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Jan 16 2013

Roy Moore Sworn In as Alabama Chief Justice

Unabashed theocrat Roy Moore was sworn in as the chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court for a second time last week, nine years after he was removed from that same office for refusing a federal court order to remove a huge Ten Commandments monument from the courthouse that he had installed.

He says he has no plans to return that monument to its previous place at the courthouse, but that’s really the least of the worries about his reelection. This man is so unhinged in his hatred of gay people that he has actually declared, in a written opinion, that they should be put in prison or murdered by the state because that’s what the Bible demands. This is from a concurring opinion he wrote in a 2002 custody case where the mother is a lesbian (which was not even an issue in the case, by the way).

I concur in the opinion of the majority that D.H., the mother of the minor children in this case, did not establish a change of circumstances sufficient to transfer custody to her from H.H., the father of the minor children. I write specially to state that the homosexual conduct of a parent-conduct involving a sexual relationship between two persons of the same gender-creates a strong presumption of unfitness that alone is sufficient justification for denying that parent custody of his or her own children or prohibiting the adoption of the children of others.

In this case there is undisputed evidence that the mother of the minor children not only dated another woman, but lived with that woman, shared a bed with her, and had an intimate physical and sexual relationship with her…

The author of Genesis writes: “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him;  male and female He created them․ For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife;  and they shall become one flesh.” Genesis 1:27, 2:24 (King James). The law of the Old Testament enforced this distinction between the genders by stating that “[i]f a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination.” Leviticus 20:13 (King James).

From the passage in Leviticus 20:13, the early western legal tradition garnered its laws on homosexuality. The Corpus Juris Civilis is the sixth-century encyclopedic collection of Roman laws made under the sponsorship of Emperor Justinian.  “It is Justinian’s collection which served as the basis of canon law (the law of the Christian Church) and civil law (both European and English).” The following is a statement in Law French from Corpus Juris:

“ ‘Sodomie est crime de majeste vers le Roy Celestre,’ and [is] translated in a footnote as ‘Sodomy is high treason against the King of Heaven.’ At common law ‘sodomy’ and the phrase ‘infamous crime against nature’ were often used interchangeably.”…

To disfavor practicing homosexuals in custody matters is not invidious discrimination, nor is it legislating personal morality. On the contrary, disfavoring practicing homosexuals in custody matters promotes the general welfare of the people of our State in accordance with our law, which is the duty of its public servants. Providing for the common good involves maintaining a public morality through both our criminal and civil codes, based upon the principles that right conscience demands, without encroaching on the jurisdiction of other institutions and the declared rights of individuals.

The State may not interfere with the internal governing, structure, and maintenance of the family, but the protection of the family is a responsibility of the State. Custody disputes involve decision-making by the State, within the limits of its sphere of authority, in a way that preserves the fundamental family structure. The State carries the power of the sword, that is, the power to prohibit conduct with physical penalties, such as confinement and even execution. It must use that power to prevent the subversion of children toward this lifestyle, to not encourage a criminal lifestyle.

The highest court of an American state is now presided over by a man who thinks his job is to enforce Biblical prohibitions, even to the point of murdering gay people.

27 comments

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  1. 1
    erichoug

    I think this is great. Having people like Moore in the spotlight forces the issue with moderate and less fanatical religious people. It makes them confront the fact that some of their ideas are not particularly well thought through. Like if you are going to use the government to enforce religion, exactly whose religion do you enforce and who gets to decide, and if they don’t pick my religion what does that mean to me. And if they can treat so and so like that because of his religious beliefs why couldn’t they do the same thing to me?

    I think what will be the end result of Moore’s tenure on the court is a growing opinion in Alabama that the government can only function properly, and the judiciary can only be just by being completely secular.

  2. 2
    steve84

    Again, the main problem here is the idiotic practice of electing judges in the first place. Something that completely undermines the idea of an independent judiciary. America, why do you have to so stupid?

  3. 3
    d.c.wilson

    erichoug:

    I would hope that you are right, but it’s Alabama. The majority of its resident will probably react to Moore’s theocratic agenda with enthusiastic agreement.

  4. 4
    slc1

    Re steve84 @ #2

    Well, we’re not completely stupid as federal judges are appointed for life.

  5. 5
    matty1

    “It is Justinian’s collection which served as the basis of canon law (the law of the Christian Church) and civil law (both European and English).” 

    Is this true? IANL but I thought English common law was meant to be a separate legal tradition to European civil law drawing more on Anglo-Saxon traditions than Roman legal practice.

  6. 6
    cottonnero

    If a liberal judge quoted a foreign legal source, and one in French at that, conservatives would shit bricks. IOKIYARM, I guess.

  7. 7
    erichoug

    C.D. Wilson @#3

    And you would know this from your extensive travels in the state?

    It is always amazing to me that if we were to belittle someone based on their gender, race, or sexual preference nearly everyone on this blog would (rightly) condemn such bigotry.

    But, nearly everyone who posts here sees nothing wrong with belittling people based on where they are from, provided they are from the south, or where they live currently, provided they live in the south.

    Why is this bigotry OK?

  8. 8
    d.c.wilson

    Erichoug:

    I base it on the fact that they elected him knowing full well his history and what he stood for.

  9. 9
    d.c.wilson

    Btw, you know what I’m tired off? The constant victimhood that emanates from the south. They lost the war 150 years ago and we Yankees are still propping them up with our taxes. And what do get in return? Constant accusations that we’re the ones who aren’t Real Americans(tm) even as they threaten secede again.

  10. 10
    Michael Heath

    d.c. wilson writes:

    The majority of [Alabama's] resident will probably react to Moore’s theocratic agenda with enthusiastic agreement.

    erichoug responds, without blockquoting what d.c. wilson actually wrote:

    And you would know this from your extensive travels in the state?

    It is always amazing to me that if we were to belittle someone based on their gender, race, or sexual preference nearly everyone on this blog would (rightly) condemn such bigotry.

    But, nearly everyone who posts here sees nothing wrong with belittling people based on where they are from, provided they are from the south, or where they live currently, provided they live in the south.

    Why is this bigotry OK?

    Alabamans in general are OK with Roy Moore because he’s a known theocrat, it distinguishes him even amongst the legions of Christianists in Alabama – and yet he’s able to get nominated by the party who represents the majority of Alabamans. But mostly we Alabamans in general are OK with Moore’s theocratic agenda precisely because Alabamans just elected him to office.

    You owe d.c. wilson a major apology and retraction, he demonstrated no bigotry but instead a sufficient understanding of the state of Alabama to support his point.

  11. 11
    busterggi

     “It is Justinian’s collection which served as the basis of canon law (the law of the Christian Church) and civil law (both European and English).” 

    Those damned foreigners – always trying to screw up Amerkin law.

  12. 12
    baal

    @ steve84
    The teaparty (R) have been working overtime in legislatures and in court cases to get more elections for judges and to remove barriers that kept judges out of politics historically. They view Moore as a success and it’s party of the general implosion of the US GOV that the right wing oligarchs have been pounding at for the last 30 years.

  13. 13
    Crudely Wrott

    Dig out your decade old notes, friends and neighbors. Here we go again.

    Alabama grins and pats its own back, bowing and nodding to itself. Same old story.

  14. 14
    cjhk

    There is at least one Alabamian (been here 40 years, since I was 5 years old) who is NOT ok with Roy Moore. I think there is a pretty good sized contingent of Alabamians who also do not support him. Unfortunately, the Democrats couldn’t field a viable candidate until quite late in the election season (their first nominee appeared to be truly mentally unstable [more unstable than even Hon. Moore appears]). As late as he came into the race, Judge Vance still got something like 48% of the vote. If he had gotten started earlier, maybe he would have defeated Judge Moore.

    Judge Moore is an embarrassment to many of us Alabamians, as are our esteemed Senators Shelby and Sessions and many, many other minor and major political figures. But if we give up and go to a state with fewer embarrassing, idiotic, greedy politicians (is there such a thing?), there will be no one at all to oppose these attempts to establish a theocratic dictatorship. I feel something of an obligation to stay and be an example of a non-Christian (non-any-religion actually) who still manages to behave in a moral fashion, work full time, support a family, pay my taxes and try to help those less fortunate than I.

  15. 15
    noastronomer

    Let’s say that you paint your car with a bunch of pro-gay slogans and drive into a gas station in Alabama. What’s the worst that could happen:

  16. 16
    blackbeltatheist

    As an atheist who lives in Alabama and voted AGAINST Roy Moore, I am both ashamed of my state for electing him and disgusted at the system for allowing him to even run for the seat. When Moore refused a Federal court order to remove the ten commandments monument, he should have been disbarred. Had he been, he never would have been back on the ballot.

    As for the conversation that’s taking place in the comments. Yes – the majority of people in Alabama are bigoted Christians, and rational freethinkers are in the minority. Rational freethinkers are in the minority in the country and the world, too. Does that mean that we should generalize about the country and the world, too, or would we rather recognize that there is diversity at every level including the state of Alabama? Just because there’s a majority doesn’t mean that everyone fits the mold of that majority.

  17. 17
    cjhk

    noastronomer, I was a little nervous just driving around with my “Dogs against Romney” bumper sticker in my back window.

  18. 18
    erichoug

    D.C. Wilson

    Yes, because Michigan didn’t elect anyone crazy, nor did California nor did any of the other northern states. Oh, and BTW, I don’t believe I mentioned anything about victimhood or the civil war. I believe I pointed out your bigotry and you immediately fell into the same apologetic screed that I grew up listening to in Texas.

    Yes, those people are just playing the victim, everyone knows they’re all stupid lazy religious nutballs, Why if we even let them vote is a wonder to me.

    Hey, thanks for confirming my opinion of you as a low rent bigot.

    Oh, and Mr. Heath, I owe DC nothing. I don’t apologize to bigots.

  19. 19
    d.c.wilson

    Your name calling has convinced me, erichoug. I hereby apologize for saying that the majority of residents of Alabama would support an acknowledged theocrat even though a majority of them did just that and the residents of Alabama in this blog agreed with me. Clearly, it was bigoted of me to say something that is supported by the facts.

    Oh, and you did cry southern victim hood in your reply to me first post. Own it.

  20. 20
    erichoug

    DC,

    IN the interest of not derailing this into the usual internet shouting match.Let me ask you,

    How many people from Alabama?
    How much time have you spent in Alabama?

  21. 21
    erichoug

    Sorry
    How many people from Alabama do you know?

  22. 22
    Michael Heath

    blackbeltatheist writes:

    Rational freethinkers are in the minority in the country and the world, too. Does that mean that we should generalize about the country and the world, too, or would we rather recognize that there is diversity at every level including the state of Alabama? Just because there’s a majority doesn’t mean that everyone fits the mold of that majority.

    You battle a strawman since no one claimed otherwise, especially d.c. wilson who was falsely attacked by erichoug for having done so when in fact d.c. wilson was careful to point only towards the majority.

  23. 23
    Michael Heath

    erichoug writes to d.c. wilson:

    I believe I pointed out your bigotry . . .

    Uh, no you didn’t; not even close. I suggest abandoning belief. You’ll find you’re wrong far less often.

  24. 24
    d.c.wilson

    Just out of curiosity, how would the polling data on Alabamans change whether I had lived there for ten years or had never set foot there?

  25. 25
    bradleybetts

    “To disfavor practicing homosexuals in custody matters is not invidious discrimination, nor is it legislating personal morality.”

    Well that’s just straight-up lying, isn’t it?

  26. 26
    blackbeltatheist

    @Michael Heath I’m not battling anyone. Which is exactly why I didn’t refute anyone’s post directly. If you’ll go back and read the part of my post that you quoted, you’ll hopefully see that I was attempting to point out the problem with sweeping generalizations (in relation to the majority).

  27. 27
    Michael Heath

    blackbeltatheist writes @ 16:

    As for the conversation that’s taking place in the comments. Yes – the majority of people in Alabama are bigoted Christians, and rational freethinkers are in the minority. Rational freethinkers are in the minority in the country and the world, too. Does that mean that we should generalize about the country and the world, too, or would we rather recognize that there is diversity at every level including the state of Alabama? Just because there’s a majority doesn’t mean that everyone fits the mold of that majority.

    I respond @ 22:

    You battle a strawman since no one claimed otherwise, especially d.c. wilson who was falsely attacked by erichoug for having done so when in fact d.c. wilson was careful to point only towards the majority.

    blackbeltatheist responds:

    I’m not battling anyone. Which is exactly why I didn’t refute anyone’s post directly. If you’ll go back and read the part of my post that you quoted, you’ll hopefully see that I was attempting to point out the problem with sweeping generalizations (in relation to the majority).

    If no one here is making a defective “sweeping generalization(s)”, supposedly including d.c. wilson’s posts; then why assert, twice, that a problem exists?

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