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'America the Beautiful' by Judge Roy Moore - Urban Legends

'America the Beautiful,' a Poem by Judge Roy Moore


Circulating via forwarded email and social media: 'America the Beautiful,' a caustic poem about the nation's moral decline attributed to Judge Roy Moore of Alabama.

Description: Viral text / Forwarded email
Circulating since: 1997
Status: Authentic (more or less)

Email example contributed by Janice E., Nov. 29, 2003:

The following is a poem written by Judge Roy Moore from Alabama. Judge Moore was recently sued by the ACLU for displaying the Ten Commandments his courtroom.


America the Beautiful, or so you used to be.
Land of the Pilgrims' pride; I'm glad they'll never see.

Babies piled in dumpsters, Abortion on demand,
Oh, sweet land of liberty, your house is on the sand.

Our children wander aimlessly poisoned by cocaine,
Choosing to indulge their lusts, when God has said abstain.

From sea to shining sea, our Nation turns away
From the teaching of God's love and a need to always pray.

So many worldly preachers tell lies about our Rock,
Saying God is going broke so they can fleece the flock.

We've kept God in our temples, how callous we have grown.
When earth is but His footstool, and Heaven is His throne.

We've voted in a government that's rotting at the core,
Appointing Godless Judges who throw reason out the door,

Too soft to place a killer in a well deserved tomb,
But brave enough to kill a baby before he leaves the womb.

You think that God's not angry, that our land's a moral slum?
How much longer will He wait before His judgment comes?

How are we to face our God, from Whom we cannot hide?
What then is left for us to do, but stem this evil tide?

If we who are His children, will humbly turn and pray;
Seek His holy face and mend our evil way:

Then God will hear from Heaven and forgive us of our sins,
He'll heal our sickly land and those who live within.

But, America the Beautiful, if you don't then you will see,
A sad but Holy God withdraw His hand from Thee.

Judge Roy Moore

Analysis: Circulating online since 1997 (at which time its author was listed as "Anonymous"), the above poem — this particular version of it, anyway — has more recently been attributed to Alabama's notorious Judge Roy Moore. Since its authorship has been vetted by presumably reliable sources, it's listed here as authentic (see authorship update below).

Judge Moore vaulted to national prominence several years ago when, as Alabama's Chief Justice, he installed a 5,000-pound monument emblazoned with the Ten Commandments in the state's Supreme Court building. His defiance of a federal court order to remove it on grounds that it violated the Constitutional principle of separation of church and state led to Moore's suspension in 2003.

He is also a self-styled poet. In his 2005 book, So Help Me God: The Ten Commandments, Judicial Tyranny, and the Battle for Religious Freedom, Moore evinces a lifelong love of poetry and mentions several of his own efforts, including "Our American Birthright," an inspirational ditty quite similar in style and theme to "America the Beautiful."

Among the sources citing Roy Moore as the author of "America the Beautiful" are The American Spectator, WorldNetDaily.com, and the Associated Press.

Update: Associate of Moore says poem was 'PARTLY' written by the Judge - In a February 6, 2006 email from the headquarters of Roy Moore's Foundation for Moral Law in Montgomery, Alabama, secretary Heather Moore wrote: "Part of the poem was anonymous and part was written by the Chief Justice. There are several different versions being circulated [and] this is but one."

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Sources and further reading:

Make Way for Moore
The American Spectator, 21 November 2003

Judge Roy Moore: 'Captain America'
WorldNetDaily.com, 21 August 2003

Judge's Family Say He Hasn't Changed
Associated Press, 22 August 2003

Supporters See Chief Justice Moore as Moral Voice in Decaying Society
Atlanta Journal Constitution, 24 August 2003

Moore Asking Voters to Ban Gay Marriages
Montgomery Advertiser, 30 January 2006

Last updated: 06/10/07

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