Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, whose efforts to install a monument to the Ten Commandments in the rotunda of his state's Judicial Building were thwarted by federal courts, spent a busy Sunday in Houston promoting his cause.
The same courts that ruled against him open their daily sessions with the call, "God save the United States and this honorable court," and swear witnesses in with the phrase "so help me God," Moore told congregants at the 11 a.m. service of Grace Community Church in Clear Lake City.
"But you can't say who God is," he added with irony.
Moore spoke to some 4,500 people in three morning services at the non-denominational church, then addressed what was billed as a 7 p.m. citywide rally in Houston's First Baptist Church.
He received vigorous applause several times at Grace, and a standing ovation when he finished. Then pastor Steve Riggle asked the audience for donations to pay legal fees for an appeal, which Moore said the U.S. Supreme Court could hear in October.
"Make an investment in the future of this nation," Riggle said. "Every single penny you give will go to the legal fund ... Some of you can give thousands," he said.
Afterward, Moore said his visit was educational and not intended as a fund-raiser.
"You can't stop people who want to help," he said.
Any money raised, Moore said, would go to the Foundation for Moral Law in Birmingham, Ala., not to him personally.
And lest I get too smug about Holy Roy and his crusade:
AUSTIN -- Texans might know more about Alabama's Ten Commandments flap at the Southern state's capitol than a similar, but quieter, dispute brewing right here at home.
A Texas-based challenge to a nearly 7-foot-high red granite depiction of God's law on Capitol grounds could become the Ten Commandments case eventually decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Some in the legal community are speculating it could become a test case, clarifying similar lawsuits challenging government displays of the Ten Commandments across the nation, where federal courts have handed down mixed opinions.