Selmians ‘don’t see the big deal’

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 7, 2003

Selmians voiced cautious support for Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore in the wake of a federal judge’s ruling Tuesday ordering the monument’s removal from the state judicial building.

Local attorney Michael Jackson said he tended toward conservatism in his political outlook and would like to see prayer back in public schools.

Jackson added, though, that Moore may have mishandled the installation of the monument. Moore had the monument moved into the rotunda in the middle of the night on July 31, 2001.

Instead of being out front, Jackson said the monument should have been placed somewhere inside the building. People wanting to view the monument could actively seek it out. &uot;But it shouldn’t have been there right in the front,&uot; Jackson added.

Jackson said that both groups involved in the legal struggle have spent thousands of dollars at a time when Alabama had more pressing problems to deal with, such as the upcoming Sept. 9 vote on Gov. Bob Riley’s tax package.

Fourth Judicial Circuit District Attorney Ed Greene said if the monument’s installation had been more subdued, the aftermath might not have been as contentious. &uot;I don’t understand why it’s such a huge, huge deal,&uot; Greene said.

Greene said he understood the theory of separation of church and state, but noted that the Ten Commandments is of ancient origin and should be acceptable anywhere.

Lee Goodwin, associate minister of Second Baptist Church said he had no problem with the monument in a public building. &uot;I don’t know how these people deal with money,&uot; Goodwin said of the monument’s opponents. &uot;You can’t pick up money without it saying, ‘In God we trust.’&uot;

Goodwin added that Moore cast a shadow over the issue because of his method of installing the monument. &uot;As far as where it is, though, I have no problem with it,&uot; he added.