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Tom Parker

Investiture speech of Alabama Associate Justice Tom Parker

Justice Tom Parker delivered the following speech on January 14, 2005 at his investiture to the Alabama Supreme Court.

May it please the Courts.

Governor, Public Officials, friends and family, thank you for being here today.

The defining question for the American people today is this: “By what standard?”

 

By what standard shall we govern ourselves? By what standard shall our courts interpret the Constitution? Who is the ultimate voice of authority? Is it the people? Is it the judges who wear black robes? Are they truly the ultimate voice of authority? Or is there a higher source from which even the legitimacy of constitutions ultimately derive their authority, and to whom the allegiance of every policy maker and judge is due?

Our Founding Fathers answered this question with resounding clarity when they boldly declared that “We are endowed by our CREATOR with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

With these twenty-five simple words, that remarkable delegation of citizen patriots was able to declare with stunning precision what fewer and fewer modern jurists seem able to understand or communicate in their many thousands of pages of decisions rendered during the course of a lifetime.

Namely, this: The very God of Holy Scriptures, the CREATOR, is the source of law, life and liberty. It is to Him, not evolving standards or arbitrary pronouncements of judges, that the leaders of every nation owe their ultimate allegiance.

The most influential jurist on the thinking of our Founding Fathers, Sir William Blackstone, put it this way:

The doctrines thus delivered we call revealed or divine law, and they are to be found only in Holy Scriptures. Upon these two foundations, the law of nature and the law of revelation, depend all human laws; that is to say, no human law should be suffered to contradict these.

Blackstone would add a cautious reminder: Judges do not make law; they do but discover it from its true source.

Yesterday, January 13th, 2005, I was administered the oath of office at the United States Supreme Court building by the leading advocate in our land for original intent interpretation of the Constitution, U. S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Just moments before I placed my hand on the Holy Scripture, Justice Thomas soberly addressed me and all in attendance. He admonished us to remember that the work of a justice should be evaluated by one thing and one thing only–whether or not he is faithful to uphold his oath, an oath which, as Justice Thomas pointed out, is not to the people, not to the state, and not to the constitution, but an oath which is to God Himself.

Today, I once again placed my hand on the Bible, God’s Holy Word. On this day the oath was administered to me by a man who is well known to each of you, a man who sacrificed his very office in the holy cause of liberty. Chief Justice Roy Moore of the Supreme Court of Alabama understood that oaths are sworn to the Creator, that they must be upheld, and that no judge or set of justices may banish from the courtroom the very source of authority which gives legitimacy to law itself.

As I took the oath of office today, I placed my hand on the Biblical charge to judges:

“Consider carefully what you do, because you are not judging for man, but for the Lord, who is with you whenever you give a verdict. Now let the fear of the Lord be upon you. Judge carefully, for with the Lord our God there is no injustice or partiality or bribery. You must serve faithfully and wholeheartedly in the fear of the Lord.”

(2 Chronicles 19:6-9)

I stand here today, humbled by this charge, but a grateful man who aspires to adhere to that tradition embodied in the sentiments spoken to me yesterday by Justice Clarence Thomas, and the commitment to our Founders’ vision of authority and the rule of law personified by Chief Justice Roy Moore.

As I took the oath of office yesterday at the U.S. Supreme Court, I placed my hand on those Scriptures which represent my defining prayer not only for this Court, but for every court in our great land. This prayer is summarized in the words of the Lord, who spoke through the prophet Isaiah, declaring:

I will restore your judges as in days of old,
and your counselors as at the beginning.

Afterward you shall be called, The City of Righteousness, the Faithful city.

(Isaiah 1:26)

Thank you for the great honor bestowed upon me today. I will always view my oath as solemn, binding and mission-defining.

May God guide us and direct us. May we boldly proclaim that it is God, Jesus Christ who gives us life and liberty. May we, as justices who have taken oaths to our God, never fear to acknowledge Him. And may the Alabama Supreme Court lead this nation in our gratitude, humility and deference, to the only true source of law, our Creator.

Thank you.

Tom Parker

Judicial servants vs. judicial tyrants

Tom Parker promises godly principle and godly action

Christians in Alabama and throughout the nation were frustrated and angered by the lack of godly leadership shown by the eight associate justices of the Alabama Supreme Court in August 2003. The eight justices voted to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the state judicial building–where the court sits–that Chief Justice Roy Moore had installed two years earlier. The Federal District Court for the Middle District of Alabama had ordered Moore to remove the monument, claiming that its presence was an establishment of religion. Moore refused to comply and the associate justices took action.

Tom Parker served as Deputy Administrative Director of Courts in the Alabama judicial system, a position to which Moore appointed him in 2001. In this office, he worked as general counsel for the court system and director of the Alabama Judicial College. He advised trial court judges and provided new judges with training and continuing education for trial judges in the state. He also served as legal advisor and spokesman for Moore, giving statements and arranging press briefings for Moore during the standoff at the judicial building. When Moore was removed from office for refusing to take away the monument, Parker also had his employment in the court system terminated because of his support of the chief justice.

Parker is campaigning in the Republican Primary for Alabama Supreme Court, Place 1. His opponent in this race is one of the associate justices who ordered the Ten Commandments monument removed. Parker points out that the Alabama judicial building is leased from the Alabama Building Authority and that the chief justice is the leaseholder of the building–and, therefore, can control the interior furnishings and decorations. When Moore was suspended from office, this authority passed to acting chief justice Gorman Houston who, according to Parker, could have ordered removal of the monument by himself. “The other justices did not have to get involved. They made a mistake by doing so,” Parker said.

A Montgomery native, Parker has been married for 22 years to Dottie. He attended Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire and received his law degree from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. He presently serves as Special Projects Manager for the Foundation for Moral Law in Montgomery. The Foundation had provided legal funds for Moore and continues to work to combat judicial tyranny.

Prior to his work with the judicial system, Parker worked under Jeff Sessions in the Alabama Attorney General’s Office. As an Assistant Attorney General, he handled criminal appeals and death penalty cases with experience presenting oral arguments before the Court of Criminal Appeals and the state Supreme Court.

Parker was a partner in the law firm of Parker & Kotouc. That firm was involved in two high-profile cases: the Mobile school prayer case Wallace v. Jaffree and the humanism textbook case Smith v. Board of School Commissioners of Mobile County. Parker also defended churches, ministries, Christian schools, and home schooling. He was founding executive director of the Alabama Family Alliance and the Alabama Family Advocates. Both organizations are associated with Focus on the Family and Dr. James Dobson. Parker also drafted pro-life legislation for Alabama and lobbied for the pro-life issue in the Alabama legislature. The Alabama Pro-Life Coalition was run out of his law office.

Parker believes the justices of the Alabama Supreme Court could have acted as buffers to the usurpation of the rights of the people and the state by thwarting efforts by the federal district court in the Ten Commandments case. “Instead, they voluntarily chose to get involved and vote to remove the Ten Commandments monument,” he said. Parker wants to serve the state with the interest of protecting the rights of the people–particularly the right to publicly acknowledge God. He says that, had he been a member of the Supreme Court during the standoff, he would have spoken out in opposition to attempts by the federal court to interfere with the state’s liberties.

Parker sees the courts as a body tasked with protecting liberty. Courts should not act as legislative bodies in order to create new laws or a pseudo-constitution. “Unfortunately, we are seeing the forces of political correctness at work in our nation and even coming here to Alabama to try to force their ways on us. We’ve seen the travesty of gay “marriage” being found to be a constitutional right by the state supreme court in Massachusetts. [And] the U.S. Supreme Court totally abandoned its means of judicial analysis in order to reach its desired goal of legitimizing homosexual activity.”

Parker knows from whence comes the authority to govern. He recognizes the same source of authority that the state constitution names: “Our constitution sets out God as the foundation for our judicial system. I cannot be faithful to our constitution [without recognizing] God as the One whose favor and guidance was invoked in the establishment of the state judicial system, as expressly set forth in the preamble of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901.”

He says that the acknowledgement of God is necessary to the constitutional government of Alabama. “Our state founding fathers, in every one of our constitutions throughout the history of Alabama, have included that important principle and cornerstone for our state government. Judicial systems have to have some moral or philosophical basis. Our system of justice is based on the Judeo-Christian belief system.”

“The Old Testament admonished judges not to make a distinction between the Jew and a stranger but to treat all equally. What that meant was that your national origins or your beliefs were not supposed to matter to the administrator of justice–it was only one–actions for which one could be held accountable. The whole concept of liberty of conscience was recognized in the judicial system of the Old Testament and protected by the first table of the Law, the Commandments I through IV. Your relationship as an individual with God is something that you were accountable to God for. And, government had no authority to try to–in any way–affect one’s belief in God or the manner of discharging the duties to God.”

Parker reminds Alabamians of their ability to counteract judicial tyranny: “We in Alabama are fortunate in having an elected judiciary. The check that the public has over judges at the polls saves us from what we have seen at the national level or in states with appointed supreme courts where those courts grabbed power and tend toward a totally new constitutional theory of judicial supremacy.”

One of the justices who sold out the rights of the state and of the people by bowing to the tyrannical will of a federal judge is campaigning for re-election. Alabama voters have a perfect opportunity to replace her with a man who is committed to acknowledging God and protecting citizens from the interference of despots. “Just like faith without works is dead, so too are principles without action. For too long, we’ve had judges telling us that they were opposed to judicial activism. But when the challenge came, they didn’t stand against it. We need state judges who have the moral courage to act on their principles and resist judicial tyranny.”

Phillip Jauregui

Constitution for Congress

Phillip Jauregui wants to restore our governing document

There’s a congressional candidate from Alabama who’s a little out of the ordinary. His oddity comes not from the fact that he’s an attorney or a well-known figure in recent national events. It’s his commitment to the Constitution that makes him a rarity among congressional candidates and current members. That and his commitment to action: “The courts have literally betrayed their oaths to the Constitution and, … [members of] Congress are not keeping their oaths if they simply stand around and watch the Constitution being destroyed.”

Phillip Jauregui, 34, is campaigning in the Republican Primary for the 6th District of the U.S. House of Representatives. He hails from Birmingham, has two children and is married to Jennifer. Jauregui has been in private practice since 1998. Prior to that, he served as Deputy Attorney General for the Alabama Department of Public Safety, Assistant Legal Advisor to former Governor Fob James, attorney for former Chief Justice Perry Hooper, and was a clerk with the Alabama Supreme Court. He graduated from Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law.

Familiarity with Jauregui in Alabama and across the United States stems from his involvement with the legal cases of Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore and the well-known Montgomery Ten Commandments monument. Jauregui first began working with Moore in 1995, when he was a legal advisor to James in the earlier Ten Commandments case when Moore was a circuit judge. He also served as Moore’s campaign manager in the 2000 chief justice race in which Moore was elected. In the recent cases, Jauregui served as Moore’s lead counsel, arguing the appeal of Moore’s removal from office before a specially-selected Alabama Supreme Court.

Jauregui serves on the Prison Fellowship of Alabama Council, part of a national ministry headed by Chuck Colson. He also serves on the Sav-A-Life board, a pro-life ministry that provides counselling and other assistance to women who might otherwise undergo abortions. Jauregui is a member of the Church of the Highlands in Birmingham, where he also serves as a trustee.

The campaign Jauregui runs is focused on constitutional restoration. He wants Congress to take responsibility for its role as the legislative body–and to fiercely protect that authority from federal judges. He says that, if Congress is acting only as “an ad hoc body that makes policy recommendations to the Supreme Court, then Congress is not being Congress.” The Constitution must be restored to its place as the primary governing instrument of our nation. He fears that existence of Americans as a free people is threatened by judicial tyranny.

Congress must be true to the Constitution. Jauregui points out that congressmen don’t take oaths to get themselves re-elected or to keep their majority party status in Congress; instead, their oaths are to protect and defend the Constitution. In order for congressmen to uphold their oaths to the Constitution by limiting judicial abuse, Jauregui advocates four steps.

The first thing he says Congress must do is to simply “limit the court to its constitutional jurisdiction.” Instead of taking direction from the Supreme Court and lower federal courts, Congress should act as a separate body, making its own decisions about law. When the courts overstep their authority, Congress can also further limit their jurisdiction.

The second thing Congress can do to restrict abuse by the courts is to restrict funding. Jauregui suggests that the resolution the House of Representatives passed in the Montgomery Ten Commandments monument case is a good method of blocking enforcement of unconstitutional rulings by courts. In that case, the House said that it would not allocate any funds to the enforcement of the federal judge’s order to remove the monument. Similar restriction of funds in other cases could render out of control judges powerless to enforce their rulings. Jauregui said, “Congress has the authority–and, as a matter of fact, has the duty–to restrict funding” in cases where the courts try to tell Congress how to do its job.

The third thing Jauregui wants Congress to do is to “discipline members of the court who are refusing to confine themselves to their constitutional role as judges.” The Constitution provides for the impeachment and removal from office of judges who do not serve under good behavior. Jauregui said, “Judges are not behaving well when they defy their oaths and anoint themselves as legislators over Congress.” “… If they don’t … respect congressional action which is gentle, then maybe the only thing they’re going to respect is removal from office.” He said that impeachment is a discipline of last–but real–resort that should be used judiciously and strategically.

Jauregui’s fourth idea for accountability is the passage of laws by Congress to deal with particular court cases. Such a law would identify Congress as the lawmaking body, state that the court’s purpose is to decide controversy–not to make law–and identify rulings in specific cases as void. Jauregui said, “According to Chief Justice Marshall in 1803 in Marbury v. Madison, if a ruling is repugnant to the Constitution, it’s void. The same way with a statute. If Congress does something that’s repugnant to the Constitution, it’s void. If a federal judge issues an order that is repugnant to the Constitution, that order is void. Judges, too, … take an oath to the Constitution and they are bound to it. … Accordingly, other officers … who have taken oaths to the Constitution … are bound to the Constitution, not to federal judges who have unbound themselves from their oaths to the Constitution and are now declaring war against it.”

Jauregui sees the Constitution Restoration Act of 2004 as one means of reigning in runaway federal judges. If the act doesn’t pass in the current class of Congress, Jauregui would make it his first priority, if elected. He said, “I feel so strongly about it that I would have to talk with the leadership in Washington–congressional leadership–and I would tell them, ‘This must be our number one priority.’ And I would say that very respectfully and I would want them to make it the number one priority but if they did not, then I would have to say, ‘Then you’re not leading.’ And, I would then look for other leaders in Congress who would then make this their number one priority.”

On other issues, Jauregui is similarly conservative. He opposes the continuation of “most favored nation” trading status for China: “The main reason is that they’re persecuting the Church…” Jauregui also opposes abortion: “Life begins at conception and the taking of that life is wrong.” He is against stem cell research on materials from aborted babies because the children haven’t given their consent and also because using fetal tissues creates an incentive to kill children. “There are plenty of other ways we can do medical research without desecrating the bodies of innocent babies,” Jauregui said.

One issue on which Jauregui differs from many other conservative leaders is his position on the Federal Marriage Amendment. The proposed amendment would define marriage as solely between a man and woman. Jauregui doesn’t believe this is enough. He says all the blood, sweat, and tears needed to pass such an amendment wouldn’t be well spent if it simply allows homosexual marriage to go forward under the name of civil unions.

He is even more adamant that this issue doesn’t require such an amendment at all. “The whole reason we’re dealing with this crisis in marriage today is because of what the US Supreme Court did last summer in Lawrence v. Texas. And what the court did in Lawrence v. Texas was absolutely unlawful and unconstitutional.” Jauregui believes what the Supreme Court did was illegitimate and that, because it was illegitimate, it should be ignored. Instead of the knee-jerk reaction of a constitutional amendment, Congress should “…stand up and be Congress and say, ‘No, we won’t allow you to do that.'” He also said, “I think it’s ridiculous if we allow the courts to do something illegitimate and then we treat it as legitimate and force ourselves to correct it through this long process, it’s the wrong way to go. The best way to handle it is to recognize what they’ve done is illegitimate, period.”

While others have been talking, Jauregui has been doing. We know very well that talk is cheap these days. But, Jauregui has actively worked to assist justice in Alabama and the nation. Many a congressman can introduce or co-sponsor a good bill, but making sure the right thing is done by fighting for the passage of that bill is quite another. We’ve long suffered the games of politicians who promise the moon and deliver nothing more than muck. Jauregui’s a man who is committed to doing the right thing whether he loses re-election, is expelled from Congress, or is vilified by the unsavory elements of the American Civil Liberties Union or Southern Poverty Law Center and their lot. He’s counted the cost and he’s willing to pay the price. He’s not interested in a political legacy–a godly one will do just fine.

He’s a leader committed to submission to the Supreme Ruler of the world. Jauregui understands that no judge, no president, no legislator can make right what God has declared wrong.

Constitution Restoration Act of 2004

Constitution Restoration Act of 2004. Text of the bill introduced in Congress in coordination with Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Mr. ADERHOLT introduced the following bill

A BILL
To limit the jurisdiction of Federal courts in certain cases and promote federalism.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE
This Act may be cited as the “Constitution Restoration Act of 2004”.

TITLE I—JURISDICTION

SEC. 101. APPELLATE JURISDICTION.

(a) IN GENERAL.—

(1) Chapter 81 of title 28, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

Ҥ1260. Matters not reviewable
Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the Supreme Court shall not have jurisdiction to review, by appeal, writ of certiorari, or otherwise, any matter to the extent that relief is sought against an element of Federal, State, or local government, or against an officer of Federal, State, or local government (whether or not acting in official or personal capacity), by reason of that element’s or officer’s acknowledgement of God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or government.”

(2) The table of sections at the beginning of such chapter is amended by adding at the end the following new item:
“1260. Matters not reviewable.”

(b) APPLICABILITY. Section 1260 of title 28, United States Code, as added by subsection (a), shall not apply to an action pending on the date of the enactment of this Act, except to the extent that a party or claim is sought to be included in that action after the date of the enactment of this Act.

SEC. 102. LIMITATIONS ON JURISDICTION.

(a) IN GENERAL.

(1) Chapter 85 of title 28, United State Code, is amended by adding at the end of the following new section:
“1370. Matters that the Supreme Court lacks jurisdiction to review
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the district court shall not have jurisdiction of a matter if the Supreme Court does not have jurisdiction to review that matter by reason of section 1260 of this title”.

(2) The table of sections at the beginning of such chapter is amended by adding at the end the following new item:

“1370. Matters that the Supreme Court lacks jurisdiction to review.”

(b) APPLICABILITY.—Section 1370 of title 28, United States Code, as added by subsection (a), shall not apply to an action pending on the date of the enactment of this Act, except to the extent that a party or claim is sought to be included in that action after the date of the enactment of this Act.

TITLE II—INTERPRETATION

SEC. 201. INTERPRETATION OF THE CONSTITUTION.
In interpreting and applying the Constitution of the United States, a court of the United States may not rely upon any constitution, law, administrative rule, executive order, directive, policy, judicial decision, or any other action of any foreign state or international organization or agency, other than English constitutional and common law.

TITLE III—ENFORCEMENT

SEC. 301. EXTRAJURISDICTIONAL CASES NOT BINDING ON STATES
Any decision of a Federal court which has been made prior to or after the effective date of this Act, to the extent that the decision relates to an issue removed from Federal jurisdiction under section 1260 or 1370 of title 28, United States Code, as added by this Act, is not binding precedent on any State Court.

SEC. 302. IMPEACHMENT, CONVICTION, AND REMOVAL OF JUDGES FOR CERTAIN EXTRAJURISDICTIONAL ACTIVITIES.
To the extent that a justice of the Supreme Court of the United States or any judge of any Federal court engages in any activity that exceeds the jurisdiction of the court of that justice or judge, as the case may be, by reason of section 1260 or 1370 of title 28, United States Code, as added by this Act, engaging in that activity shall be deemed to constitute the commission of:

(1) an offense for which the judge may be removed upon impeachment and conviction; and

(2) a breach of the standard of good behavior required by article III, section 1 of the Constitution.

The Honorable William Pryor?

Note: The message below came from a friend who commented on remarks I made about Bill Pryor’s treachery. My response follows.

Daniel,

I think you’ve got Bill Pryor wrong. A quick glance at Romans 13:1-4 reveals that God places individuals in governing positions and requires us to be subject to the authority of those offices. If we only follow those officials when we agree with them, then we are not submitting ourselves to their authority. Thus, we are disobeying God’s command.

I respect Justice Moore and the points he made. However, Justice Moore did not obey God’s command to Christians in Romans 13. After he lost the initial case regarding his display, he should have removed the display pending the hearing of his appeal. This is proper judicial behavior. If Moore had won his appeal, then he could have restored the display. If not, then Moore would have had to make the decision about to go obeying God in a way that brings the most glory to Him.

Actually, if Justice Moore had won his appeal, he probably would have still been removed from office. The rule is, an order must be obeyed until an appeal or stay removes the order. Disobeying an order that is ultimately overturned is still an offense against the law.

If Justice Moore did not in good conscience feel that he could have obeyed God’s command in Romans 13 while still displaying his monument, then he should have resigned his office. God calls us to live a quiet, peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. Justice Moore could have been much effective in bringing attention to this matter and glory to God if he had resigned in protest and led the movement as a private citizen.

Bill Pryor demonstrated a willingness to humble himself before God and follow the rule of law–even when it cost him. Pryor did not prosecute Moore in order to gain brownie points with Senate Democrats. Pryor’s too smart to think that he would be cut any slack from them regardless of what he did. Pryor knew that prosecuting Moore would not make him any more popular at home, either. He could have refused to get into the mess and found himself elected governor or senator in a couple of years. Instead, he took his duty to God and the governing authorities seriously even to his own hurt.

Be careful before you impugn the reputation of a man or woman who is doing his or her best to understand God’s commands for us and how to apply those commands in an evil world. If it should prove out (when we all stand before God and ask His supreme opinion) that either or both of these men are right or wrong, we should not be in a position of being forced to recant our harsh words against them–regardless of that outcome.

I hope I’m not being too heavy. I follow these events closely through your list. Sometimes, though, I think that we may be doing a disservice by attacking a Christian so harshly–even if we are absolutely convinced he is wrong. Jesus commanded us to love one another as an example before a world that’s going to Hell. If we fight each other so harshly over disagreements such as this, how will the world ever see the love of God?

Feel free to disagree with me. If we can’t settle it here, we’ll just let our Big Brother settle it for us later.

Sincerely,
Concerned

Dearest Concerned,

We should certainly obey the word of the Lord. Yes, Romans 13:1-4 is a command to “be subject unto the higher powers.” However, to consider the Alabama Ten Commandments issue simply as a case of disobedience due to disagreement is a grave mistake and unjust trivialization.

If we must obey God’s commands, we must obey them in all things. Christ demands obedience and submission to him. By appealing to Romans 13 as the basis for the authority of those who govern, you are, in fact, proving Judge Moore’s point: all authority to govern comes from the hand of the Lord.

And this is the issue. This is not about a piece of stone in some building. Had Judge Moore been prohibited by law from placing the monument in the building, perhaps it would be about the monument. But, as I’m sure you are aware, no law prohibited the monument then and no law does so now.

See, this is about whether any court, any executive, or any legislature has any authority without God. As you’ve so plainly stated, they do not. Judge Moore realizes this. He went about the business of acknowledging the authority of God. He knows that, if we remove from our society the acknowledgement of God as the moral judge superior to our own sinful human desires, we will not long remain an ordered society and we will certainly not remain a just society.

There being no law to compel Judge Moore to remove the monument and there being no law to compel him to not acknowledge God, he was justified in his course of action. In fact, even if there had been a law prohibiting the acknowledgement of God, he still should have done so. No government exists without the authority of God and every government owes God recognition and submission.

Disobeying an illegal order is not illegal. The federal judge’s order had no basis in law. In fact, the plaintiffs alleged that Judge Moore had violated the First Amendment by installing the monument. The federal judge agreed with the plaintiffs. A simple reading of the First Amendment shows that the court’s conclusion was not based on the words of the First Amendment. In fact, the judge’s order that the monument be removed was designed to prevent Judge Moore from doing that which he had lawful authority to do. And, of course, as a constitutional officer of the state of Alabama, he had a legal and moral obligation to acknowledge God. We can’t at once say that the acknowledgement of God is illegal but that the obligation to do so is legal.

The federal judge said that he could not define the word “religion.” But, he also said Judge Moore had illegally established religion. Does that make sense? If I don’t know what a thing is, how can I recognize it when I see it?

The court said it would delay its order to remove the monument while appeals were ongoing. However, even though the appeals process had not been exhausted–the U.S. Supreme Court had yet to render its decision as to whether it would hear Judge Moore’s appeal (a decision that wasn’t given until more than a month later), the federal district court actually terminated the stay of its order and said that the monument should be removed.

You can understand, then, how resigning from office was not an issue or an option for Judge Moore. In fact, he did act in accord with Romans 13. He was living a quiet and peaceable life and was certainly acting godly and honestly. Had he resigned his office, he would have failed in his duty to honor God–a duty that is both religious and civic; it is codified both in Romans 13 and the Alabama Constitution of 1901.

Leading the movement as a private citizen would not have satisfied his Christian responsibility as a public servant. He would have taken the coward’s way out. It was his duty to stand between the tyranny of a federal judge and his cohorts and the liberties of the people as protected by both the federal and state constitutions. Had he simply bowed in obeisance to the ungodly ruling of a federal judge, he would have failed to uphold his responsibility to the people of Alabama, the constitution of our state, and the admonition of Romans 13. This Pauline passage enumerates both the responsibility of the individual and of the state. No government has the right to do that which God has prohibited.

Reflect on the history of the Protestant Reformation. When the Holy Roman Emperor was ready to effect the will of those who wanted to deprive Martin Luther of his life and liberty, the princes of Europe interposed themselves between the greater power of the emperor and the rights of the people. I wonder if the pattern of blind obedience to human rulers that you suggest Judge Moore should have followed would also mean that the German church and citizenry were justified in submission to Adolph Hitler. No, you know as well as I that men like Dietrich Bonhoeffer were justified in opposing the evil of the German state. It is the Scripture that gives the moral authority for us to oppose evil in high places. Rulers are to minister good and “execute wrath upon him that doeth evil” (Romans 13:4). Instead, in this case, those in authority chose to persecute the one doing good.

This is the case against Bill Pryor. He chose to stand in opposition to God. He chose to persecute those who were doing their duty to both God and man. He chose to execute wrath upon the one who was doing good.

No, Mr. Pryor did not humble himself and follow the rule of law. Instead, he followed the path of tyrants and the ungodly. Had he been truly interested in honoring God and doing good and obeying Romans 13, he would have refused to prosecute Judge Moore and he would not have sought publicity so he could try to destroy the reputation of Judge Moore. Neither would Mr. Pryor have prejudiced the Court of the Judiciary by giving the governor an advisory opinion, saying that it was okay for two judges whose terms had already expired to stay on the court to hear Judge Moore’s case. He essentially hand picked two of the judges for the court that he stood before to prosecute Judge Moore.

I was in that courtroom. I saw and heard Bill Pryor say that Judge Moore was unrepentant. I witnessed him tell the court that Judge Moore was unfit for office because he had acknowledged God even when told he shouldn’t. See, there is one thing that both Judge Moore, the federal district judge Myron Thompson, and Bill Pryor agree about: this case was about whether the state may acknowledge God. Pryor stood and asked Judge Moore if he would continue to acknowledge God if returned to his position as chief justice. Of course, Judge Moore answered in the affirmative. And Mr. Pryor asked the court to remove Judge Moore from office.

This is a battle between light and darkness, good and evil. Mr. Pryor chose to stand on the side of those who oppose God. We both know that all we do in this world will be rewarded in the next. Judge Moore fears God more than men. He, like St. Paul, is not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for he knows the power of God (Romans 1:16). A man is either justified or condemned by his own words (Matthew 12:35-37).

Indeed, as you mention, the Bible does say that the world will know we are Christ’s disciples by the love we have for one another (John 13:35). How can that love be seen when Mr. Pryor condemns a follower of Christ because that man refuses to deny Christ? Instead of showing love to his brother and, thereby, bringing honor to the name of Christ, Pryor brought a reproach against the name of our Savior. If we deny Christ before men, he will deny us before the Father (Matthew 10:32-33).

In our time, men “hate him that rebuketh in the gate, and they abhor him that speaketh uprightly” (Amos 5:10). “But, let judgement run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream” (Amos 5:24). And, we read in 1 Peter (4:11-19) that judgement should begin at the house of God:

(11) If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

(12) Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: (13) But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. (14) If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. (15) But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters. (16) Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. (17) For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? (18) And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? (19) Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.

So, friend, “here I stand: I can do no other.” I will not deny Christ before men–even before men who call themselves by Christ’s name but seek to destroy his children. I won’t close my eyes and hope it all works out in the end when we stand before God. I know my duty and I must do it now.

I will not walk in the counsel of the ungodly–instead, I will delight in the law of the Lord (Psalm 1). Those who oppose Christ and his commands are not his followers and not my brethren. As for those who simply disagree with me, I will consider them enemies in war, in peace friends.

Yours in the bonds of Truth,
Daniel