Roy S. Moore, a Man for All Seasons

In my career as a TV producer for D. James Kennedy Ministries, I’ve had the privilege of interviewing all sorts of movers and shakers within modern Christendom. I’ve seen them on camera and off camera.

One leading example of such is the Hon. Roy S. Moore, Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. From 1995 to 2003, I traveled to that state about ten times with a TV crew for Roy Moore-related cases. Now he’s in trouble again—for sticking to his guns. I’ll get to that in a moment.

When I first met Roy Moore in 1995 and interviewed him for television, he was a lowly circuit judge in a decrepit building in Gadsden, Alabama—kind of close to Birmingham.

He was being sued by the ACLU because he supposedly assaulted the First Amendment by having a plaque of the Ten Commandments hanging in his courtroom wall. It was surrounded by the Declaration of Independence and, as I recall, pictures of Washington and Lincoln.

Moore noted, “When I first put the Ten Commandments on the courtroom, I thought it was very fitting since it is the foundation of our laws, the foundation of our country. And I thought it also represented a return to the thing we need most in society, which is a return to morality.”

He viewed this as obeying his mandate as a state official: “We do the very thing that the state of Alabama in its constitution says we are to do by invoking the ‘favor and guidance of Almighty God.’ In the beginning of this country, when they wrote the First Amendment, when they wrote the Constitution, they did not think that an acknowledgement of God was an establishment of religion.”

The lawsuits against him were so ironic. As Judge Moore said way back in another interview I did with him in the late 1990s: “In my tenure as a circuit judge, I’ve handled all kind of violent crimes. I had one case where a mother drowned her child face up in a bathtub of water between her legs so that her father could not get custody. We’ve had terrible crimes and I seriously wonder why the ACLU is attacking me for posting of Commandments which read, ‘Thou shall not kill.’”

In 2000, the voters of Alabama elected him Chief Justice of their state’s highest court. Several months later, he had a beautiful granite monument installed in the foyer of that building. We filmed the monument being installed.

The monument had the Ten Commandments on the top, with quotes from American history all around the sides. Once again he was sued by those who were “offended” by seeing it. Regrettably, he lost that job in 2003 because he wouldn’t remove the monument even though federal judges ruled against him.

Thankfully, Roy Moore was re-elected in 2012 as Chief Justice. But today he is again in trouble with the politically correct crowd. Why? Because in January, Federal Judge Callie Granade ruled null and void the Alabama amendment passed by the voters declaring that marriage in their state is between one man and one woman, and instead ordered local courts to begin issuing same-sex marriage licenses.

Advocates of same-sex marriage are using the courts left and right to trump such state amendments. Chief Justice Moore has drawn a line in the sand on this.

He’s saying that since the U.S. Supreme Court has not ruled one way or another definitively on same-sex marriage as a constitutional issue, the federal judge is going beyond her authority, having no jurisdiction to order a state or local court to act in violation of Alabama’s constitution.

He said about this case in reference to the Supreme Court: “If they had ruled on marriage, we wouldn’t need to be going to the United States Supreme Court in April…There is no law right now that overcomes the Alabama Constitution.”

It seems to me these days that to many liberals all that counts is getting power and wielding it, to promote their own agenda—one that has chilling effects on religious freedom, as Christian florists, bakers, photographers can testify.

Roy Moore is a hero because he is the same in season and out of season. He is indeed a man for all seasons. Since our lives are essentially ruled these days by our “robed masters” on the federal court, may God raise up more men and woman of Christian conviction like him—especially judges.

Note: This photo was taken by Jerry Newcombe in Chief Justice Moore’s chambers, c. 2002.