All have the right to own opinions

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 20, 2003

I know the topic has been run into the ground, and perhaps I'm only drawing more attention to the three-ring circus created by former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore; but when I received a phone call from an individual telling me how to think on the matter, I couldn't shy away from the issue.

I immediately noticed a correlation between the phone call (the caller will remain anonymous) and the two-and-a-half ton monument when it was first introduced, or should I say sneaked into the judiciary building in the first place nearly two years ago.

Let me analyze this action before I proceed further. Why would Moore, without the foreknowledge of his contemporaries and colleagues, smuggle the monument right into the middle of the highly-visible rotunda? Common sense leads me to believe he had other intentions with the monument than to merely "unveil" it to the public. "Impose" is a better way of describing the way in which he handled the situation, because anyone who might have had objections to the monument being there had no say-so until motions were filed from the Southern Poverty Law Center. But to be fair to "Ol' Roy," he should have never been in office in the first place.

I vehemently oppose electing a Supreme Court Justice, let alone the Chief Justice. First of all, where and why do politics collide with the highest court of the state? We have laws in Alabama specifically prohibiting other judges from discussing ongoing cases with the media - they tend to stay out of the "lime light." And other judges aren't elected, they're appointed based on performance and merit. The nine judges on the Court of the Judiciary, the group which ousted Moore, were never elected. They were recognized for doing a good job upholding the law, and I commend the SPLC for protecting the rights of minorities - the same minorities who were so wrongfully persecuted by the public through hate crimes and other random acts of violence following 9/11 - not just in Alabama, but across the country.

Moore only further proved his intentions were inclusive of rallying and provoking protests from the public because of his refusal to obey a court order - the same court he swore to protect and uphold. He voided his oath, and some might even say he lied to God through those actions. What's worse, he set a despicable example for people to follow. To place oneself above the law - or to take the law into one's own hands. Moore may be already considered a martyr by many, but I don't see anything even remotely admirable in judging others for breaking the law, then breaking the law himself and claiming he did nothing wrong.

But let me return to the phone call. Just as the overbearing "Law of God" granite monument imposed beliefs on those who are non-Christian because of its location, I resented the phone call for imposing a set of beliefs on me. I make it a point not to preach to people, but instead to base my opinion on facts and the whole picture. That includes minorities, because they deserve as much rights as any other American, regardless of the majority opinion. I actually like to be challenged on my stance, but not offended. I don't call someone else's opinion wrong, nor do I try to convert an outside opinion not in agreement with my own. I simply state my reasons, and I would appreciate the same respect I give others.