Travesty unfolds in Alabama

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 5, 2003

For two weeks now, I’ve watched and read news reports of a travesty taking place in Alabama. It is history repeating itself.

A federal judge in Alabama ordered the two-ton Ten Commandments monument, which has graced the rotunda of the Alabama Judicial Building for the past two years, to be locked away in a room where it will &uot;offend no one.&uot; This reminds me of others who long ago caused Jesus to be locked away behind another rock.

The Ten Commandments sculpture may be hidden from public view in that judicial building, but supporters of Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore do not intend to give up the fight. And, neither do I.

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&uot;It is a sad day for Alabama,&uot; said John Giles, spokesman for the Christian Coalition of Alabama. &uot;The good news is the monument is still in the building and we are calling on America to come to Alabama to stand with us.&uot;

Those sentiments were also echoed by the man at the center of the controversy, Justice Moore, who originally had the monument put in the building.

&uot;It’s a sad day in our country when the moral foundation of our laws and the acknowledgement of God has to be hidden from public view to appease a federal judge,&uot; he said Wednesday.

The American people seem to agree. A new poll by CNN, USA Today and Gallup finds that 77 percent of Americans do not approve of the federal court order that removed the Ten Commandments.

Count me in that 77 percent. I find it absolutely abhorrent that the 5,300-pound stone was wheeled into an empty room at the judicial building, out of the public’s eye and locked away to prevent it from ever again being seen.

Even though I’m a wordsmith, I seldom express my personal opinions in print. But I feel compelled to address this devastating topic.

First of all, they locked away the monument to avoid offending a minority of people in this nation, where, theoretically the majority rules. I’ve never claimed to totally understand government or politics, however, I do know that the words: &uot;separation&uot;, &uot;church&uot;, and &uot;state&uot; do not even appear in the first amendment. The first amendment reads, &uot;Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…&uot; Now, to me, that indicates that the federal judge had no right to remove the stone from view.

I am a person who believes in and struggles daily to live according to God’s Commandments – not God’s suggestions. I read the Bible religiously and I do remember the red-lettered words of Jesus Christ in Luke 19:29-44.

In that scripture, Jesus was descending the Mount of Olives amid a &uot;multitude of disciples&uot; who were praising and rejoicing at seeing the man about whom they’d heard so much.

When this happened, the Pharisees – those gentlemen who made sure everyone adhered to strict Roman law – began to admonish the followers of Jesus as they shouted his name on high.

Jesus, often referred to as our rock, responded by warning the Pharisees that their enemies would conquer them because they failed to recognize him, even though he was directly in front of them. He also told them that even if his disciples were to stop praising and rejoicing in his name, &uot;the stones would immediately cry out.&uot;

And that brings me right back to that slab of rock in hidden away in Alabama.

It cries out from behind that locked door to all Christians, demanding its immediate release. Remember, too, that our Rock, our Lord Jesus Christ, was also locked away in a dark place, supposedly never to be seen or heard from again. Just as they couldn’t hold Jesus in that dark tomb, I don’t believe the Ten Commandments monument will remain hidden from sight.

I believe that God will clear the way for it to be brought back into the light for all people to see. I have no idea how He will do it, but I believe that Justice Moore is right to battle for his right to religious freedom.

After all, Thomas Jefferson said, &uot;I contemplate with solemn reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…&uot; Pardon me, but does that not say that we are free to exercise our religious freedoms?

The actions in Alabama are just one more attack on the morals of this nation, a nation whose foundation is rooted in faith in God.

What will happen next if these crazy attempts to remove God from this nation continue? Will all churches in this country will have to remove the cross from their steeples, the stained glass depictions of Christ from their windows, and the church news will be stricken from this and other publications? Will I have to hide the Bible I keep in plain sight on my desk?

As Christians, many of us have been silent far too long, voicing our complaints about immorality but never really taking any action. I humbly ask each of you reading and believing in this column to drop to your knees and pray.

Pray for this nation, our leaders, and pray especially for that federal judge in Alabama. Can you imagine the ire he must have provoked in our God?

Barbara Allen is a staff writer for the News-Herald. You can reach her at 934-9617, or at