Judge Roy Moore has been in the news recently, agitatin’ and rabble-rousin’ and insisting that judges in Alabama resist any federal policy on gay marriage, and uphold only the Alabama state constitution. And you know, that’s not entirely a bad idea, now that the state has amended its constitution to explicitly forbid relying on any foreign law to decide court cases. As astute political observers may have noticed, the ancient theocracy of Israel, which produced the Commandments known as the Law of Moses, is not part of the United States. Alabama, technically, has banned the Ten Commandments.
As I’ve pointed out before, the original Decalogue was more than just those initial 17 commandments listed in Exodus 20. We should be calling them Ten Discourses and we should include all Ten, from Exodus 20 to Exodus 31. But regardless of whether we follow the traditional (mis)interpretation or the actual Biblical text, the fact remains that the Law of Moses, including its prohibitions against homosexuality, is a foreign law. According to its newly-amended constitution, Alabama’s only legal option, in deciding gay marriage issues, is to refuse to use foreign, Biblical laws in reaching a decision.
I know that’s not what voters originally intended, but hey, if you’re going to pass a law—and not just a law, but a full-blown constitutional amendment—then you’d better be prepared to live with the consequences. In this case, the law might actually work better than the voters meant for it to (assuming they actually enforce it), but regardless.
Is there even a chance in hell of Alabama actually applying its own constitutional law as actually written? Hah, don’t hold your breath. Still, it’s worth mentioning. And given Moore’s latest antics, we ought to be mentioning it every chance we get.