The chief justisce of the Alabama Supreme Court is defying a federal court order to remove a monument featuring the Ten Commandments from a judicial building in the state capital.
“Alabama will never give up its right to acknowledge God,” Chief Justice Roy S. Moore declared as he stood in front of the 5,280-pound display.
Federal Judge Mryon Thompson ruled last November that the installation of the monument, where it is visible to all visitors to the judicial building, violated the First Amendment of the US Constitution, which provides that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free excercise thereof”.
Normally I’m a strict church-state separationist, but I think there’s room for compromise here. My suggestion is to replace the words of the Biblical Ten Commandments on the monument with the words to the great doo-wop song “The Ten Commandments of Love.” That way Justice Moore will be able to save face by saying the Ten Commandments are indeed on display in the building, while secularists will have nothing to complain about.
I’d like to believe that Justice Moore and Judge Thompson– no matter what their differences on constitutional law– could agree wholeheartedly with the lyrics of the song. In fact after the matter is settled, I’d like to imagine them putting aside their dispute and joining in a karaoke version of the song.