would violate the constitutional guarantee of free exercise of religion.
Mahoney slammed the attorney general for moving the monument ahead of the court hearing, calling the action “utterly repulsive” and designed to “intimidate the federal judge.”
“They did not have to move this until Friday. They were not facing any fines, any sanctions, any other problems,” he complained.
WSFA-TV in Birmingham, Ala., reported last night, however, the pro-monument supporters plan to file another lawsuit in Montgomery federal court at 10 a.m. Monday morning to get the monument moved back to its original location.
Mahoney said the peaceful protest will continue through Sunday.
“We’re just at the starting line in this campaign,” said Mahoney who urged people to still come to Montgomery and join the protest. “Let every American come see. This is the future of the nation if we do not come now.”
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.