Moore: Preacher or politician? If elected as Alabama’s chief justice, GOP candidate must uphold law
by The Anniston Star Editorial Board
Oct 16, 2012 | 2883 views |  0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In his campaign to become the chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, Roy Moore is making a big push to get out the evangelical Christian vote. That’s noteworthy.

In this campaign effort, Moore has frequently crossed the line between politician and preacher, a line that should be crossed with care.

In a recent speech before 200 pastors at an Alabama Capitol steps rally for what organizers described as “life, marriage and family,” Moore said that “the foundations of our nation are becoming rotten.” He then chided Christians who “seem to act as if they think that God does not see what they do in politics.”

Not only does Candidate Moore know that God is watching, he also knows that God “will bless and curse this nation according to the course they take in politics.”

Being privy to God’s thoughts and opinions, Candidate Moore went on to tell the pastors that the “moral decay in our country” was due to the efforts to keep abortion and same-sex marriage legal.

Moore delivered much the same message at a DeKalb County Tea Party rally, where he said gay marriage would be the “ultimate destruction” of the nation.

This page has no problem with Moore expressing religious views on political issues of the day; neither should any admirer of the First Amendment. But Moore’s comments are troubling because he is running for an office where he will be able to apply his personal religious convictions to issues about which other people of faith hold different opinions.

If elected, Moore will be sworn to uphold the law, even if the law does not conform to what he believes God wants the nation to do.

The United States is not a theocracy, a state governed by religious laws interpreted by religious leaders. Neither is Alabama.

As chief justice, Moore would be sworn to uphold the constitutions of Alabama and the nation. He may take that oath on the Bible, but the oath will not be to the Bible.

His view of right and wrong is shaped by his Christian faith, but his Christian faith is not the litmus test for laws passed by legislatures or decisions handed down by higher courts.

Once before, Candidate Moore tried to use his state office to promote his religious beliefs. That effort cost him his job and Alabama taxpayers a lot of money that, to our knowledge, Moore never offered to repay.

From what he is saying on the campaign trail, Roy Moore has learned little from that experience.
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