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Monument to a Higher Law.

Remarks by Roy S. Moore, chief justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama, at the unveiling of a monument featuring the Ten Commandments in the Rotunda of the Alabama Judicial Building, Montgomery, Alabama, August 1, 2001:

By the authority vested by the Constitution of the State of Alabama in the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court and as the administrative head of the judicial system of the State of Alabama; and

By the authority vested by Alabama Code Section 41-10-275 in the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court as the Authorized Judicial System Representative of the Unified Judicial System of the State of Alabama: and

By the authority vested in the Chief Justice as such Authorized Representative under the lease of the Alabama Judicial Building in Montgomery, Alabama;

I am pleased to present this monument depicting the moral foundation of law, and hereby authorize it to be placed in the Rotunda of the Alabama Judicial Building.

It is altogether fitting that this monument be placed in the Rotunda of the building housing the Alabama Supreme Court, the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals, the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals, the Alabama State Law Library, and of Alabama's Administrative Office of Courts. This monument serves to remind the Appellate Courts and judges of the Circuit and District Courts of this State and members of the bar who appear before them, as well as the people of Alabama who visit the Alabama Judicial Building, of the truth stated in the Preamble to the Alabama Constitution that in order to establish justice we must invoke "the favor and guidance of Almighty God."

"The institutions of our society are founded on the belief that there is an authority higher than the authority of the State; that there is a moral law which the State is powerless to alter; that the individual possesses rights, conferred by the Creator, which government must respect. The Declaration of Independence stated the now familiar theme: 'We hold these Truths to be self evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.'"

"And the body of the Constitution as well as the Bill of Rights enshrined those principles."

Some of you might think that the words I just spoke are my words, carefully structured to fit my own ends -- or perhaps a quote from a long ago past, but certainly not true or of relevance to our law today. On the contrary; those are neither my words nor an ancient quote irrelevant to law.

Those were the words of Justice William O. Douglas of the United States Supreme Court in the 1961 case of McGowan vs. Maryland.

Today, a mere forty years later, many judges and other government officials deny any higher law and forbid the teaching to our children that they are created in the image of an Almighty God while they purport that it is government -- and not God -- who gave us our rights.

Not only have they turned away from those absolute standards that serve as the moral foundation of law and which form the basis of morality, but also they have divorced our Constitution and Bill of Rights from these principles.

As they have sown the wind, so we have reaped the whirlwind in our schools, in our homes, and in our work places.

When I ran for the office of Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, I made a pledge to restore the moral foundation of law.

It is axiomatic that to restore morality we must first recognize the source from which all morality springs. From our earliest history in 1776 when we were declared to be the United States of America, our forefathers recognized the sovereignty of God. And as late as 1954, the United States Congress placed the phrase "Under God" in our Pledge of Allegiance. Judges, legislators, and executive officers have, since our nation's birth, consistently pledged -- under oath -- "so help me God" -- to uphold the Constitution.

Immediately after my election in November of 2000, I contacted Mr. Richard Hahnemann, an accomplished sculptor, to assist me in the construction and design of this monument. Based upon my specifications, he, together with my attorney, Mr. Stephen Melchior, and myself, have worked for the past eight months to complete this monument.

No tax funds were used in its construction or installation, which was accomplished last evening so as not to conflict with the workplace.

I would like to recognize Clark Memorial and Mr. Pierre Tourney Jr. for their assistance in both the construction and installation of this monument.

What an appropriate date it is to unveil this monument - for it was on August 1, 1776, exactly 225 years ago today, that Samuel Adams stood before a rather large crowd on the steps of the Philadelphia Statehouse, where he delivered a speech before the formal signing of The Declaration of Independence the next day.

Adams began by stating:

We have explored the temple of Royalty and found that the Idol that we have bowed down to has Eyes which see not, Ears that hear not our Prayers, and a heart like the nether Millstone.

Today a cry has gone out across our land for the acknowledgment of that God upon whom we are dependent as a nation, and for those simple truths that our forefathers found to be "self evident." But once again we find that those cries have fallen upon "Eyes which see not, and Ears that hear not our Prayers."

Samuel Adams concluded his remarks by saying:

We have this day restored the Sovereign to whom alone all men ought to be obedient. He reigns in Heaven, and with a propitious Eye beholds his Subjects assuming that freedom of thought, and dignity of self direction, which He bestowed upon them. From the rising to the setting Sun, may his Kingdom come.

May this day mark the beginning of the restoration of the moral foundation of law to our people and a return to the knowledge of God in our land.
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Title Annotation:Roy S. Moore, chief justice for the Alabama Supreme Court, on his decision to place a stone monument with the ten commandments carved on it in the court building
Author:Moore, Roy
Publication:The New American
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1U6AL
Date:Sep 10, 2001
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