I was privileged to hear former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore speak in Augusta several weeks ago, and it turned out that I didn't have enough room to write everything I wanted to about his stance on religion in America.
For those of you who missed the Oct. 28 edition of Ridin' the Pine, Justice Moore was ousted from office for refusing to remove a monument depicting the 10 commandments.
I find it funny that the very laws this country was founded on are in the process of being removed from public life. It's like rewriting history to suit the times -- something I thought was reserved for fascist countries looking to rule the world.
Hmm. Let me think on that for a while...Okay, I struggled with it but decided not to chase that rabbit.
What's interesting is the first four commandments are what we as people owe God. The final six are what God says we owe mankind. Respecting the rights of others is all over those commandments.
"The First Amendment is centered right there in the commandments," Justice Moore said during his speech.
What is being misused about this whole issue is what the First Amendment to the Constitution actually says. It states "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."
That means nothing in this country should be able to keep me from practicing my religion. So why is the government saying there cannot be prayer in schools or 10 commandments up in a courtroom?
Congress is not forcing people to participate in the prayer or live by the commandments. Everyone still has the right to practice their own religion.
Just because a judge is a Christian doesn't mean he can't bring the 10 commandments into his courtroom. That would be "prohibiting the free exercise" of the judge's religion.
It doesn't matter if he's in court or at church; he has the right to exercise his religion so long as it doesn't interfere with the rights of others. And how would a 10 commandments display do that? It can't.
What people are doing these days is getting rights confused with feelings. People are offended by Godly things because the sin in their lives is exposed. Being offended by something does not constitute having your rights violated.
People should grow up and realize that sometimes the world in general is offensive. We are certainly not going to end that offensiveness by removing God from the picture.
I think Justice Moore summed it up best when he said, "The government was to stay out of the affairs of religion."
So why is the government all up in the business of regulating something they're not supposed to touch? I don't have an answer. But I hope it comes to an end soon so people like Justice Moore can return to standing strong for God in a position of authority.