The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean Moore

Last night, Judge Roy Bean Moore won the Republican senatorial primary in Alabama. Given that we’re talking about Alabama, he will most likely win the coming general election this fall.

Moore is a former Alabama Supreme Court chief justice and Ten Commandments enthusiast. He’s been removed twice from the bench in Alabama for flagrantly disregarding the federal judiciary, once for failing to remove a plaque of the Ten Commandments from his courtroom and again for instructing Alabama judges to disregard the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allowed marriage equality in the United States.

Not only was he a Birther who accused President Barack Obama of being a secretly gay Muslim, but he has also asserted that some communities in Illinois and Indiana live under Sharia law, which he regards as a danger to America. Needless to say, there is no evidence to support his claims regarding Sharia law, and he himself has repeatedly conceded the point when questioned about it.

The similarity to Judge Roy Bean, the nineteenth century self-proclaimed “Law West of the Pecos” is glaring. Bean also inconsistently enforced the law. Bean’s loyalty was primarily to himself and Lillie Langtree, an actress for whom he had great affection. Moore’s loyalty is primarily to God. Specifically, the Christian God, for whom, I’m guessing, he also has great affection.

Moore has consistently promised to bring Christianity to Alabama, as if it isn’t overwhelmingly Christian already. (There is a thriving Jewish community in Birmingham. Maybe he’s talking about them.) His opinion is that the United States Constitution was written to foster Christianity. Now he will have a nationally visible platform from which to express these beliefs. I’m not sure, however, if this is what the authors of the Constitution had in mind. The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment is fairly clear on the matter of a state religion.

Moore is clearly on a literal crusade — “crusade” translating roughly as “bringing the cross.”

Republicans seem to be functioning under the belief that an electable Republican candidate has to be demonstrably on the furthest fringe of right-wing politics imaginable. The fringe, in this case, seems to be that Moore is a theocrat.

Look. Some of my best friends and relatives are Christians. I have no problems with Christianity. I also have no problems with Christians proselytizing. That’s what Christians do, and doing so is well within their First Amendment rights. What I do have a problem with is the use of a public office as a platform from which to launch and sustain what amounts to a religious movement.

While I respect Christianity, I do not wish to be a Christian. I also don’t want to live in a theocracy, Christian or otherwise. I like living in a secular country where the beliefs of others aren’t stuffed down my throat at the point of a gun. Moore decries Sharia law but doesn’t seem to realize the hypocrisy of his own position that government should be an extension of Christianity and a tool to bring non-Christians to the religion.

I’m looking forward to watching Moore’s antics in the Senate with the same enthusiasm I usually reserve for a high colonic.




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