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Sep 30 2011

Roy Moore’s Religious Bigotry

Wingnut extraordinaire Judge Roy Moore may be even more crazy than I originally thought. From the ReligionLaw listserv comes this story from Prof. Paul Finkelman:

When I was the main expert in the Ten Commandments monument case in Alabama (Glassroth v. Moore), Chief Justice Roy Moore said that the Ten Commandments monument could not offend any religion because all religions believe in the Ten Commandments. When asked about Hindus or Buddhists he said “they are not real religions so they are not protected by the First Amendment.”

The man who said that was actually elected Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court.

25 comments

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  1. 1
    raymoscow

    Christian adherence to the ’10 commandments’ is pretty strange, since most Christians do not even pretend to follow several of them — and under most interpretations, this ‘old law’ was made obsolete by the New Testament anyway.

  2. 2
    alekseisvoboda

    This isn’t crazy. I just checked Webster’s Online

    religion (n) – a set of beliefs that includes belief in the Ten Commandments. (Origin religion – Founding Fathers’ term for beliefs that deserve protection from government interference)

  3. 3
    Deen

    In at least one of Asimov’s stories, there are robots that have figured out how to circumvent the First Law (never hurt a human being or allow a human being to get hurt) by redefining “human”. I guess that’s exactly how people like Roy Moore plan on circumventing the First Amendment: redefining “religion”.

  4. 4
    Deen

    By the way, if Moore thinks that Buddism and Hinduism aren’t protected by the Free Exercise clause, does that mean that he also thinks the Establishment Clause doesn’t prevent the US from establishing a Buddist or Hindu state religion?

  5. 5
    Ace of Sevens

    Roy Moore is like a textbook case of why judges should never be elected.

  6. 6
    D. C. Sessions

    OK, Deen wins the thread.

    That conceded, Mr. Moore doesn’t mention that Roman Catholicism also isn’t a “religion,” and chances are that Lutheranism isn’t either.

  7. 7
    JoeBuddha

    I’ve heard actual thought-out arguments that Buddhism isn’t a religion, but Hinduism is a religion by any standard I can think of.

  8. 8
    MikeMa

    The ten commandments guidelines are one of the most praised and ignored bits of crap ever etched in stone written down. Very few humans adhere to them and a sizable number cannot even name them all (personal survey). Not a judge Roy needs to go away now.

    We need a ‘Not a Real Religion’ contest. I vote for southern baptists to be ‘not a religion’.

  9. 9
    jamessweet

    You gotta love this “The First Amendment only counts for Christian religions” meme that has been permeating the Religious Right these days. It’s such an epic fail in the category of missing-the-point. Gives me a facepalm-y chuckle every time.

  10. 10
    sivivolk

    “The man who said that was actually elected Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court.”

    I figured I’d highlight the key word in that sentence.

  11. 11
    D. C. Sessions

    jamessweet, it’s only funny until Nehemiah Scudder gets elected and stacks the Court.

  12. 12
    Marcus Ranum

    “they are not real religions so they are not protected by the First Amendment.”

    Well, neither is christianity. It’s just a bunch of watered-down jewish nonsense. (shrug)

    PS:
    Ia! Ia! Cthulhu fghtan!

  13. 13
    Marcus Ranum

    I’ve heard actual thought-out arguments that Buddhism isn’t a religion

    There’s a thing that would best be described as “California Buddhism” that is sort of this woo-woo I’m OK you’re OK stuff that Alan Watts and DT Suzuki started shopping around in the 80s. California Buddhism might be able to argue that it’s not a religion (though I would counter-argue that the assumption there is a cosmic balance or karmic force is a metaphysical leap of faith to a distant but attentive god-force) but rather a “philosophy.” It seems to me that California Buddhism is hardly a “philosophy” either since its claims to establishment are that that its philosophical underpinnings are the collected wisdom of a really special guy who lived in myth-shrouded circumstances a long time ago and were assembled and edited by generations of his disciples. Does that sound familiar? Unlike philosophers such as Epicurus or Aristotle, whose words and arguments, whose originating thoughts, are preserved – even California Buddhism rests its claims on what can only be described as “revelation.” Admittedly, Aristotle pulled his fair share of revelatory tricks, as well.

    Outside of California Buddhism, it’s a religion. Period. When buddhists are praying to big statues of smiling guy, they aren’t “focusing their minds” – they’re engaging in intercessionary prayer. And there are a zillion different sects of buddhism and – another hallmark of religion – they occasionally go to war about which one is correct. In Japan you’ve got the warrior monks versus nichiren, in Tibet you’ve got the red hats versus the black hats. California buddhists appear to be the folks editing most of the wikipedia articles on buddhism, and they’ve done a splendid job of eradicating any references to the mass murders that occurred in Tibet in the 1930s as the colored hats settled their doctrinal differences in the traditional, genocidal, way.

    We skeptics/atheists tend to avoid directly engaging buddhism because a ‘buddhist’ can adopt any of a very broad spectrum of stances from hardly-a-religion to full-on-headbanging-religious-nuttery and – when you press the issue, guess which version they are (until you leave the room). Attempting to shelter one’s beliefs, instead of being able to explain and defend them… well, that’s another characteristic of a religion when compared to a philosophy.

  14. 14
    Marcus Ranum

    We need a ‘Not a Real Religion’ contest. I vote for southern baptists to be ‘not a religion’.

    Well, all the protestants aren’t “real christians” according to Rome.

  15. 15
    MikeMa

    @Occam
    Right. These idiots are continually looking for ways to trump the constitution’s protections for minorities. What we’ve written about numerous times is that if they win, they lose because then some xtian sect or denomination will be next.

  16. 16
    slc1

    I wonder whether Mr. Moore considers the LSD church to be a religion?

  17. 17
    slc1

    Re slc1 @ #16

    That should read the LDS Church.

  18. 18
    heironymous

    @17

    No, no… I think you got it right the first time…

  19. 19
    gopiballava

    Christianity isn’t a religion, it’s a personal relationship with Jesus.

  20. 20
    Deen

    We skeptics/atheists tend to avoid directly engaging buddhism because a ‘buddhist’ can adopt any of a very broad spectrum of stances from hardly-a-religion to full-on-headbanging-religious-nuttery and – when you press the issue, guess which version they are (until you leave the room).

    Not that different from engaging most liberal/sophisticated/modern Christians, then.

  21. 21
    Hercules Grytpype-Thynne

    Ia! Ia! Cthulhu fghtan!

    It’s fhtagn. If you don’t get it right the ritual power is lost and it becomes not-a-religion.

  22. 22
    MikeMa

    I see a sectarian split coming to the followers of Cthulhu. Oh dear.

  23. 23
    Hercules Grytpype-Thynne

    I see a sectarian split coming to the followers of Cthulhu. Oh dear.

    And we haven’t even started to discuss how to pronounce “Cthulhu”.

  24. 24
    ttch

    His name is invoked as “Cthulhu the unpronounceable”.

  25. 25
    386sx

    I remember seeing Roy Moore on the 700 Club. I couldn’t believe a judge would be on the 700 Club. I didn’t know he was a chief justice. I forgot who the interviewer was. I don’t remember if it was the elder Robertson or the dumber Robertson.

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