Moore: God gives us our rights, not government

Posted: Sunday, May 23, 2004

Quoting repeatedly from speeches of George Washington and from Scripture, former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore told Republicans on the Kenai Peninsula on Friday of "an effort under way to take God away from our country."

Moore, who was ousted from the court after placing a Ten Commandments monument in the Alabama courthouse and refusing to remove it, addressed about 300 people attending the Alaska Republican Party Convention at the Soldotna Sports Center.

"It is God that gives us the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The government secures them for us," Moore said.

"If they say they give us our rights, they're up to something. Those are specious pretexts," he said.

Moore referred often to Washington's farewell address when Washington cautioned citizens to "resist with care the spirit of innovation upon (the Constitution's) principles however specious the pretexts."

"We've got a lot of specious pretexts," Moore said.

"I remember a day when the Republican Party stood for principles. Many today do not. They stand for power," he said.

"Principle is what will guide us, not power."

He asked rhetorically where it is in the U.S. Constitution that America is to establish the democratic way of life in the Mideast.

Moore said the issue over which he was removed from office was not about the Ten Commandments or about a monument in Alabama, but rather whether the state can acknowledge the existence of God.

He then played a video recording of his testimony in the Alabama case and the verdict that removed him from the state's highest court in November.

During his testimony he cited many examples in which the state does, in fact, recognize God: The Pledge of Allegiance, the preambles to many states' Constitutions, a judge's oath of office when he swears to uphold the law and the manner in which the Supreme Court convenes seeking God's guidance.

"I believe nobody should tell you what to believe or how to worship," Moore said.

"When you come to court because you've done something wrong, nobody wants to be judged on what they believe. You want to be judged on what you've done," he said.

"When the government pretends to ignore the presence of God, it tells you what to believe."

He said many people mislead others about the First Amendment to the Constitution.

"'Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.' That is the law," Moore said.

He said the Supreme Court of the United States "is taking away the acknowledgment of God in this country."

"When a judge tells me I can't acknowledge God, I can't obey that," Moore said. "No judge, no president, no governor is above God.

"The role of the courts is not to make law. It is to interpret it," he said. "Courts are not gods neither are the justices.

"When one branch (of government) consolidates all powers, it becomes despotism."

He said the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government all need to stand up for the powers each has.

Moore urged people in the audience to write to members of Congress supporting HR 3799 and S 2323, bills he said restore the acknowledgment of religion in the Constitution.

The former chief justice said he plans to appeal his ouster to the U.S. Supreme Court, but has not yet filed the motion.

If denied, he said he might seek political office.

"I have no plans at this time, but I might run for something," he said.

After his presentation, Moore received a standing ovation from convention attendees.

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