$32,232 to go to meet our Challenge Grant, by December 1st. Your gift now will count twice!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Alabama battleground

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles ) | Aug 26, 2003

The poll on our home page shows that a solid majority of our readers back Judge Moore in his argument with a federal court order. I agree with his argument, too. But I question whether this is the time or the place for a battle.

Sooner or later, we're going to have to settle the question of church-state relations in the US. The court decisions over the past few decades have been seriously skewed against Christianity-- and, for that matter, against the sense of the Constitution.

But this case in Alabama strikes me as a strange place to draw the line. Judge Moore clearly set up this confrontation; he has been spoiling for a fight. That's OK with me; I think my own track record will show that I'm generally ready for a good fight.

However, the case law weighs heavily against Judge Moore. If you go by the established precedents-- and that is what courts go by-- this doesn't even look like a close call. Judge Moore and his supporters are going to lose this case in the courts.

Again, you might say that the courts have decided those prior cases wrongly. And I'd agree with you. But that suggests to me that we should fight harder to get more solid judges on the courts, to reverse the judicial trend and undo those adverse precedents.

Christian activists are headed for Alabama, to show their support for Judge Moore. They may defy the courts; they may go to jail. Again, I have nothing in principle against civil disobedience; I've been in jail myself. But in this case I don't see what will be gained. I suggest that the time and energy would be better spent putting more judges like Moore on the courts, rather than more Christians behind bars.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($116,671 to go):
$150,000.00 $33,328.98
78% 22%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 4 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: John J Plick - Aug. 28, 2003 6:04 PM ET USA

    Addendum...So Phil, now that they've taken the monument down and our rights have been trampled on once again where are YOU going to be this Saturday night? Come to think of it...if I drove hard right after work I could be in Kentucky by midnight on Friday (Easy to reach Alabama by Saturday night...) but then again they were desperate for overtime at the hospital that day and I said I would be there...ah...priorities...priorities...

  • Posted by: John J Plick - Aug. 27, 2003 8:03 PM ET USA

    The way a figure it , Phil, it's suffer a little now or suffer a lot later. Tragically enough, we may not have the priviliege of "demonstrating" before we get taken away to jail in a few years. We had better take our best shots now, making firm and uncompromising statements before the options close down completely. The Evil one is not playing a game here.

  • Posted by: - Aug. 26, 2003 7:49 PM ET USA

    The Left rolled their opposition and took over our country's institutions in large part by staging such protests against their opponents and constantly challenging deeply-rooted legal precedent. And you think that this tactic doesn't work? To the contrary, it seems to be the only one that does.

  • Posted by: - Aug. 26, 2003 1:29 PM ET USA

    If you've read Judge Moore's writings you'd know he has some solid legal arguments on this. Just because most precedent is decided wrongly is not a reason to abandon the attempt to change it. Look at Roe v. Wade and that line of precedent. At this stage in the process both political pressure and legal pressure is needed. Without the public support and political pressure Christian Activists give, we're not likely to see more judges like Moore nominated or appointed to the bench.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Putting Our Best Foot Forward 0 hours ago
Contentious Spirits, Beware! 22 hours ago
And here's another very old story: the secular media don't understand Catholic affairs October 29
How not to be persuasive October 29
Francis the Man, Francis the Pope October 28

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Key synod report calls for 'gradualism' in Church response to irregular family situations CWN - October 13
As synod concludes, bishops issue message, approve document; Pope weighs in CWN - October 20
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6