The purpose of Our Conscience weblog is to facilitate a greater discussion and understanding of church and state separation in our community and in others. Underlying this is the value that each individual should be allowed to follow the dictates of his or her own conscience without influence, coercion, or direction from the State when it comes to matters of religion.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Eufaula Tribune: Justice Moore to Associate Justice, your going to Hell!

Our Conscience

Then Chief Justice Moore, away from Montgomery on a family matter, was furious when he phoned Justice Houston. Houston and the other associate justices had signed an order calling for the removal of Moore's 5,200 pound Ten Commandments monument from the public areas of the court building. The order followed Moore's repeated refusal to comply with a federal court order demanding the monument be moved.

"Our order directed the building manager to remove the monument from the public areas of the Judicial Building as soon as possible so as to comply with the outstanding injunction," Houston writes in "The Monument in the Judicial Building," a paper released to The Tribune recently.

Moore, according to Houston's account, not only berated him for complying with the federal court order. He told him he was going to hell.

"He told me that I was going to be punished," Houston writes. "He said that I did not know what I had done; that I had covered God. I was speechless because of what I was accused of having done."

(Moore later denied making such statements in an interview with The Birmingham News.)

Houston, who became Moore's foil in the dramatic Ten Commandments monument controversy and was even called "Judas" by one out-of-state preacher, said he hasn't talked with Moore since.

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