Back in 2003, Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore became a hero in the eyes of many Religious Right activists when he defied a court ruling to remove a Ten Commandments monument that he installed in Alabama Supreme Court building's rotunda. After defying a federal court's ruling to move the monument out of the courthouse, Moore was eventually removed from his position by the state's court of the judiciary, only to return to his old post nearly 10 years later after winning the 2012 election.
Now, Moore is back in the national spotlight thanks to his demand that state judges refuse to abide by a federal court ruling striking down the state's ban on same-sex marriage. And, once again, right-wing activists are rallying to Moore’s defense, endorsing his claim that state sovereignty and his personal reading of the Bible trump the authority of the federal courts.
Leading anti-gay groups including the National Organization for Marriage and the Family Research Council have defended Moore, portraying his standoff with the federal judiciary as the latest example in their increasingly absurd victimization narrative. As they see it, Moore is facing unfair treatment because of his deeply-held religious beliefs and is taking a courageous stance against judicial overreach... and Satan.
Here are five of the ways that right-wing activists are defending Moore's anti-gay campaign:
5) Roy Moore Is Just Like Martin Luther King, Jr.
American Family Radio’s Bryan Fischer is upset that some critics have compared Moore to the Southern leaders who openly defied federal laws and court orders during the civil rights era. Fischer, for his part, thinks that Moore is more like civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.
Seeing that Fischer believes that gay rights laws have put "Jim Crow laws right back in operation" for Christians, it was only a matter of time before he argued that Moore is actually acting like King by "waging the civil rights battle of this decade."
The federal judge in the marriage case, according to Fischer, is the one "standing in the doorway" like Alabama Gov. George Wallace and following in the footsteps of Jim Crow supporters.
4) Roy Moore Is Just Like The Apostle Paul
After interviewing Moore on her radio program, American Family Association governmental affairs director Sandy Rios said that "Justice Moore in Alabama is standing on solid ground" while "the other justices around the country and attorneys general who have rushed to accommodate these federal judges have been out of line in doing that."
Rios added that "if the law contradicts something God has said in scripture" then people should "disobey the law."
"You may, like Justice Moore, lose your job, you may, like [the Apostle] Paul, lose your life," she said. "Some people may not like the way Justice Moore has done this but I admire any man who follows God, who is willing to give up things very precious to him in order to take a stand."
3) Roy Moore Is Stopping Satan In His Tracks
Cindy Jacobs, a self-proclaimed prophet, said God told her that Alabama will become a beacon of light to the nation that will stop Satan's control over the judiciary.
Jacobs proclaimed: "God says, 'There will be an anointing come out of Alabama that is going to reserve the judicial activism that has been in this nation,' says God. 'I am going to give weight to your voice, I am going to give strength to your voice, I say Alabama will be a first fruit state that will be a bastion that will begin to undo the agendas to take the values of Jesus Christ out of this nation,' God says. 'And I'm going to use Alabama to reverse what Satan has done and it will tip the nation.'"
2) Roy Moore Is Stopping Non-Existent Hate Speech Laws
The right-wing legal group Liberty Counsel has praised Moore and pledged to "aggressively defend" any Alabama judge who follows his orders to refuse marriage licenses to same-sex couples. These judges, Liberty Counsel chairman Mat Staver wrote in an email to supporters, are facing "an all-out assault from radical homosexual organizations, which are threatening and demonizing these law-abiding judges.”
Although Staver told supporters last week that Liberty Counsel had “filed suit to have same-sex 'marriages' [in Alabama] cease until the United States Supreme Court rules on the issue early this summer," he told a conservative radio network just a day earlier that he thinks the state "does not have to obey" any Supreme Court decision that favors marriage equality.
Staver even claimed that Moore is preventing Alabama from following in the footsteps of states where "Christians and people of faith and values have been silenced through ‘hate speech’ laws."
Of course, laws prohibiting hate speech are unconstitutional and do not exist anywhere in America.
1) Roy Moore Stopping God's Wrath
The Alabama Republican Party is thrilled that Moore is flouting federal courts. Its chairman, Bill Armistead, wrote on the state party website that Moore's actions may fend off divine wrath:
So, how is it that God’s truth can be turned on its head as the debate now rages in Alabama regarding the meaning of marriage? The answer is that we, as a society, have become our own god. We have made God in our image. But, God will not be mocked. The State of Alabama and the United States of America will reap God’s wrath if we embrace and condone things that are abhorrent to God, such as redefining marriage as anything other than a union between one man and one woman.