Guest / Limited Access /

It's not about history. It's not about religion. It's about the first principle of America's now 228-year experiment in ordered liberty—the acknowledgement of God.

When Roy Moore placed his granite monument in the Alabama state courthouse, his intention was not, as Ted Haggard suggests ("Decalogue Debacle," April CT), to offer the nation a lesson in "religion's—and specifically, Judeo-Christian religions'—contributions to our history."

Nor was Moore endorsing a religion—as alleged by the ACLU and now Haggard in his attempt to draw lessons from the events in Montgomery. Moore's point, made clear from the start, was to acknowledge God and his sovereignty. Moore said so when he unveiled the monument. The trial judge said so in open court, and former Alabama Attorney General Bill Pryor said so during the trial to remove Moore from office.

Just minutes before the red draping was pulled from the polished granite cube bearing the Ten Commandments, Moore made his purpose clear. "May this day," he said on August 1, 2001, "mark the beginning of the restoration of the moral foundation of law to our people and a return to the knowledge of God in our land."

U.S. District Court Judge Myron H. Thompson said on the last day of Moore's 2002 trial, "I think I'll start my opinion, 'The issue here is: Can the state acknowledge God?'"

And then-Attorney General Pryor also addressed the heart of the matter. He asked Moore at trial whether, "If you resume your duties as chief justice after this proceeding, you will continue to acknowledge God …"

The issue raised by Roy Moore is not how best to memorialize America's religious past but whether we may still do as the Founders did in 1776, when they grounded the case for liberty in theology. The Declaration ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Read These NextSee Our Latest
RecommendedTime To Rend Marriage? 1 in 4 Pastors Agree with First Things Petition
Time To Rend Marriage? 1 in 4 Pastors Agree with First Things Petition
Magazine argues for splitting civil and Christian marriage. LifeWay examines which Americans agree.
TrendingPope Francis Learns What Rick Warren, Russell Moore, N. T. Wright Think about Marriage
Pope Francis Learns What Rick Warren, Russell Moore, N. T. Wright Think about Marriage
(UPDATED) Warren turns Vatican conference into 'revivalist meeting,' while Moore explains why marriage crosses theological boundaries.
Editor's PickGod’s Defense Attorney
God’s Defense Attorney
Millionaire lawyer Mark Lanier moonlights as a Sunday school teacher.
Comments
Christianity Today
It's About God
hide thisJuly July

In the Magazine

July 2004

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.