It appears that former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore could become the lightning rod for church-state issues next year. At the Southern Baptist Convention Pastors' Conference ten days ago, he was greeted enthusiastically by his audience, as he spoke about "judicial tyranny" A report today in the Florida Baptist Witness offers these excerpts from his speech:
--There are consequences to what is happening in America today. The separation of church and state, a concept that has no basis in any U.S. founding documents – including the Constitution – does not mean a “separation of God and government". In fact, the doctrine is “biblically based”. In the Israelite nation God established the priestly and government functions to be separate – with the tribe of Levi handling the role of priests and the tribe of Judah in the role of civil leadership. God chose two separate bloodlines to keep those jurisdictions separate. The separation of church and state mandates an acknowledgement of God.--
Meanwhile, in the exhibit hall, attendees admiringly looked at the original Ten Commandments monument that Moore had been ordered to remove from the Alabama Supreme Court's rotunda.
Moore now heads his own advocacy group, the Foundation for Moral Law. He has written a book titled So Help Me God, and offers to sell autographed copies of it. All of this appears to be in preparation for a run by him for Governor of Alabama in 2006. The Swing State Project blog reported earlier this year that Moore plans to challenge incumbent Governor Bob Riley in the Republican primary. Indeed, earlier this month, the Boston Globe laid out the following nightmare scenario for the national Republican Party:
"Moore, a Republican who enjoys widespread support in his home state, is poised to run against a vulnerable Republican governor. If he wins, some party strategists speculate, he could defy a federal court order again by erecting a religious monument outside the Alabama state Capitol building. With the 2008 presidential race looming, President Bush would then face a no-win decision: either call out the National Guard to enforce a court order against a religious display on state grounds or allow a fellow born-again Christian to defy the courts."
That, says the Globe, is only the beginning. Moore would then be positioned to run for President in 2008, backed by conservatives who criticize George Bush's stands on issues such as gay marriage and the Terri Schiavo affair as being too moderate.