Beware pious politicians — the moral of immoral Roy Moore

By Annie Laurie Gaylor,
Co-President,
Freedom From Religion Foundation

1RoyMoore November13 2017

As a county judge, he forced jurors to pray and look at a plaque of the Ten Commandments on courtroom walls. Coercive.

As Alabama Supreme Court chief justice, under dark of night he sneaked a washing-machine sized monument of the Ten Commandments into the rotunda of the Alabama Supreme Court and wouldn’t remove it. Coercive.

He outright refused an order by an appeals court to remove that Ten Commandments monument until he himself was removed from office. Outrageous.

Being incomprehensibly re-elected by the people of Alabama as chief justice, he once again abused his office by telling county officials not to honor the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision. Outrageous.

Throughout his career, Roy Moore has been to the right of the extreme Christian Right, fanatical and cartoonish in his actions and convictions. He started a “Foundation for Moral Law,” which has filed friend of the court briefs against the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

The name of his group, whose purpose is “to defend our inalienable right to acknowledge God,” calls to mind a paraphrase of a quote attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson. Emerson warned: The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons.

This holier than thou has made offensive statements a pastime. He’s referred to “reds and yellows,” meaning Native Americans and Asians. He claimed “it was the providential hand of God” that put President Trump in the White House. He joined Falwell in blaming 9/11 on the fact that “we’ve distanced ourselves from God.” He has said “Homosexual conduct should be illegal” and likened it to bestiality. As chief justice, he ruled against custody of a lesbian who claimed her former husband was abusive, calling her “homosexual behavior” a “crime against nature, an inherent evil, and an act so heinous that it defies one’s ability to describe it.”

He insists, despite the complete absence of a reference to a deity in the secular U.S. Constitution, that the United States “was founded by God.” He likewise insists “the Constitution and Declaration of Independence has direct reference to the Holy Scriptures.” Evolution? “There is no such thing.”

He has called Islam a “false religion,” and says U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison should have been prohibited from taking the congressional oath as a Muslim.

Now it appears taking offensive, even criminal actions can be added to Moore’s pastime of making offensive remarks. And the labels “hypocrite” and “predator” seemingly must be added to fanatic.

A fifth woman has now accused Moore of sexual misconduct. Beverly Young Nelson said Moore attempted to rape her when she was 16 and he was a prosecutor in Etowah County, Ala. She said he offered her a ride home after her shift ended at a restaurant, but pulled off the road. “I tried fighting him off, while yelling at him to stop, but instead of stopping, he began squeezing my neck attempting to force my head onto his crotch.” She said he warned her that “no one will believe you” should she attempt to report the assault. Earlier, a woman came forward to report he had undressed and molested her as a 14 year old. Other women who were 16, 17 and 18 have also come forward to report predatory advances when he was in his 30s and an authority figure.

Moore, naturally, has tried to deflect the revelations by saying they’re evidence of a witch hunt by people who “don’t want to hear the truths about God and the Constitution.”

His defense has been pathetic, including telling Sean Hannity, “I don’t remember dating any girl without the permission of her mother.”

Philosopher/theologian Martin Buber once observed:

“Since the primary motive of the evil is disguise, one of the places evil people are most likely to be found is within the church. What better way to conceal one’s evil from oneself, as well as from others, than to be a deacon or some other highly visible form of Christian within our culture? … I do not mean to imply that the evil are anything other than a small minority among the religious or that the religious motives of most people are in any way spurious. I mean only that evil people tend to gravitate toward piety for the disguise and concealment it can offer them.”

In Moore’s case, one has to wonder: Did his fundamentalist religious values warp him? After all, the concept of “original sin” can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Or did Moore gravitate to religion as the perfect camouflage for a life-long propensity to misuse his authority, not only to force religion onto others, but now, it appears, to force himself on vulnerable teenaged girls.

Who, Mr. Moore, is guilty of committing heinous crimes against nature?

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