- (Photo: Reuters/Tami Chappell)
Alabama's Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore is receiving some criticism over recent comments in which he suggested the First Amendment only applies to Christians because it mentions a "creator God."
Moore made his comments earlier this year at the Pastors-for-Life luncheon hosted by the Pro-Life Mississippi group, although a video of his speech was only recently uploaded to YouTube on May 5. In the video, Moore discusses the U.S. Constitution, political-correctness and the pro-life movement, among other topics.
When Moore brings up the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment, he suggests that the clause only applies to Christians because it names a "creator God."
"Everybody, to include the U.S. Supreme Court, has been deceived as to one little word in the First Amendment called 'religion' - they can't define it!" Moore said.
"They can't define it the way Mason, Madison and even the United State Supreme Court defined it, 'the duties we owe to the creator and the manner of discharging it,'" the chief justice continued, citing James Madison's Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments.
"They don't want to do that, because that acknowledges a creator God. Buddha didn't create us. Mohammed didn't create us. It's the God of the Holy Scriptures."
"They didn't bring a Koran over on the Pilgrim ship, the Mayflower," Moore continued. "Let's get real. Let's go back and learn our history. Let's stop playing games."
Moore went on to say that it isn't considered to be "politically correct" when discussing God in law, because "we've been divorced from God for so many years." The chief justice also said he's releasing a pamphlet in the coming weeks entitled "One Nation, Under God" that includes the U.S. Constitution, the Declaration of Independence and George Washington's Farewell Address to show "black, white, all people, all religions, all faiths," that America was "about God."
Moore has received some criticism for his comments regarding the First Amendment, with the American Civil Liberties Union releasing a statement calling the chief justice's words "sorely misguided."
"Chief Justice Roy Moore is sorely misguided in his belief that the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution only applies to Christians. It applies to everyone, regardless of his or her religious belief or non-belief," ACLU of Alabama's Executive Director, Susan Watson, said in a statement.
"We are a diverse country and diverse state. We urge Governor [Robert] Bentley to ensure that all Alabamians are treated equally before the law."
Moore previously stirred controversy when, as the state's chief justice in 2003, he refused the orders of a federal judge to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the Alabama Judicial Building. He was removed from his post as Chief Justice, and then re-installed to the position in 2013.