Atheist Alabama Judge to State’s Chief Justice: I Can’t Find God’s Signature on the Constitution

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA — Last week, Alabama’s Chief Justice of its state Supreme Court argued that he should be allowed to deny gay couples a marriage license because in his reasoning, the states that had their gay marriage bans challenged in the United States Supreme Court should have been the only ones impacted by the Obergefell decision that last summer made marriage equality the law of the land in all 50 states. Justice Roy Moore has once before tried to circumvent the high court’s ruling on same sex marriage and backed away from his challenge, but there is no indication if he will do so again.

While the legal groundwork that Moore’s argument rests on is tenuous at best — it would mean that decisions like the one that made interracial marriage legal in all 50 states would be invalid — one lower circuit judge in the state feels that Moore’s past comments on God’s role in the founding of the country and its laws gives all the insight one needs to divine his true intent. Justice Sherry Billings of Alabama’s third circuit gave the media quotes from an interview Moore did wherein he said that the United States “is a Christian nation by the fact that 90% of the churches in America are Christian churches” and Moore said that the country was “certainly founded upon Christian principles” as evidence that he is using a religious litmus test and, Billings said, that has her quite concerned.

“I’m an atheist, in the interest of full-disclosure,” Billings told us, “but I’d have the same misgivings if I was a Christian and some atheist was saying that because they didn’t believe in God that someone shouldn’t have the right to marry in their state if they do. This country was founded on the freedom of religion, which kind of means that no one single religion should be given preference over another.” However, Billings said, it’s clear to her that Chief Justice Moore doesn’t feel the same way.



Billings said just to be sure that she wasn’t off base in her belief that the United States is a secular nation, she took a special trip to Washington, D.C. and got special access to the original Constitution that is stored in the National Archives. “I scoured that document from top to tail,” she told us, “and no matter where I looked, I couldn’t find a single scribble or scratch that looked like God’s John Hancock.”

“As far as I can tell, the Constitution has about 7, 500 words in it,” Billings told us, “and of those 7,500 words do you know how many are God,” she asked before telling us, “none.” She said that the only mention of religion is in the First Amendment when it says that Congress shall pass no law that favors one religion or the other, but that outside of that she can’t find any specific or implied references to God or Christianity.

Judge Billings said that therefore, in her mind, the lack of mentioning of God in the country’s founding documents “blows a massive hole in Justice Moore’s reasoning.”
“He, nor anyone else, cannot legitimately claim that this nation is anything but a secular one,” Billings said as she was ending the interview, “because any church or religion that was in power when the Constitution was written would have insisted that their group get special treatment. The First Amendment is as clear a rebuke of that silly notion as one can find. Does that mean Justice Moore and his ilk will listen and understand? Of course not. But the rest of us should be armed with this knowledge so that when the crazy ideas are presented we can bat them away as quickly as possible.”


Follow James on Twitter @JamboSchlarmbo.

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About James Schlarmann 1696 Articles
James is the founding contributor and editor-in-chief of The Political Garbage Chute, a political satire and commentary site, which can be found on Facebook as well. You definitely should not give that much a shit about his opinions.
  • RonM64740

    I was going to post a comment on FB about Justice Billings’ mistake in implying that John Hancock signed the U.S. Constitution, and how that silly mistake eroded what would otherwise have been a sound argument.

    But then I thought how odd it was that a judge — even an Alabama judge — wouldn’t know this basic fact about American history. As it turns out, Alabama’s third circuit is presided over not by “Justice Sherry Billings,” but by L. Bernard Smithart — and he’s a Judge, not a Justice.

    ….. and I can find no reference to “Alabama Justice (or Judge) Sherry Billings” anywhere on the internet, except in this one article.

    If the “Political Garbage Chute” is supposed to be a “political satire and commentary” site, contributors and editors should know that satire is NOT the same as simply telling lies and making shit up. It’s an important art form, and deserves much better than what you are bringing to it.

    • ratagonia

      I applaud the Chute’s use of a made-up name for an atheist judge in Alabama. If they had slandered an actual person by calling them an atheist, that person would likely now be Strange Fruit.

  • Frank Atkisson

    Absolutely agreed. Declarations that this is a Christian nation founded on biblical law are the lies some keep trying to tell until they become revised truth.

    We can’t let that happen. We’ve already seen what theocracy does with power in the world.

    Don’t need more of that.

  • XaurreauX

    This is a satire article, but the point is well made.

    • Lmaris

      Except any judge who is making supposedly factual statements about the US Constitution would now that the First Amendment is NOT the onlly mention of religion in the text.

      Article VI in its final paragraph says: “The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”

  • Josh Davis

    This isn’t “satire”. Inventing a Mary Sue character and inserting your words into her mouth in a fake news story is not satire. A work has to have irony and/or sarcasm to be considered satire. Words have meanings, people. We’re trying to have a language here.

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