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Occasionally I wandered in where I was not wanted and gave truthful answers.
Sometimes I even did it deliberately. A little disruption now can prevent disaster later.

NeoNotes — Roy Moore and the Decalogue monument - updated

Pardon, but there are other issues.

Moore put a Decalogue monument in court. At night. With very few people knowing until the next day. Moore is on record as saying that man's law is under God's law. That is not something you want to hear a judge say, especially when you don't share his religion. Moore was removed from office for the monument and his refusal to remove it.

Yes, the sex thing is questionable and the timing is even more questionable.

But Moore is not a paragon of virtue. He's precisely the theocratic Republican that non-Christians dread. Here you go supporting him as if the fact that he's a Republican makes up for his character flaws.

And yes, they are flaws. You don't demand that others submit to your religion. If I can object when the Islamists do it, if I can object when the climate change crowd does it, I can damn well object when a theocratic Republican passes it off as religious freedom and tells tales of his "oppression" because of his faith.


But considering Moore was elected Chief Justice, he was removed from office, and was elected again, I don't trust their judgement.

When Republicans I know cover for Moore because he is a Republican, when they overlook the obvious threat to freedom that he represents, all in the name of keeping a Republican in the Senate seat, I know that those Republicans can't be fully trusted.

It's sacrificing principle for politics. Politics always corrupts. This is about good intentions. And you know what's paved with good intentions.

Moore and others like him are deliberately confusing two issues. The buildings you cite show Christianity and the Decalogue as one of many influences on American law and Western Civilization as a whole. This is certainly keeping with the Founders' vision, who named one house of the national legislature the Senate and have a ceremonial mace made like a Roman fasces for the other.

Most non-Christians have no problem with this view. There's no doubt that Christians have contributed heavily, but they are at their best when they aren't the only game around.

What Moore and those like him want is to put their version of Christianity above all other faiths and beyond question from mere mortal men and women. It's about control of what is and what is not allowed, despite what the courts and voters might say. It's politics in one of it's worst permutations.

On private property it would have been fine. But on public property, specifically where decisions about the law were made, it was a war cry that in that time, in that place, Christianity must reign supreme.

Moore's monument put the Decalogue above all else. Not even all Christians agree with that, they usually go with Matthew 22. The fact that Roy Moore saw fit to sneak it in under the cover of night without telling even his fellow justices is telling. He tried to make Christianity supreme, and openly stated that man's law fell under (his) God's law, and that he had the power to enforce that. He was wrong. Three separate courts agreed, and he was ordered to remove it. He refused, and framed the incident as an attack on Christianity.

Personally, I think faith is between you and the Divine. No one has the power to dictate or control the faith of another. You don't demand that others submit to your religion because then there is nothing stopping them from demanding that you submit to theirs. As a personal inspiration, Christianity can be amazing. As the basis for cultural morality, it usually fails.

And I can say the same thing for ANY religion or faith BECAUSE it's between you and the Divine.

Pardon, but I have experience dealing with certain types of Christians. It's never pretty. Right now for example there's a situation brewing in Demorest, Georgia. A father wanted to start an after school pagan club, and he was unofficially told by a uniformed Boy Scout leader that the school would cancel all after school programs rather than allow a pagan group. The school officials have been ducking his calls, probably so they don't have to give him an official answer.

Judge Moore and his antics were very closely watched the first time around.

The problem is that some Republicans are willing to look the other way as long as a Republican wins. You really should take the time to read the verdicts of the trials that removed Moore from office.

The really interesting thing about the Founders is what they produced. Check it out. Except for the date, Article Six, and the First Amendment, there's no mention of religion or any god. This wasn't just unusual in government documents, it was unprecedented. Under an American ideal, religion is a personal issue, not a public one.

The inevitable question when mixing religion and politics is which religion? Which one is going to take a back seat?

If you are asking where was I when Obama was breaking the law, I was there criticizing him just as he was getting started. Right from the faux Roman columns and the letters on stationary from "The Office Of The President Elect." I took a couple of years off from blogging, and not all my older stuff is converted to the new site, but here is some of my later stuff.

If Republicans really want to offer something better than the Democrats, it had better be something much, Much, MUCH better than "We're Republicans. Trust us. We're not nearly as big of monsters as the Other Guys are."

That's why I specifically said certain types of Christians. I'm related to some of them, I've seen them at their best and their worst.

The DOI was written in 1776. The Constitution was written 11 years later, after one failed attempt. The DOI and the Constitution were separate and were created for different purposes.

As I've said, I consider religion a personal choice. My objection is the same as many, many non-Christians. Religion cannot be used to rule another. If I don't share your faith, I'm not bound by it, and I shouldn't have to abase myself before it's symbols. Religion shouldn't be invoked in common law. That doesn't even count the fact that a stone monument weighing several tons almost certainly qualifies as a "graven image."

This is not an attack on Christianity.

All I'm saying is that freedom of religion means one faith can't be placed over others. The only faiths worthy of freedom are those freely chosen.

I've no problems with symbols of faith on public land as long as there are symbols from other faiths AND no one is raised above all others. There are reasons why the Constitution treats religion the way that it does. The Founders were religious, but no one wanted to live under the rules of a church not their own. Faith has to be equal before the law, anything less is tyranny.

Please don't tell me that you are justifying sacrificing religious freedom by saying that there are Bigger and Meaner Monsters out there.

Was it hyperbolic?

Nope. You really should read some of the things that Roy Moore has said over the years.

Why was it necessary to put it by itself on public land? That was a political move masquerading as religion. Religion can not be allowed the coercive power of the state and the state can not be allowed the moral justification of faith.

You specifically wrote "…we either stand on our foundation, or we are prey to those whose faith is stronger and more militant." Bigger and meaner monsters indeed. I've seen this one so many times I can't count.

Here are some things that Roy Moore has said.

"I want to see virtue and morality returned to our country and God is the only source of our law, liberty and government."

“We’ve got to remember that most of what we do in court comes from some Scripture or is backed by Scripture.”

“The answer is right here. It was the general, if not the universal, sentiment in America that Christianity ought to be favored by the State.”

“May this day mark the restoration of the moral foundation of law to our people and the return to the knowledge of God in our land.”
Said the day after sneaking a 5,200 pound monument in under the cover of night.

"The Judeo-Christian God reigned over both the church and the state in this country, and that both owed allegiance to that God."

“As chief justice of the State of Alabama, I have no intention of removing the monument of the Ten Commandments and the moral foundation of our law. To do so would, in effect, result in the disestablishment of our system of justice in this state. ”

As I said, the problem is not the Decalogue. The problem is raising one faith above others. Much like the phrase "the religion that undergirds this nation's freedoms" that you used. When I mentioned the Roman elements and implied the Greek elements that are woven into the very fabric of our government, I was speaking of pre-Chrisitian elements. There were also things like the Iroquois Confederacy. This does not mean that Christianity is not important. It just means Christianity is not THE source of all that is good and righteous in our society.

What you believe, how you believe, these are things I do not care about. But when you insist that your religious beliefs must displace mine and what I know about this nation, there we have a problem. I'm honor-bound to tell you I am very good at this particular fight.

This is a mostly tolerant nation. I am not demanding that Christianity be demolished, nor am I demanding that the tenets of my faith be proclaimed as law across the land. What I am saying is that Christians are better when they have to play with others.

Faith is between you and the Divine. Faith is between me and the Divine. No one's belief should be enshrined as THE Official Religion™ on public land.

And no, that's not hyperbole.

I don't think it is as big a threat as you do, but it is an example of the "greater monster" tactic. Usually the next bit is "we're better because of the principles we use," and the bit that follows that is "shut up while we take the other guy down using any tactics necessary." That's when the principles get sacrificed. What's more, that's the case you're building. Not all dangers come from the "enemy," sometimes the greater threat is in the choices and compromises we make. The worthy choices are never the easy ones.

I didn't "recommend" anything except pluralism. It's a simple idea going straight back to the founders and before that the Roman Republic. It wasn't always honored, but when it was, culture flourished. No religion raised by the state above others.

Pluralism is one thing that radical Islam will not tolerate, and it's the one thing that they hate most about America. It's also the one thing that will defeat the radical Islamists.

Read the decisions of the three courts in the Decalogue monument case.

There is more than one "foundational" source. That's my point.

What you do, what you believe, that's up to you. Right up to the point where you declare that your religion controls my actions and my morality. Then I'll take you down, hard. As the old saying goes, your rights end at the tip of my nose.

The thing is, if I were telling this to the climate crisis crowd (which I have), you would be cheering me on. If I told a radical atheist this (which I have), you would be cheering. If I told a radical Muslim this (which I have), you would be cheering.

Why should Christianity be different?

Freedom of religion does not mean deferring to the climate crisis crowd. Freedom of religion does not mean deferring to atheism. Freedom of religion does not mean deferring to Islam. Freedom of religion does not mean deferring to Christianity. Freedom of religion does not mean deferring.

That's the thing. You're not asking for freedom of religion. You're asking for special privilege because you think that's what's being done against your faith. You're convinced that's the only way to put right what is wrong.

Except you can't do that without stepping on everyone else's rights.

Look at this discussion we're having now. I've not attacked Christianity. I've just said it doesn't apply to everyone. I've pointed out that there are certain Christians who want their interpretation of their faith raised above all others. I've pointed out that there is a bias by many Christians that assumes all that is good and noble flows from Christianity.

One little internet discussion and you're getting defensive. Not because I go after Christianity. But because of your assumption that other beliefs should recognize that Christianity is first. That other faiths exist only because good Christians suffer it. That for Christian tolerance, those other faiths couldn't possibly exist in this big nasty world. That we should learn our place and let the good Christians take care of us without complaint.

How dare I ignore that? Why, it's like a slap in the face. The mere notion that a non-Christian could hold people to a higher standard, well, it bothers you.

Christians are better when they play with others. Inspire, don't require.

Let's see, I pointed out that Moore snuck in a multi-ton monument in under the cover of night. I listed things that Moore had said where he claimed that his faith had power over others. I pointed out that there were other Christians who felt the same. I pointed out that your tactics in this case support the bigger monster bit, which you are still using to discredit what I said.

In my previous post, I wrote "What you do, what you believe, that's up to you. Right up to the point where you declare that your religion controls my actions and my morality." That's a common theme with me. Choice, responsibility, and consequences.

Pluralism does allow for a community governed by practically anything, provided it's voluntary and people can walk away when they want. You know, just as how it works in the rest of our society.

I never denied the foundation of the Constitution, I just said it was not drawn exclusively from Christian sources. I pointed out that placing a Decalogue monument on public land prominently over symbols of other faiths is politics, not freedom of religion. While I think Christianity contributes, it's not the only faith that does. And Christians and Christianity do not control other faiths.

Pardon, but your frustration is because your logic is dual-valued. Something has to be EITHER/OR and you're going to shift the topic until you can cram it into that.

Here's my argument. Roy Moore is unfit for office because he tried to raise Christianity above all faiths using a massive Decalogue monument. This does not make Christianity a Bad Thing, but it "tain't mine." It does make Moore a bad Christian because he tried to use government to attack religious freedom. Three separate courts found that Moore had acted inappropriately and ordered him to remove the monument. When he refused, he was removed from office.

Everything else is a gambit to either shift blame away from Moore or an attempt to trap me into denying a fundamental "American principle" so you can then dismiss me and my objections to Roy Moore by implication.

I won't submit to your game. You will frustrate yourself more and more if you keep trying. The reason I can do this here, now, is because America is based on choice and pluralism and responsibility. Bad choices and bad consequences teach people to make better choices.

Fundamentalism denies others choice.

It doesn't matter if it's atheism, Islamist, climate change, Christianity, progressive, conservative, pagan, or libertarian. The label just distracts from the tactic.

Fundamentalism denies others choice.

Roy Moore wants to take away choice. He's said so multiple times. He's written about it in many legal verdicts and opinions. Roy Moore wants to take away choice.

And that is why he's a bad choice.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

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