AFA Action Alert! A special message from AFA President Tim Wildmon August 22, 2003 High atop the Washington Monument overlooking our nation's capital is engraved the Latin phrase Laus Deo which means, "Praise be to God." But wait a minute? Isn't that a violation of the First Amendment? It's going to take quite the cherry picker to sand blast that off when the American Civil Liberties Union convinces some federal judge that this is unconstitutional. Embedded in the entry way of the National Archives building in Washington, D.C. are the Ten Commandments (yes, those Ten Commandments) for all to see. Do these people at the National Archives not realize that they are establishing a religion? What is the difference between that and what Chief Justice Roy Moore did in Montgomery, Alabama? These are but two examples of the numerous acknowledgments of Almighty God in Washington, D.C. I could go on and on with other examples. And I could give similar examples of this from government buildings and written into constitutions in many of the 50 states. Yet Alabama Chief Justice Moore puts a monument of the Ten Commandments in the rotunda of the Supreme Court building of his state-paid for with private money and a monument that nobody has to read if they don't want to-and a federal judge rules that doing so is an "establishment" of religion? That is absurd. I feel like I'm living as Alice in Wonderland, U.S.A. The rational has been called absurd and the absurd has been called rational. Especially with respect to the manner in which the federal courts are treating the very historical bedrock of American society (including our system of law and justice)-the Ten Commandments and the Christian faith. In the first place, I don't see this as a federal issue. It is a state issue. The people of Alabama elected Justice Moore. He has a history. They knew what they were getting. And with his position comes responsibility for the decor of the building grounds. It's none of the federal government's business. How this monument is "establishing" a state religion in beyond me. Does Roy Moore force anyone to read the monument? No. Are people who come before the Supreme Court of Alabama forced to recite the Ten Commandments before they have a trial? No. Is there a First Church of Roy Moore with required attendance for those who visit the building? No. Obviously, I believe Chief Justice Moore is right on numerous grounds. And I believe federal judge Myron Thompson (appointed by President Carter in 1980) and the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals are wrong. The Ten Commandments monument (which also contains quotes from our Founding Fathers) should be allowed to stay in the rotunda of the Alabama Supreme Court building, just as they should be allowed to stay in the National Archives. It's no surprise that-once again-it is the ACLU, along with Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the Southern Poverty Law Center, that brought this case to federal court. The ACLU is the same organization that is currently going after the state of Colorado for a statute requiring public school students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance to start their day. (There is an opt-out for those students and teachers who wish not to participate.) The ACLU is an organization totally committed to removing any and all vestiges of religion (particularly Christianity) from the public domain. This is what they get up to do each morning. It's a seek-and-destroy mission. But there is so much history to support the actions of Chief Justice Moore that, quite frankly, it's difficult to know where to begin. Here is what the Preamble to the state constitution of Alabama says: "We, the people of the State of Alabama, in order to establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God, do ordain and establish the following Constitution and form of government for the State of Alabama." What was Chief Justice Moore doing by displaying the Ten Commandments of "Almighty God," other than "invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God?" He says he was following the constitution of Alabama. Hard to argue that point, seems to me. Liberal federal judges basically rule our country now. And the Democrats in Congress want to keep it that way. Issues that liberal lawmakers know they could never win at the ballot box, they know they can win if they ideologically control the federal bench. That is why Senate Democrats have taken the unprecedented role of blocking President Bush's federal court appointments from even being voted on. They want more judges like Myron Thompson. President George Washington-the Father of America-said in his Farewell Address: "Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens." Are you listening, Judge Thompson? ACTION NEEDED Finally, a U.S. Senator has given Americans a method to restore our religious liberties. He has introduced a bill, S. 1558, the "Religious Liberties Restoration Act," which does exactly that. S. 1558 is not a constitutional amendment, but a legislative statute which would remove from federal court review the displaying of the Ten Commandments, the National Motto and the Pledge of Allegiance.