Missourians rally at State Capitol, To show support for Judge Moore, Disdain for ‘imperial’ judge
By Allen Palmeri
December 2, 2003
JEFFERSON CITY – The grassroots political/religious movement that is emerging around former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore rolled into Jefferson City Nov. 22 in the form of a Ten Commandments Faith & Freedom Petition Rally inside the State Capitol.
Moore was removed Nov. 13 for defying a federal judge’s order to move a Ten Commandments monument from the rotunda of the state judicial building. The Jefferson City rally, one of 48 held at state capitols throughout the nation Nov. 22, was organized by the St. Louis-based National Coalition to Restore the Constitution (NCRC) and is part of a growing movement supportive of Moore and his views on religion in the public arena.
Organizers estimated between 800 and 1,000 Missourians filled the three floors of the State Capitol’s cavernous rotunda to drum-up support for a national petition calling for religious liberty and for Congress to limit the power of federal judges muzzling religious expressions in public. The NCRC has launched a web site promoting the petition. It can be viewed at http://www.restoretheconstitution.org
At times the rally resembled a church service. Songs like “Victory in Jesus" and “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus" echoed through the halls of the chamber. Some worshippers closed their eyes and raised their hands.
“The start of a movement is a great time," said Eric Ecklow, a St. Louis attorney who spoke at the rally. “It’s filled with energy. It’s filled with clarity. It’s filled with a vision for the future. What’s going to be even more exciting is when it starts spreading out so that there’s not 500 or 1,000 people here but 10,000. I believe that will happen, because God still has work to do with this nation."
Missourians signed a petition supporting Judge Moore in his effort to pass legislation under Article III of the U.S. Constitution that would limit the jurisdiction of the lower federal courts as well as the appellate courts on matters of religious freedom. When Congress convenes in January, Judge Moore plans on revealing more details of his proposed legislation.
Former Missouri Chief Justice John Holstein, a member of Second Baptist Church, Springfield, said Moore did nothing that warranted his removal from his elected post of Alabama chief justice. Moore had a right to take his stand on the Alabama Constitution, which allows a judge to acknowledge God, Holstein said.
“That is his constitutional right, to disagree with federal judges and to articulate his faith," he added.
It’s clear to see that American citizens are outraged by the recent spate of liberal judicial activism, according to Rodney Albert, chairman of the Christian Life Commission of the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) and pastor of Hallsville Baptist Church. Handmade signs at the rally featured such messages as “Stop Judicial Tyranny" and “Restore Judge Moore." One speaker called Moore a modern-day Daniel.
“I think this is already a grassroots movement," Albert said. “He (Judge Moore) has simply tapped into something that’s already out there.
“We need an all-out assault on judicial abuse. We need a grassroots movement that communicates clearly to the judiciary that we are fed up with the perversion of constitutional law."
Ecklow said the beauty of this newborn movement is that it can be summarized quite succinctly. First, he said people are realizing that the Constitution is a Christian document for a Christian nation, and that we need to return to it. The second realization is a sobering one: we are in a war.
“Our political foes are not fighting for a separation of church and state," he said. “They’re fighting to impose a secular humanist religion on us. It’s the wakening to both of those principles that has energized a group of people like nothing else in political movements in preceding decades."
A Nov. 18 Massachusetts Supreme Court ruling legalizing homosexual “marriage" simply added fuel to the fire, said Albert, who called the ruling “pure legislation." An imperial judiciary is careening out of control as it subverts the will of the people in cases like Judge Moore’s as well as the Massachusetts ruling, Albert said.
On a national level, James Dobson of Focus on the Family has called the movement’s foe “an unelected, unaccountable, arrogant, imperious judiciary that is appointed for life and is determined to make all of us dance to their music."
Activist judges have managed to create the ultimate “victim" in Moore , who is viewed by the masses as a leader with courage, Ecklund said.
“It’s a lesson to us all that there is no greater way to mobilize people than to put yourself at the front of the line and to suffer for what you believe in," Ecklund said. “That’s the way Christ led us all, with an example of suffering. Judge Moore has shown another example of suffering."