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Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Roy Moore will be the downfall of the GOP

I remember first hearing about Roy Moore a few years ago. For those who don't remember, Judge Roy Moore was elected Chief Justice of Alabama back in 2000 and was removed from office in 2003 for refusing to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the state judicial building. I think many people would have felt that Moore was admirable for standing up for what he believed, even if they disagreed with the public display of the Ten Commandments. Then the full story came out.

It appears that Moore was not a mild-mannered person who just happened to be the right (wrong?) place at the right time. Moore had gone looking for a fight. Under cover of darkness, Moore had the monument installed at the state judicial building and videotaped the proceedings.

I also assumed that this monument had been at the judicial building for years and was the usual unassuming sort of thing that one sees in courthouses. Then I found out that Moore had commissioned a company for the express purpose of creating the 5,300 lb. monument that was placed in the middle of the central rotunda.

Roy Moore has since become somewhat of a folk hero among conservatives and particularly conservative Christians. And now Moore has announced his intentions to run for governor of Alabama as a Republican against current governor, Bob Riley.

I believe that Roy Moore represents a potential disaster for the GOP. Most people in this country generally sympathize with those who are persecuted or ostracized for their faith. However, Moore is no victim here; he is a provocateur and an agitator. This isn't necessarily a bad thing except for the fact that Moore is a Christian. While Christians are called to speak truth, we are admonished even more so to show love and to act with humility.

Because of Moore's outlandish actions, he threatens to undermine those who truly are persecuted for their beliefs. Many people in this country can sympathize with the concern that social conservatives have for the coarsening of our society. But Roy Moore represents an overreaching of social conservatives. And he represents a face of social conservatism that most in this country reject, including myself.

(Check out this outstanding story about Moore in the latest Atlantic Monthly)

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