Roy Moore, now no longer the Ten Commandments Judge, predicts "battle is about to rage"
After the Alabama Court of the Judiciary removed Chief Justice Roy Moore from office yesterday for defying a federal judge's order, he told supporters that he's not leaving the spotlight.

"We fought a good fight," he said. "We kept the faith. But the battle is not over. The battle to acknowledge God is about to rage across the country."

In vague comments, Moore said he and his lawyers would in the next few days make a decision that "could alter the state of the country." Among the possible actions is an appeal to the Alabama Supreme Court, but Moore's lawyer, former state Supreme Court justice Terry Butts, suggested that Moore may again run for office. "I hope his fate will be decided sometime in the future by the voters of this state," Butts said.

So far, however, Moore hasn't made that decision. "I haven't decided on running for anything yet, I'm just trying to get over this latest episode in my life," he told NBC's Today show.

Moore's repeated statements that he will continue his battle was one of the reasons that the ethics court removed him. "The chief justice showed no signs of contrition for his actions," said Chief Judge William Thompson, reading from a summary of the unanimous judgment. "Anything short of removal would only serve to set up another confrontation that would ultimately bring us back to where we are today."

The court was careful to say that their decision was only over whether Moore should have obeyed a federal court order to remove the monument, not over Moore's beliefs on the root of law or on the importance of the Ten Commandments.

"Indeed, we recognize that the acknowledgment of God is very much a vital part of the public and private fabric of our country," the court said. "Here, however, we are faced with a situation in which the highest judicial officer of this state has decided to defy a court order. … Chief Justice Moore placed himself above the law … and no man in this country is so high as to be above the law."

"People have confused a federal court order with the rule of law," Moore said on James Dobson's Focus on the Familybroadcast today. "I was asked three times basically to deny God, and I could basically resume the duties of my office. And in fact I could not do that, would not do that, no matter if I lose every office."

Among the offices he may lose are any involving law in Alabama. The Southern Poverty Law Center says it will ask the Alabama State Bar Association to disbar Moore.

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In any case, several papers report that the decision could provide a surge to the religious conservative movement (Pundits said the same thing about the passing of the partial-birth abortion ban. Are religious conservatives energized by any action, whether success or defeat?)

"This will be a new hill for evangelical Christians to charge up," Steve Jones, pastor of Southside Baptist Church, told The Birmingham News. "A lot of religious believers in our state are just looking for reasons to be called persecuted and oppressed, when really they're persecuting people who don't believe like them. It's going to raise the level of dialogue and anger and outrage. People are going to say that those who disagree with Moore are not Christians."

Actually, while Weblog has seen much criticism of Moore's critics, including Alabama Attorney General Bill Pryor, Weblog hasn't seen a single comment questioning Pryor's faith or those of the people on the Court of the Judiciary. (Their comments on religious commitment of U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson are a different matter.)

In fact, some are doing precisely the opposite. "Many side issues have divided the Christian community on this case, so we must remember that the true enemy here is the judicial tyranny that is forcing a secular religion on our public life and discourse," Concerned Women for America Vice President Michael Schwartz said in a press release. "That is the battle we need to focus on."

Religious conservatives, however, are voicing little doubt over Moore's commitments. "We love you, we respect you," Dobson told him. "The word drifted back in here to Focus on the Family this week that I was backing away from you. I gotta tell you that nothing could be further from the truth. I will stand shoulder to shoulder with you as long as I have breath in my body. … You're right. God knows it."

More Moore

The decision:

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What's next:

  • Moore pledges to continue crusade | Former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore said Thursday he won't disappear from the public spotlight after his ouster from office, but he is not sure if he will try to get his job back (back (Montgomery Advertiser, Ala.)

  • Moore's allies plan next steps | Might file a federal lawsuit against the judicial body (Montgomery Advertiser, Ala.)

  • Monument remains a weighty issue | Roy Moore may be out as Alabama's chief justice, but his Ten Commandments monument remains under lock and key in the state's Judicial Building (Montgomery Advertiser, Ala.)

  • Court commands Moore's removal | Moore has 30 days to appeal the decision to the state Supreme Court, an option his attorneys said he would consider (Mobile Register, Ala.)


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  • Judicial courage in Alabama | The Court of the Judiciary in Alabama acted courageously when it removed Roy Moore as chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court (Editorial, The New York Times)

  • Less of Moore means more respect for law | Former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore richly deserved the punishment of removal from office (Editorial, Mobile Register, Ala.)

  • Justice for Moore | Court rightly removes chief justice from bench (Editorial, The Birmingham News, Ala.)

More articles

Politics and law:

  • Pagan wins prayer lawsuit in Virginia | Pagans can pray, too, a federal judge ruled Thursday in a case brought against county officials by a Wiccan who was barred from saying a prayer to open board of supervisors meetings (Associated Press)

  • Religion-neutral prayers to remain at Pompano city meetings | Vice Mayor Lamar Fisher has unsuccessfully tried to repeal the city's policy (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)

  • 'Antireligious bigotry' | Raymond Flynn, a Democrat who served as U.S. ambassador to the Vatican under President Clinton, has accused Democratic senators of religious intolerance and anti-Catholic bigotry in filibustering federal judicial nominees (The Washington Times)

  • God joins guns in local politics | The Kennesaw City Council's recent decision to pass a resolution supporting government's recognition of God appears to have played well on Main Street (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

  • Is religious freedom a danger to the State? | The freedom of the Church in the United States is more at risk now than it was just a few years ago (Cardinal Francis George, Catholic New World, Chicago)

  • Law firms join battle for religious displays | Two conservative Christian "public-interest" law firms—the American Center for Law and Justice in Virginia Beach, Va., and the Thomas More Center in Ann Arbor, Mich.—have agreed to do battle pro bono for Utah cities in their legal tiff with the Society of Separationists (The Salt Lake Tribune)

  • Hatch joins Kennedy to push hate-crimes bill | Opponents of one of the most contentious provisions — the inclusion of "sexual orientation" as a protected category — "have got to grow up," Mr. Hatch said earlier in the negotiations (The Washington Times)

  • Should official be disciplined for his remarks? | More religious leaders respond to Boykin controversy (Los Angeles Times)

  • MPs urge French ban on religious symbols | Move to reaffirm secular nature of state institutions fuels row (The Guardian, London)

  • Town to continue holding its civic services in church | Fears were voiced that the traditional ceremony could offend Macclesfield's handful of ethnic minority groups if the rule continued that such events must be held inside a church (Macclesfield Express, Cheshire, England)

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  • Persecution of Christians around the world ignored | While we are doing much to try to protect the right of Muslims to practice their faith in the United States, we remain silent when it comes to a much larger problem (Andi Cook, The Daily News, Bogalusa, La.)

  • Christian groups voice their disapproval | Religious groups and professionals have voiced disapproval and concern over PAS' Islamic state blueprint, which aims to make Shari'ah the supreme law of the land (The Star, Malaysia)

  • Ex-Turlocker finishes book on persecution of Christians in Peru | Anna Lee Stangl, living and working in Europe, has just completed the translation and editing of a new book which sheds light on the maltreatment of Christians in Peru during the Shining Path crackdown (Turlock Journal)

Afghanistan's constitution:

  • A new democracy, enshrined in faith | Can a nation be founded on both Islam and democracy without compromising on human rights and equality? (Noah Feldman, The New York Times)

  • Afghanistan's constitutional effort | A draft of a new constitution includes some promising aspirations, but there are also troubling aspects of this crucial document (Editorial, The New York Times)

Interfaith relations:


  • Archbishop works toward unity | Catholics and Protestants should work toward unity wherever they can, Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley said. "That's very important. Do we give enough energy to it? Probably not," he said (Boston Herald)

  • Rowan Williams to receive Catholic Church accolade | He will be the first Archbishop of Canterbury to be made Knight Grand Cross—the highest grade—of the Royal Order of Francis I (PA, U.K.)


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Gay marriage:

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Sex and marriage:

Anglican woes:

  • Dollars and conscience | Some Episcopal parishes are withholding contributions to the national church to oppose the consecration of an openly gay bishop (St. Petersburg Times, Fla.)

  • 'Gays row bishop must go' | Students at University College Chester are demanding the Bishop of Chester resigns as chairman of their governing body after saying gay people should seek medical help (Chester Chronicle, England)

  • Gays are rebels, Archbishop Nkoyoyo says | Outgoing Archbishop of the Church of Uganda asked Ugandans to pray for Christians in the United States of America whom he called immoral (The Monitor, Kampala, Uganda)

  • What Gene Robinson can learn from Jackie Robinson | The new Episcopal bishop is successfully taking a low-key approach to his detractors — just like the Dodgers infielder (Bruce Kluger, Time)

  • American flying bishop plan hits the dust | A plan for giving conservative parishes 'alternative' Episcopal oversight in the wake of the consecration of a practising homosexual bishops, was ruled to be 'dead on arrival' by American evangelical leaders (The Church of England Newspaper)

  • Souls divided | Episcopalians threaten civil war over New Hampshire's new bishop (Newsweek)

  • Episcopal Dioceses of Oregon owe an explanation | As a lay person and a lesbian, I ask why my church hasn't defended itself and us (Dorothy Leman, The Oregonian)

  • Church to keep local focus despite national controversy | Here in White County, the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection has decided to meet the controversy with prayer and open discussions (White County News-Telegraph, Cleveland, Ga.)

Church life:

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  • African mission stops in foothills | A team of Ugandan ministers spends a week with 10 local churches, spreading spiritual renewal (News-Press, Glendale, Calif.)

  • Youth ministry goes to church | A Mt. Prospect church, designed to attract Souled Out youths as they enter adulthood, celebrates its one-year anniversary Nov. 2 (Chicago Tribune)

  • Church opens memorial garden | Site meant to be a modern churchyard; resting place close to home for church members (Los Angeles Times)

  • Following Jesus' footprints | Does an artist's depiction of an imperfect Savior offer an inspired message? Or a view of history skewed through stained glass? (The Dallas Morning News)

Missions & ministry:

Life ethics:

  • Schiavo husband's suit may proceed | After a short hearing, Circuit Judge W. Douglas Baird said Michael Schiavo had successfully defended Terri Schiavo's right not to be kept alive artificially (Associated Press)

  • Schiavo's case is really about religious right | It is about an agenda, pushed by conservative religious groups that would allow the government, or even strangers, to intervene when families decide to end the lives of loved ones who are hopelessly brain-damaged (Mike Thomas, The Orlando Sentinel)

  • Abortion is not an issue for talk, but for action | Imagine if 10 or so folks from a church or investment club or book group or union or neighborhood group, whatever, who would adopt a willing young family and refuse to let them fail (Steve Dupree, Metro Pulse, Knoxville, Tenn.)

  • God and man at bay | The bill proscribing partial-birth abortions threw off lights, intended and not intended (William F. Buckley, National Review Online)

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  • College finally 'footloose' | Illinois Christian school: Students to hold first dance after lifting of 143-year ban (The National Post, Canada)

  • Also: College holding first dance in 143 years | As many as 1,200 students at Wheaton College will gather in the gym Friday night for the first real dance in the Christian school's 143-year history (Associated Press)

  • School voucher challenge heard | Law erodes local control, lawyer says (The Denver Post)

  • Gay student's expulsion not compassionate | In a world where religious extremism has produced such a bounty of unnecessary suffering and grief, it's instructive to get a dose of it in our own back yards (Frank Cerabino, Palm Beach Post)

  • School speech ends at church, called 'bait-and-switch' | What one person calls "motivational speaking," a District 7 parent is calling "a bait-and-switch" to evangelize in the schools (Belleville News-Democrat, Ill.)

  • Sex, drugs, Jesus, and Saddam | The disagreement began Nov. 3 when members of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Young Republicans Club were informed that Trochinski had decided their floats were inappropriate for a homecoming parade (Orlando Weekly, Fla.)


  • 'The Gospel of John': A good-faith effort | Whether "The Gospel of John" is intended to entertain, educate or evangelize, it seems destined to wind up primarily preaching to the converted (The Washington Post)

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  • At last, a Jesus for all faiths | The controversial Gospel of John has been filmed for the big screen—without offending Jewish opinion (The Daily Telegraph, London)

  • The very good word | The Gospel of John converts without moralizing (OC Weekly, Calif.)

  • The Gospel untruth | American conservatives could kill a controversial TV miniseries about Ronald Reagan, but American Jews—long accused of controlling the world—can't stop a movie from coming out that says they killed God (Shmuley Boteach, The Jerusalem Post)

  • Age-old haggling over Jesus story goes Hollywood | The Bible was not meant to be a book of history (Chip Benson, The Providence Journal)

  • Faith in self-made religious films | Here in America, especially, there is a fervently held but historically unfounded assumption that artistic endeavors must always be independent from both church and state (Scott Galupo, The Washington Times)


  • Catholics cry fowl over Quebec TV ad | Barbecue-chicken chain takes a licking after unholy campaign ruffles feathers (The Globe and Mail, Toronto)

  • The gospel truth about an idol | Angels may have brought Guy Sebastian to the stage of the Sydney Opera House for the grand final of Australian Idol, but he also has some very earthly support from an Assembly of God church in Paradise, a suburb in north-eastern Adelaide (The Sydney Morning Herald)

  • NBC moves to break up relationship with Paxson | NBC moved to break up its increasingly troubled relationship with Paxson Communications, a decision that could cost Paxson as much as $600 million (The New York Times)

Pop culture:


  • Does God exist? What are the odds? | Stephen Unwin explains it all in The Probability of God: A Simple Calculation That Proves the Ultimate Truth (Cathleen Falsani, Chicago Sun-Times)

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  • What would Jesus eat? | Don Colbert's primary goal is to promote healthful eating habits, but looking to the Bible for his subject matter at times propelled his book into theological waters (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

  • Bridget Jones gets religion | Meet Whitney Blake. She's single, savvy - and Christian (The Christian Science Monitor)

  • Woman finds 'life's purpose' in new book | After reading Rick Warren's book, Kendra Golden gave up her job as a school teacher and took a job for less pay at Life Church (KFOR, Oklahoma City)

What hath the '60s wrought:

  • Palestrina was not in vogue | The counterculture struck at God himself. How much damage was done? (George Sim Johnston, The Wall Street Journal)

  • Prophetic misfires | Even the casual prayer of average Americans is an acknowledgment of a higher power and of our debt to that higher power (R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr., The Washington Times)

Other stories of interest:

  • Blogging on | World's new blogsite: A chance to join Marvin Olasky in his editorial "catbird seat" (Joel Belz, World)

  • Also: World Magazine Blog

  • God, man and growth | Two economists go where angels fear to tread (The Economist)

  • It's not Christian to champion hate | Christians around the country tell me they feel their faith has been co-opted by right-wing conservatives who depict all liberals as soldiers of Satan (Connie Schultz, The Plain Dealer, Cleveland)

  • Adults, not teens, the selfish ones | Divorce is at an all-time high, the marriage rate is the lowest in a century, the birth rate is plummeting and households are shrinking, but social researcher Hugh Mackay takes heart from the optimism of today's teenagers (The Sydney Morning Herald)

  • Papers reveal Jacqueline Kennedy's grief | The release of Richard McSorley's typewritten diary is raising questions about the propriety of a priest keeping notes on private discussions (Associated Press)

  • Also: Jackie Kennedy's spiritual crisis | Diary of priest reveals widow's thoughts of suicide (The Washington Post)

  • Time before Christmas for fasting and introspection | Just when the world begins to gear up to revel through at least three holidays — Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas, or Hanukkah — I'm preparing to fast. This year, hints of the coming dissonance began exceptionally early (Michele Marr, The Independent, Huntington Beach, Calif.)

  • Religion news in brief | Mexico allows public officials to attend religious services, Missouri Baptist Convention breaks ties with William Jewell College, Billy Graham, at 85, weighs plans for 2004 preaching missions, and other stories (Associated Press)

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