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Graven images

Above the main door of the Cambridge City Hall is a stone bearing these words:

God has given Commandments unto Men. From these Commandments Men have framed Laws by which to be governed. It is honorable and praiseworthy to faithfully serve the people by helping to administer these Laws. If the Laws are not enforced, the People are not well governed.

The asserted motivation behind Roy Moore’s monument to the 10 Commandments was acknowledgement of the law’s moral foundation: namely, the Commandments inscribed on his monument, which are certainly the Commandments referenced in the inscription above.

To the best of my knowledge, there’s been no national outrage about the Cambridge City Hall. One senses a slight dichotomy here.

I think, however, the dichotomy involves the real reasons why Moore’s actions are repugnant. It’s not that Moore’s trying to set religion above the law, because that’s not his real motivation. It’s that Moore is a selfish, greedy, power-motivated man who doesn’t particularly care about God. He cares about using the belief of others to advance his own career. He’s no kind of Christian.

It’s a bad move to allow people of Moore’s ilk to cast this as a fight between atheists and God. You can’t give someone a free ride just because they claim to be religious. The dichotomy only exists if we ignore Moore’s motivations and let him get away with framing the terms of the argument.


  1. For those of us blessed to have passed by most of this particular “news” item, can you say what you read/saw/etc. that makes it clear he’s more career than god focused?

  2. He’s extremely media-focused; he hasn’t done anything with regards to this case without making sure the media is present first. He’s also indicated that he wants to run for Governor of Alabama in the next election, which in and of itself is not entirely indicative, but it’s a piece of the puzzle.

    Slacktivist has an excellent post on the whole thing.

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