This summer the U.S. Supreme Court will rule on several cases involving the constitutionality of displaying the Ten Commandments on government property. Public opinion is fairly clear on this question: according to a Gallup poll, 76 percent say state governments should be allowed to display the Ten Commandments, and only 21 percent disagree.
If the U.S. Supreme Court prohibits public displays of the Ten Commandments nationwide, all heck may break loose, say some religious conservatives. They predict that the furor would exceed the reaction when a California court ruled that “under God” did not belong in the Pledge of Allegiance.
A national tour of former Alabama judge Roy Moore’s granite monument to the Ten Commandments hit its first snag when atheist protesters confronted it on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., last month.
The graven image of the Ten Commandments, as well as the name of its sponsor, Judge Roy Moore, will a) fade into history or b) get enshrined somewhere in Alabama. But the debates prompted by Moore’s placement of this icon in the Alabama Supreme Court building may continue.
The case of Judge Roy S. Moore, chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, has become the cause célèbre of the Christian right. He has refused to obey an order from a U.S. district judge to remove a display of the Ten Commandments from the rotunda of the state judicial building. Two years ago Moore took it upon himself to install the 5,300-pound granite monument.