Should the "Ten Commandments" judge be punished?

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Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore created a national stir Aug. 23 when he was suspended for ignoring a federal court order to remove a 5,280-lb. granite monument of the Ten Commandments from the Alabama judicial building rotunda. Moore had placed the sculpture, known as "Roy's Rock," there late one night in 2001. Moore may be removed from office, and the judge wants to have his case heard by the U.S. Supreme Court. What do you think? Should Moore be fired from the bench, or is this insufficient grounds for dismissal?

Please limit your response to 80 words or less. The best entries reflecting the balance of opinions expressed will be published on throughout the week.

Some of your responses:

It's interesting that we are over in Iraq insisting on a new government free of religious ties, yet we are not doing the same in our own country. Look at history: We are headed down a dangerous path. Moore has violated the laws he promised to enforce and should be punished accordingly, instead of being excused and hailed as a crusader for religious freedom. The absence of the Ten Commandments in the judicial building doesn't impede anyone's right to practice Christianity. It does, however, force Christianity upon those who have not chosen it. And that is the principle upon which religious freedom is based.
Johanna Homan
Boston, Mass.

One very important question about all this: would Americans stand by and let the Pillars of Islam be engraved in its own monument and placed next to those Ten Commandments? I highly doubt it. America's hypocrisy on the matter of religion is outrageous. And until that changes, religion should remain in our hearts and in our places of worship. So yes, he should be dealt with accordingly by the law. Anyone who "sneaks" the Ten Commandments into the rotunda of a courthouse under the cover of night is not standing up for what he believes in. He's breaking the law and being a coward about it at that.
Antoinette Longstreet
Burlington, N.J.

I think the Founding Fathers are rolling in their graves after the decision to remove the Ten Commandments. The law has been perverted in such a way that the bias is towards the atheist belief. Anyone who reads the Constitution, Declaration of Independence and history of this country knows that our country's foundation is that of a Judeo-Christian ethic. Just because a minority of people want to be free of morals doesn't mean that we all do. Majority, not judges, rules this country.
Bob Montville
Saint Paul, Minn.

The judge in question clearly defied the Constitution of the United States. He has shown that he lacks the ability to act as judge to others on such matters, so at the least he should be removed from his position as judge. Second, anyone who really knows God knows that he will not be found in a large rock. What we witnessed was a bad show.
Winfred Sneed
Riverdale, Ga.

No, for upholding the right of Americans to express their freedom to worship God as guaranteed to each man in the Ten Commandments, he took the position each free American ought to take, and should we lose that courage, we will evenually lose more of those liberties we often take for granted.
Dave Perlmutter
Escondido, Calif.

Aboslutely yes, he should be punished. Our constitution mandates a separation of church and state and it has to be adhered to. Or else what would be next: public stonings for not praying to the federally endorsed religion?
Nelson Martinez
Irving, Texas

I believe that the courts have already decided the issue of the Ten Commandments, being that we do have separation of church and state. Judge Roy Moore, under the cover of night, placing the granite monument in the courthouse, is showing a disregard for the very laws that he has taken an oath to uphold. He should be punished and removed not because of his beliefs, but for the total disregard for the laws and courts that this country was founded on.
Desmond Flanigan
Atlanta, Ga.

Yes. Get rid of it. Get rid of Judge Moore as well. He violated a court order. He foisted his religion on the rest of us. I, for one, am tired of his bully pulpit. More power to the associate justices who did the right thing.
Michael Liebmann
Atlanta, Ga.

I don't know about the rest of you, but if I had put a one-ton piece of granite in a courthouse rotunda in the middle of the night, I would have seen the inside of a jail cell.
Brent Smith
Denver, Colo.

Absolutely not! Judge Roy Moore is not the party at fault in this systematic degradation of our nation's religious foundation. Indeed the parties that should be punished are Judge Thompson [the U.S. district court judge who ordered the monument's removal] and secularists that would abandon the Constitutionally guaranteed freedoms of religious expression and protection of state sovereignty.
Steven G. Poyzer
Canandaigua, N.Y.

He should absolutely be removed from the bench. A man without respect for the law, the order of the court, or millions of Americans who have religious beliefs different than his own is not fit to serve as an arbiter of justice in our legal system.
Sherrie Zhan
Irvine, Calif.

I believe we are looking at the next governor of the State of Alabama — elected with a landslide majority, with very little campaign spending required.
Michele Schrandt
Wichita Falls, Texas

In 1963 Governor Wallace stood in a schoolhouse door to block the integration of Alabama public schools. In 2003 Chief Justice Moore tried to block the removal of a 5,000-lb. Christian pulpit from the rotunda of the Alabama state courthouse. Blinded by their own bigotry and intolerance, both men supported their causes in name of freedom. The rest of us understand that majority rights cannot come at the expense of minority rights. We must strive to build a society that is color-blind and religion-neutral.
Noah Wittman
San Francisco, Calif.

Absolutely not, we need people in this country to stand up for what they believe and not be punished for it. Each side of a controversy deserves to be heard and all laws handed down deserve to be debated.
Connie Evans
Houston, Texas

Roy Moore is a joke. We have serious problems to deal with in this country right now, and we have this media hound. If Roy loves America, he'll find some time to do something constructive. We don't have time for this crap.
Pat Bossman

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