Over the past few years, some of you may have followed in the
news the saga of the Ten Commandments Monument in the AlabamaStateJudicialBuilding. Roy Moore is the man who is
responsible for placing that monument there, who, at the time was the Chief
Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. The book reviewed in this Servants'
News is his side of the story. The opening chapters of the book are also an
autobiography of Roy Moore.
Born on February 11, 1947, Roy Moore grew up on an Alabama
farm in Etowah county. His parents were Evelyn Stewart and Roy Baxter Moore.
His father had been an army sergeant in World War II; after his discharge he
was a farmer and construction worker. Roy
preferred, when the necessity for punishment arose, the "hickory
switch" to his dad's "hour-long lectures." His dad also shared
with him at an early age the truth of God's love and Jesus' sacrifice. Roy
maintained straight A's in all his subjects at Etowah High School, was the
Boy's State representative, and held office as Senior Class President of his
high school, all while working several jobs.
was accepted at West Point in the summer of 1965 and
graduated from the academy in June of 1969. He lost his dad in the beginning
of his junior year in October of 1967. After some further training, he served
and then Vietnam.
He was a company captain and dealt with a lot of drug and disciplinary
problems, earning the non-complimentary moniker of "Captain America."
1974 he resigned his commission and entered the University of Alabama School
of Law. He began his legal career as the first full-time Deputy District
Attorney in EtowahCounty. He was sworn in on October
1st, 1977 and
immediately began to set an exceptionally high conviction rate. He was
disturbed to see so many young people brought into the courts on charges of
crimes and believed the reason for it was that they had not been taught
biblical principles. About this time, he made a plaque of the Ten
Commandments on two pieces of redwood. Moore tried to make some reforms in the Alabama judicial system, and in the process, made some
enemies. He had some setbacks and lost his job. In his discouragement, he
took up karate and did some traveling, working for a while on an Australian
On December 14, 1985Roy
married Kayla Kisor. They strongly agreed that the
Ten Commandments would be the basis of their home. They taught their children
"not only the letter but the spirit of the law." He came to
understand that God's law was "not only a personal guide to living, but
the moral foundation of our nation's law and justice system" (p. 44-45).
pages 47 and 48, Moore explains how the current understanding in many people's minds of the
term "separation of church and state" came about. It is based on
the opinion of justice Hugo Black in the Supreme Court case of Everson v.
Board of Education on February10, 1947. Black, an associate justice from Alabama, stated, "[T]he First Amendment has
erected a wall between church and state. That wall must be kept high and
impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach." Commenting on
Black's assessment, Moore writes, "Those simple words inaugurated half a century in which
a recognition of God was confused with 'religion'
and 'the separation of church and state' separated God and government." Moore, in most of the remainder of the book, makes his
case that this is absolutely not what our Founding Fathers intended. He
quotes from many of the Founding Fathers, their contemporaries, and many of
our national leaders since, as well as from the Declaration of Independence
and the Constitution, to show that these men believed in a personal God whose
His law was the basis of our laws and our freedom. Moore believes, as our founders did, that our
inalienable rights come from this sovereign God of the Bible. The only
"separation of church and state" our founders
intended was that there be no officially sanctioned state church. They
certainly did not foresee God being excluded from our schools, our courts,
and almost our whole public life as has been the trend in the last several
Moore returned to his legal career to be elected as
a justice in EtowahCounty and later as Chief Justice of the Alabama
Supreme Court. Throughout this career, Judge Moore took the strong stand that
God should be publicly acknowledged in our courts. To that end he prominently
placed his redwood plaque of the Ten Commandments in his county courtroom and
opened his court sessions with prayer. When he moved on to the Alabama
Supreme Court, he privately funded and commissioned a 2˝-ton granite monument
of the Ten Commandments to be placed in the rotunda of the Alabama State
Judicial building. For this he has been strongly attacked by the ACLU, the
Southern Poverty Law Center, and several other organizations that do not wish
to acknowledge the sovereignty of the Christian God.
In telling how the monument of the
Ten Commandments was eventually removed from public view and how he also was
removed from office, Moore
discusses much historical material as well as many current issues. He covers
Alfred the Great, Magna Carta, Pilgrims and
Puritans, William Blackstone, the origin of the ACLU, the effect of teaching
evolution in our schools, homosexuality, adultery, abortion, and much more.
In regard to his refusal to remove
the monument, Judge Moore writes, "It would violate my oath and my
conscience. To deny God would be to recognize man as sovereign and would be a
violation of the first commandment…as well as the First Amendment. Judge
Thompson's order, running counter to the declared will of the Supreme Judge
of the world, was null and void; disobedience was a duty, not a crime"
(p. 209). On page 240, he writes, "The decision announced that the court
deemed me guilty of violating the Alabama Canons of Judicial Ethics. Judge
Thompson declared that I had shown 'no contrition for my actions,' and that I
had given them no assurance that I would not do the same thing again. Because
of this, the COJ [Court of the Judiciary] voted to remove me from the office
of Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court." At the time, Moore
"wondered how one could ever show 'contrition' for acknowledging
his removal from office, Judge Moore has, with others, drafted the
Constitution Restoration Act, and is now promoting it. "The CRA would
protect from federal court interference any public official's acknowledgement
of God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or government" (p.
p. 184 Moore writes, "Too many lawyers have the same
problem: they are 'embarrassed' to acknowledge God." Some people might
ask, "Is Mr. Moore a Christian? Does he understand the same doctrines from the Bible
that I do?" But are we willing to boldly stand up publicly, as he has,
for what we understand? Or would we be "embarrassed" (Matt -33)?
Judge Moore writes in an easy-to-read
style with a little humor. He even puts in a little of his own poetry, which
some might think trite, but is pleasant reading nonetheless. The book also
contains 16 pages of photos of himself, his family, his career, and the
infamous monument of the Ten Commandments.
In 1 Corinthians 11:7, the apostle
Paul writes, "For a man indeed ought not to cover his head," and
which is further enlightened by verse 3, which says that "the head of
every man is Christ" (NKJV). For the past several decades, has this
nation been trying to cover its real head? Should we be ashamed? Judge Moore,
to the best of his understanding, has not covered his Head.
Judge Moore, in selecting his
"knowledge filter," has chosen to follow a different course than
some current judicial understanding. He has wisely chosen the Ten
Commandments and the Word of God. I highly recommend his book.&