At the Nashville Teabagger Convention in February, Sarah Palin will be joined on stage by numerous religious authoritarians. One of them is Judge Roy Moore. The American Prospect today offers a bit of telling background on this lovely man, and it makes you want to ask, “What do the Teabaggers mean when they use the word ‘freedom’ and embrace a person like Moore?”:
Roy Moore, a hero of the Christian right just a few years ago, also has much to gain by joining forces with the tea-party movement. In 2003 Moore, then-chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, installed a 2.6-ton granite Ten Commandments monument in the judicial building. After defying another judge’s order to remove it, he was stripped of his position, a martyrdom that turned him into a conservative folk hero. But Moore’s attempt to parlay his cult status into public office was a debacle; he challenged the state’s governor in the Republican primary but lost overwhelmingly.
As mainstream evangelical leaders like Rick Warren and Joel Osteen cultivated a kinder, gentler image, Moore’s fierce, punitive moralism came to seem like a throwback. This is a man, after all, whose judicial opinions seem to sanction the execution of gay people. In a 2002 decision awarding custody of three children to their allegedly abusive father over their lesbian mother, he wrote that homosexuality is “abhorrent, immoral, detestable, a crime against nature, and a violation of the laws of nature and of nature’s God upon which this Nation and our laws are predicated.” The state, he wrote, “carries the power of the sword, that is, the power to prohibit conduct with physical penalties, such as confinement and even execution. It must use that power to prevent the subversion of children towards this lifestyle, to not encourage a criminal lifestyle.”
Remember, this is someone who will be speaking at the Nashville Teabagger Convention, not just sitting in the audience.