Theocrat of the Week
Frederick Clarkson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Sun Apr 15, 2007 at 09:35:31 PM EST
About two years ago, I sustained a series of blog posts I called Theocrat of the Week. I have been thinking about it and have decided to resume the series. Except for this, the first in the new series, I will not cross post it anywhere, and it will be available exclusively at Talk to Action.

In the course of selecting the Theocrat of the Week, I shall consult with a Distinguished Panel of Judges, who will help me discern those individuals who embody the discriminatory, totalitarian and sometimes inquisitional spirit of the theocratic tradition. On occasion, we will also acknowledge those whose modesty may prevent them from acknowledging their role in facilitating the mission of the theocratically inclined. Of course, there are some well-known theocrats who are so obvious, their numbers should have been retired years ago. But since it is spring, a time of refreshment and renewal, nominations for Theocrat of the Week, are now open -- wide open. You may post your nominations here, or send nominations to Our Distinguished Panel of Judges at TheocratOfTheWeek@gmail.com. The winner will be announced next week in this space.  To kick off the series, Our Distinguished Panel of Judges is pleased to announce our first Theocrat of the Week:

Disgraced former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, Roy Moore.!

Mr. Moore, Our Distinguished Panel of Judges note, is so vain, he still calls himself Judge, as do his cult followers, although he was thrown out of office years ago. Shortly after his election as chief, Moore had a 2 1/2 ton monument to the Ten Commandments installed in the state courthouse. A camera crew from televangelist D.James Kennedy's Coral Ridge Ministries was on hand to film the dead of night sneak installation. Kennedy then sold video's to help finance Moore's legal defense. Moore lost at every level, and defied a federal court order to remove the religious monument. This led to his removal from office.

While his contining to use of the title "judge" probably earns him a Theocrat of the Something award every time he uses, it, there are not enough weeks in the year. And so after a review of his columns at World Net Daily, our judges have decided to issue belated Theocrat of the Week recognition for his column of December 13, 2006 because it epitomizes Mr. Moore's distinctive theocratic sensibility. Moore believes that Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) is ineligible for the seat to which he was elected for the sole reason that he is a Muslim. Moore called on Congress to prevent him from being seated.

Mr. Moore bases his claim on two main ideas: One is that because some radical Islamic clerics think being a Muslim is incompatible with being an American Member of Congress, therefore it is. Quoting one of them, Moore declares: "While we certainly disagree with Idris' radical extremism, he at least knows what Islam is all about!" (Funny how Mr.Moore takes the word of an "extremist" who does not know Mr.Ellison over the citizens of Minnesota who do and elected him to the House of Representatives.) Mr. Moore's other argument is an appeal to tradition, since George Washington was sworn in as president on a Bible. This is the part that swung the Distinguished Panel of Judges to Mr. Moore over the many worthy contenders. Mr. Moore was one of those who sought to make an issue out of Ellison having been sworn into office with his hand on the Koran and not the Bible. But there is nothing in the Constitution that requires any religious text at all, let alone a Bible be used when a member of Congress is sworn in. All a Member of Congress has to do is to swear to uphold the Constitution. This, and all matters related to the oath of office, is covered in Article 6 of the Constitution:  

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.
 

The practical effect of this was to ban religious oaths of office, which had been a requirement in a number of colonies prior to the ratification of the Constitution. The banning of religious oaths and tests for public office was the key to setting in motion the disestablishment of the official state churches in a number of colonies -- and inoculating the new nation against their return. Most of the colonies had experienced, and the revolutionary leaders knew well the bigotry and persecution of theocratic governance in the pre-Constitutional period in North America and Europe.

Thomas Jefferson' 1776 (passed in 1786) Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom was a forerunner to the principles of religious equality and non-discrimination that are critical underpinnings of the Constitution and the First Amendment. The bill was explicit, as Jefferson wrote that the bill was intended to protect "the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mohammedan, the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination."

In light of this, it is altogether fitting that Ellison was sworn into office using a Koran owned by Jefferson and borrowed from the Library of Congress. Moore, of course, does not mention that.

It would be difficult to find someone who more closely embodies contemporary theocratic opposition to the clear meaning and intentions of the framers of the Constitution of the United States than Mr. Roy Moore -- our Theocrat of the Week.




Display:
And also please make your nominations for future recognition. It is difficult for Our Distinguished Panel of Judges to sort through the vast number of worthy theocrats.

Please make your nominations here, or send them to TheocratoftheWeek@gmail.com

Your help is much needed, and appreciated.

by Frederick Clarkson on Sun Apr 15, 2007 at 09:42:30 PM EST


Being from Texas, I have noticed that former elected or appointed officials throughout the South revel in being addressed by the title of their highest attained office until their dying day. Judge Moore will no more shed his judgeship, at least in name, than former Texas Attorney Generals, who are normally addressed as "General."
Having said that, kudos to you on selecting a first Theocrat of the Week who combines boundless ambition with invincible ignorance of principles of law one would have thought familiar to him since a mere stripling.

by nogodsnomasters on Sun Apr 15, 2007 at 11:45:30 PM EST
its an affectation that is not unique to the South, however. Ex-Governors, Senators and Presidents from all parts of the country often do this too.

But there is a difference with Moore. Pols who are ousted from office because of violations of the law are rarely so presumptuous. What's more, few others will use the term as a respectful honorific, if the person has disgraced themselves and the office.

Moore casts himself as a martyr to the cause of Christian nationalism, and a lot of people buy it.

by Frederick Clarkson on Mon Apr 16, 2007 at 02:26:22 AM EST
Parent

He and his followers nurse a profound sense of grievance over his ouster. Moore may cling to that "Judge" title harder than anyone else would ever bother.

by nogodsnomasters on Mon Apr 16, 2007 at 03:10:46 PM EST
Parent




WWW Talk To Action


Mike Pence and The Roots of the Right-Wing "Political Correctness" Conspiracy Theory
The term "Political Correctness" was hijacked by right-wing ideologues in the late 1980s to trivialize and disparage concern for basic human rights for people......
By Chip Berlet (1 comment)
Mike Pence in 2006 spearheaded a mean-spirited plan to deport all undocumented immigrants
Many of us know Indiana Governor Mike Pence as a nasty homophobe with a carefully-crafted respectable demeanor. But did you know that In 2006,......
By Chip Berlet (5 comments)
What's Past is Prologue: Dominionism is Still Rising
For a half century, a theocratic political movement has been rising in the U.S.  Like any large, successful movement in history, it has a......
By Frederick Clarkson (4 comments)
For Salon.com readers - On Donald Trump and William S. Lind
For readers clicking on the first link in Paul Rosenberg's Salon.com interview with Bruce Wilson, here is a link to my recent report (first......
By Bruce Wilson (0 comments)
Education For Everyone: In Defense Of `Government Schools'
Over the weekend, The New York Times ran a story about a trend among far-right conservatives in Kansas who call public schools "government schools."The......
By Rob Boston (6 comments)
Southern Churches and July 4th Celebrations
I have noticed a growing trend that is spreading like a prairie wild fire regarding July 4th.  Churches are  celebrating the holiday as never......
By wilkyjr (11 comments)
Bitten By A Tiger: Huckabee Must Pay For Unauthorized Use Of Song
Former Arkansas governor and Religious Right favorite Mike Huckabee has not been having a good year.Huckabee won the Iowa GOP caucus in 2008 and......
By Rob Boston (0 comments)
Trump Meets Man Who Inspired 2011 Terror Attack Deadlier Than Orlando Shooting
"It appears that the shooter was inspired by various extremist information that was disseminated over the internet" -- President Barack Obama, June 13, 2016,......
By Bruce Wilson (2 comments)
Terrorism as a "Marketing Method"
On the same day in 2011 during which he single-handedly blew up and shot to death 77 Norwegian citizens (mostly teenagers) and injured an......
By Bruce Wilson (0 comments)
Let's Can the Name Calling about Islam
President Obama rose to the occasion in the wake of the horror in Orlando. The president made clear in a speech on June 14th......
By Frank Cocozzelli (3 comments)
50 Shades of Patriarchal Grey
In what must be one of the worst public relations disasters in university history, wealthy donors to Baylor University recently took out a full......
By wilkyjr (3 comments)
Pious Proclamation Panned: Iowa's Governor Goes Around The Bend With Bible-Touting Document
Some elected officials have a bad habit of releasing official proclamations lauding the Bible, Christianity or religion generally.We at Americans United find these proclamations......
By Rob Boston (0 comments)
Unreasonable Argument: Sometimes What Everyone Knows Just Isn't So
Over the weekend, a group of atheists, humanists, agnostics and others held a "Reason Rally" in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.Thousands......
By Rob Boston (4 comments)
Above The Law?: Ala. Chief Jurist Demands No Accountability
Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore is in legal hot water again and has no one to blame but himself - but, as usual, he......
By Rob Boston (9 comments)
Thomas More Was No Patron Of Religious Freedom
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is preparing to kick off its annual Fortnight for Freedom. This year the two weeks of......
By Frank Cocozzelli (1 comment)

History of attitudes towards poverty and the churches.
Jesus is said to have stated that "The Poor will always be with you" and some Christians have used that to refuse to try to help the poor, because "they will always be with......
ArchaeoBob (13 comments)
Alternate economy medical treatment
Dogemperor wrote several times about the alternate economy structure that dominionists have built.  Well, it's actually made the news.  Pretty good article, although it doesn't get into how bad people could be (have been)......
ArchaeoBob (1 comment)
Evidence violence is more common than believed
Think I've been making things up about experiencing Christian Terrorism or exaggerating, or that it was an isolated incident?  I suggest you read this article (linked below in body), which is about our great......
ArchaeoBob (5 comments)
Central Florida Sheriff Preached Sermon in Uniform
If anyone has been following the craziness in Polk County Florida, they know that some really strange and troubling things have happened here.  We've had multiple separation of church and state lawsuits going at......
ArchaeoBob (3 comments)
Demon Mammon?
An anthropologist from outer space might be forgiven for concluding that the god of this world is Mammon. (Or, rather, The Market, as depicted by John McMurtry in his book The Cancer Stage of......
daerie (2 comments)
Anti-Sharia Fever in Texas: This is How It Starts
The mayor of a mid-size Texan city has emerged in recent months as the newest face of Islamophobia. Aligning herself with extremists hostile to Islam, Mayor Beth Van Duyne of Irving, Texas has helped......
JSanford (3 comments)
Evangelicals Seduced By Ayn Rand Worship Crypto-Satanism, Suggest Scholars
[update: also see my closely related stories, "Crypto-Cultists" and "Cranks": The Video Paul Ryan Hoped Would Go Away, and The Paul Ryan/Ayn Rand/Satanism Connection Made Simple] "I give people Ayn Rand with trappings" -......
Bruce Wilson (10 comments)
Ted Cruz Anointed By Pastor Who Says Jesus Opposed Minimum Wage, and Constitution Based on the Bible
In the video below, from a July 19-20th, 2013 pastor's rally at a Marriott Hotel in Des Moines, Iowa, Tea Party potentate Ted Cruz is blessed by religious right leader David Barton, who claims......
Bruce Wilson (0 comments)
Galt and God: Ayn Randians and Christian Rightists Expand Ties
Ayn Rand's followers find themselves sharing a lot of common ground with the Christian Right these days. The Tea Party, with its stress on righteous liberty and a robust form of capitalism, has been......
JSanford (9 comments)
Witchhunts in Africa and the U.S.A.
Nigerian human rights activist Leo Igwe has recently written at least two blog posts about how some African Pentecostal churches are sending missionaries to Europe and the U.S.A. in an attempt to "re-evangelize the......
Diane Vera (2 comments)
Charles Taze Russell and John Hagee
No doubt exists that Texas mega-church Pastor John Hagee would be loathe to be associated with the theology of Pastor C.T. Russell (wrongly credited with founding the Jehovah's Witnesses) but their theological orbits, while......
COinMS (3 comments)
A death among the common people ... imagination.
Or maybe my title would better fit as “Laws, Books, where to find, and the people who trust them.”What a society we've become!The wise ones tell us over and over how the more things......
Arthur Ruger (8 comments)
Deconstructing the Dominionists, Part VI
This is part 6 of a series by guest front pager Mahanoy, originally dated November 15, 2007 which I had to delete and repost for technical reasons. It is referred to in this post,......
Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
Republican infighting in Mississippi
After a bruising GOP runoff election for U.S. Senator, current MS Senator Thad Cochran has retained his position and will face Travis Childers (Democrat) in the next senate election. The MS GOP is fractured......
COinMS (2 comments)
America's Most Convenient Bank® refuses to serve Christians
Representatives of a well known faith-based charitable organization were refused a New Jersey bank’s notarization service by an atheist employee. After inquiring about the nature of the non-profit organization and the documents requiring......
Jody Lane (13 comments)

More Diaries...




All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.