Why Secular Advocates Say Alabama GOP Senate Pick Is Dangerous

Sep 28, 2017

By Antonia Blumberg

Controversial former judge Roy Moore won Alabama’s Republican Senate nomination on Tuesday over incumbent Luther Strange. The only thing between Moore and the Senate now is the Dec. 12 special election against Democrat Doug Jones, whose odds in the solidly red state are decidedly low.

Moore was twice suspended from court as chief justice of Alabama for putting his religious views before his duty to uphold the law of land ― first for refusing to remove a 2.6-ton Ten Commandments monument from the state Supreme Court building in 2003, and again in 2016 for telling judges to defy a federal ruling on same-sex marriage.

And yet a man who has said “homosexual conduct should be illegal” and who recently called Islam a “false religion” could soon fill the Senate seat vacated by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The former judge’s unabashed religious views and apparent disregard for the legal establishment have won hearts in the overwhelmingly Christian Alabama. But they have also raised a red flag for secular advocates who work to uphold the separation of church and state.

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One comment on “Why Secular Advocates Say Alabama GOP Senate Pick Is Dangerous”

  • Some of Trump’s chickens are already coming home to roost, as his officials – chosen for their rebellious attitudes against, and disregard of, rules and regulations, manifests itself as they spend taxpayers’ money emulating Trump’s profligate jet-setting life-stile!


    Ryan Zinke: US interior secretary ‘spent $12,000 on flight’

    A row over Trump administration officials’ use of charter flights for business trips has deepened amid reports of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s use of the costly option.

    Mr Zinke flew from Las Vegas to Montana last June on a private jet that cost taxpayers more than $12,000, according to Politico and the Washington Post.

    Earlier, Health Secretary Tom Price apologised for his private plane trips.

    He said he would reimburse taxpayers and fly commercial in future.

    An investigation by Politico found Mr Price had taken at least 24 private flights since early May at a cost to taxpayers of $300,000 (£223,000).

    President Donald Trump had said he was “not happy” with Mr Price’s travel costs.

    Anthony Zurcher, BBC News, Washington

    Now that the Price-tag for the health secretary’s private air travel has passed the million-dollar mark – with reports that other administration officials have a similar penchant for the Learjet lifestyle – the issue is metastisising from embarrassing to full-blown scandal.

    The reason this story particularly damages the White House is it cuts against one of Donald Trump’s strengths and key campaign promises – that he has the business acumen to rein in runaway government spending, waste and abuse.

    What’s more, Mr Prince and EPA head Scott Pruitt have proposed drastic cuts to the budgets they oversee.
    For them to drop big dollars to avoid elbow-rubbing with the masses makes for painful headlines and fosters resentment within government ranks.

    Mr Price’s promise to pay for the cost of “his seat” on those flights is already being decried as not good enough. It’s the equivalent of buying an aged porterhouse steak on the federal dime and reimbursing for a hot dog.

    At some point, lest the White House appear responsible for creating a culture of profligacy, the president is going to have to do more than express dissatisfaction over these revelations. He will have to take action.

    As well as the Vegas-Montana trip – a route served by commercial flights – Mr Zinke is also reported to have used private jets between St Croix and St Thomas in the US Virgin Islands in March, and a military aircraft to travel to Norway in May.

    US government officials are expected to take commercial flights for work-related travel, unless they are dealing with national security matters.

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