Justice Anthony Kennedy “doesn't understand the word” dignity, AL Chief Justice Roy Moore told assembled Operation Save America members Saturday night. As the keynoter for the group's week of action in Mongtomery, Moore's 30+ minute speech touched on his interpretation of America's “Christian roots,” religious observance, and the Supreme Court's place in the nation's government.
And then he went all evangelical Dr. Ruth with a creepy reference to heterosexual marriage:
“Dignity is given by God, not by government. And he gave dignity to man and woman. In fact, you all know that, when you consummate a marriage, that act is a dignified act. But we can't change it to an undignified act and call it dignity.[…]You can't change God's Law and get away with it. Because if you do, you tamper with our law.”
Moore spent a good bit of time discussing the Founding Fathers because “they restored the sovereignty of God,” and “founded this nation on the laws of God and Nature's God.”
Moore came with a bunch of pamphlets that he was selling for $5 (but would give away if you absolutely couldn't afford $5) that “explained” how the United States was founded as a Christian nation dedicated to God. “They don't teach that in law school, by the way.”
Referring to his previous removal as Chief Justice, Moore explained that the entire unfortunate incident was “wasn't about the Ten Commandments” or a monument:
“It was about the recognition of sovereign God. When they said 'that's unfair to other people; that's unfair to other religions…'Well, I'm sorry, but this country was not founded on Mohammed! It was not founded on Buddha! It was not founded on secular humanism!This country was founded by God and anybody that wants to argue that proposition argues against the whole history of our country and our birth certificate.”
The audience lapped it up, clapping, hollering, and shouting “Amen” at intervals. It was like some twisted patriotic revival meeting. Before his speech, the entire gathering was invited to circle around Moore and pray together. It was potentially a nice moment, but the prayer itself was more like a general's speech urging an army to go forth in battle. When you have a room full of zealots, some with a history of instability, that's not the greatest combination.
OSA is in Montgomery for the entire week, and will be sending out scouting/harassment parties to every clinic in the state during the week. Pro-choice activists have been organizing for months to protect the clinics in every city, but the bulk of the activity is, of course, headquartered in Montgomery. Men and women from around the state – and even from as far as Texas – are giving up their vacation time and potentially putting their personal safety at risk. Learn more about OSA in this previous blog post.
Talk is easy, but these people are putting it all on the line. The clinic is defended 24 hours/day by volunteers. A lot of the work requires being visible, which means outside in Montgomery in July. It's HOT here, folks!
Want more of Moore? Watch the video of his speech on the flip. It's not the entire speech; the intro was the usual feel-good stuff about his staff, his wife, background, etc. Then there were a number of extensive quotes from the Bible, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, etc. I'll give him kudos for having so much of that committed to memory, but he seems to put as little thought into the actual meaning as a parrot does when it quotes human speech.
“Religious liberty,” “dignity,” and “freedom.” I do not think these words mean what Judge Moore thinks they mean.