Friday, November 14, 2003

ah, those religious conservatives

As of this writing, these are the most recent poll results from an unscientific AOL poll attached to an article about Judge Roy Moore's firing [NB: this article may be viewable only by AOL users, so here's another link to try]. Moore refused to remove a monument of the Ten Commandments from his office building.

The AOL poll and its current results:

Should Roy Moore have lost his job over his conduct?

No 64%
Yes 34%
Not sure 3%

How should Moore have handled this dispute?

He did great -- I wouldn't wish him to change a thing. 54%
He never should've put the monument up in the first place. 27%
He should've put the monument on display, then removed it when the court ordered him to. 17%
None of the above 3%

Total Votes: 9,590

As you probably guessed, I voted "yes" to the first question, and "never should've put it up in the first place" to the second, though I know perfectly well we don't fully or clearly separate church and state in this country.

From the article:

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (Nov. 13) -- Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore was removed from office Thursday for refusing to obey a federal court order to move his Ten Commandments monument from the rotunda of the state courthouse.

The state Court of the Judiciary unanimously imposed the harshest penalty possible after a one-day trial in which Moore said his refusal was a moral and lawful acknowledgment of God. Prosecutors said Moore's defiance, left unchecked, would harm the judicial system.

Moore, a champion of religious conservatives, had been suspended since August but was allowed to collect his $170,000 annual salary. He was halfway through his six-year term.

Moore isn't one bit sorry about his stance.

Speaking immediately after the decision, a defiant Moore told supporters he had only acknowledged God as is done in other official procedures and documents.

''I have absolutely no regrets. I have done what I was sworn to do,'' he said, drawing applause.

''It's about whether or not you can acknowledge God as a source of our law and our liberty. That's all I've done. I've been found guilty,'' he said.

I don't think Moore needs to feel any regret about his religious convictions, but he's forgotten where those convictions fit into his role as a judge. So I agree with the presiding judge in this case:

Presiding Judge William Thompson said the nine-member court had no choice in its decision after Moore willfully and publicly ignored the federal court order. ''The chief justice placed himself above the law,'' Thompson said.

It was the right decision to pull Moore out of there.

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