Chief Justice Roy Moore of the Alabama Supreme Court – a Republican, of course, and a “conservative” hero for his defiance of the law in the Ten Commandments case – told a Right-to-Life meeting “everyone, to include the United States Supreme Court, has been deceived” about the meaning of the First Amendment, because they have failed to proprely interpret the word “religion.” Moore cites “Mason, Madison, and even the United States Supremee Court” as defining “religion” to mean “the duties we owe the Creator and the manner of discharging it.” [noun-pronoun disagreement in original]
Since the Creator, says Moore, is the “God of the Holy Scriptures” – after all, “Buddha didn’t create us! Muhammed didn’t create us!” – the First Amendment properly applies only to the worship of that specific diety. I suppose Jews still have freedom of religion, according to Justice Moore; all other non-Christians are out of luck.
You have to give the man points for originality. You also have to count how many Republican politicians and “conservative” pundits bother to distance themselves from this offensive nonsense. Not many, I’d wager, any more than they did when Moore narrowly won the election for Chief Justice in 2012, after having been kicked off the court for his misconduct in the Ten Commandments case. This isn’t some random blogger: this is the chief justice of a state supreme court, announcing that only people who read the same scriptures he reads have freedom of religion. And it’s a good bet that none of the folks claiming to defend “religious freedom” when that means discriminating against gays care enough about actual religious freedom to complain.