'Moore' Religion In Government?

The Supreme Court ruling that the Ten Commandments can be displayed on public property in some cases, but not others, brings to mind former Alabama Judge Roy Moore, who installed a huge replica of the Ten Commandments in the lobby of the Alabama Supreme Court.

A federal court ordered it removed and the state judicial ethics panel later removed Moore from the bench. But he has been anything but silent about it. CBS News Correspondent Bob McNamara has the story, which is the first in a new series on religion and politics called "The American Spirit."



Chief Justice Roy Moore is the hero of the Christian right. The judge whose Ten Commandments monument was ordered out of Alabama's state judicial building, and who was forced to resign from the state Supreme Court.

"We've been deceived by a government that tells us we can't worship God," Moore said.

On tour in Nashville, the monument is now a backdrop for autographs and adulation as Moore promotes his book to a national Baptist convention.

"Your honor, consider running for president," one book buyer said to Moore.

From the two-year saga over his two-ton granite rock, Moore has quarried a widespread fundamentalist following in Alabama that could see him make a run for governor next year.

"I'm still praying about it," Moore said. "I've got other things to do and haven't made a firm decision yet."

The appearance of bumper stickers and billboards have brought comparisons of Moore with another who defied the federal government, George C. Wallace.

Long-time Alabama Governor Wallace became infamous for trying to block integration at the University of Alabama.

"George Wallace stood for segregation. He stood against the law. What I'm standing for is part of the law that says all men are created equal, because they're created, because there is a God," Moore said.

"I think that Roy Moore has gotten a lot more mileage out of the Ten Commandments than Moses ever did," Columnist Bob Ingram said.

Ingram has covered Alabama politics for decades and believes Roy Moore's support is more religious than political.

"I don't see him being a major threat for governor, even though I fully expect him to run," Ingram said.

The prospect of a "Governor Roy Moore" doesn't rest well with advocates for separation of church and state.

"He'd like to create a theocracy — a government run along narrow religious lines and to make non-Christians feel like second-class citizens," said Rev. Barry Lynn.

But for the moment, Moore is basking in the attention. He says he may decide by fall on a run for Governor — a decision expected to be based in large part on whether he has faith in Alabama voters to make their ballot their fundamental belief.

  • Christine Lagorio

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