Roy Moore Ties To White Supremacist neo-Confederates More Extensive Than Media Reports Suggest

[Author’s note: this extended report is the result of my month-long investigation into a deeply troubling pattern to Roy Moore’s recent career — which not only mainstream media and alternative media but also liberal advocacy groups have largely overlooked. Facts cited in the report are from the public realm and published media reports. — Bruce Wilson]

Leading up to the December 12th, 2017 special senate seat election in Alabama, a torrent of media coverage concerning sexual molestation accusations leveled at Alabama Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore has sidelined other equally scandalous aspects of Moore’s candidacy which are far more recent than heavily corroborated accusations concerning Moore’s alleged predatory obsession with teenage girls back in the late 1970s.

Moore’s more recent career activity includes an over a decade and a half-long, proven pattern of close association with some of the most extreme, racist, hateful, and potentially violent fringe tendencies on the American Southern political landscape.

Two key groups in this pattern are the secessionist League of the South and the Council of Conservative Citizens — both of which are nakedly white supremacist and have disturbing connections to domestic terrorism.

Sporadically, throughout the Fall 2017 special election, campaign incidents hinted that U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore might hold unusual views concerning civil rights and even slavery.

In a November 14, 2017 speech,  Moore told members of a mostly white Alabama Baptist church that “they started to create new rights in 1965, and today we’ve got a problem.” National legislation that seemed to most clearly fit Moore’s ambiguous reference was the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which established protections for the voting rights of racial minorities — especially in the South.

And, in a disturbing comment close to the end of the 2017 special election campaign, at an Alabama campaign rally, Moore responded, to an African-American man who asked Moore when America was last “great”, by replying that America was “great” prior to the Civil War, during slavery :

“I think it was great at the time when families were united — even though we had slavery — they cared for one another…. Our families were strong, our country had a direction.”

Moore has long displayed busts of the Confederate generals Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee in his office. Among his less than fully noble attributes, Lee is known for his brutal practice of breaking up slave families.

Other data points to emerge during the Alabama special election campaign — In 2004, Roy Moore fought an effort to cut, from the Alabama state constitution, language mandating segregated schools.

And, close to the start of his career as Alabama’s supreme court head justice, in 2001 Roy Moore opposed a bid, from black Alabama lawmakers, to place a statue of Martin Luther King, Jr. alongside the several ton Ten Commandments monument that Moore had just installed at the Alabama state judicial building.

Media has almost completely failed to delve into the question of what might lie beneath this disturbing pattern.

But a considerable body of evidence indicates that Moore is the ally of, and chosen political champion for, white supremacists who hope to one day trigger, through a second civil war if necessary, the secession of Southern states from the union and the establishment of a white male dominated Christian theocracy.

Moore’s political career has been heavily funded by leaders associated with the white supremacist, secessionist neo-Confederate League of the South (LoS), whose longtime board member, the late Jack Kershaw, provided legal representation for James Earl Ray, convicted of assassinating Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968.

And in 2009 and 2010, Roy Moore’s Foundation for Moral Law nonprofit hosted, as reported by CNN, two “Alabama Secession Day” events that featured League speakers and were organized by a local Selma, Alabama League of the South partisan devoted to preserving the memory of Nathan Bedford Forrest, the first leader of the Ku Klux Klan.

Longtime LoS board member Jack Kershaw also revered Forrest and even sculpted a 25-foot illuminated statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest that was installed on private property near interstate 65 in Nashville, Tennessee. Kershaw told media, concerning the statue, that “somebody needs to say a good word for slavery”.

The League of the South (link to Southern Poverty Law Center profile) advocates secession from the Union, using violence if necessary, by at least twelve Southern states and the establishment of a theocratic Christian ethno-state ruled by an “Anglo-Celtic” elite.

Roy Moore’s ties to the League of the South continue to this day — Moore currently endorses a 2017 theocratic, pro-secession government course sponsored by his top political donor, a former League of the South board member. That course is taught by a current LoS member who serves as a chaplain for the Maryland chapter of the group.

LoS president and co-founder Michael Hill accuses Jews of murdering Jesus and of belonging to a “Synagogue of Satan”, and has called for the creation of paramilitary death squads to target designated LoS enemies. Hill’s group now coordinates closelywith Neo-Nazi groups including in organizing the violent summer 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, VA.

Speaking at the LoS national conference in 2016, Hill stated, “the League is, for all intents and purposes, the Southern nationalist movement.” He continued,

“There’s no use in organizing the South in search of a moderate way and half measures. The neo-Bolsheviks — and that’s what they are, they’re neo-Bolsheviks — intend to continue their campaign of cultural Marxist genocide against the South, and only a radical and uncompromising organization will be able to stem that tide and reverse it.”

Hill then issued a clarion call for what sounded very much like a scorched-earth war of ethnic cleansing:

“So, I’m asking all proud Southerners of our kith and kin, blood and soil nation to become Southern nationalists and join with us today. Come prepared to do battle for your survival. Together, we will be strong enough to throw our enemies into the sea and banish them forever from our sacred motherland. Hail Dixie, and hail victory.”

In addition to his League of the South ties, Roy Moore has been a featured speaker at least once, and possibly twice, at national gatherings of the Council of Conservative Citizens (CofCC), whose history traces back to the white “citizens councils” formed in the 1960s to fight desegregation, and which has been accused of inspiring at least one recent, notorious act of racist domestic terrorism.

In 2001, the CofCC declared, “God is the author of racism. God is the One who divided mankind into different types. ... Mixing the races is rebelliousness against God.”

Roy Moore’s pattern of association with such groups cannot be easily discounted by his conservative evangelical supporters who might be tempted to otherwise dismiss sex abuse allegations against Moore because, even if true, such behavior would have been decades in the past and because they might feel Moore has since been morally rehabilitated and redeemed through his fervent embrace of Christian fundamentalism and its version of Jesus.

But Moore has, within the last decade and in some cases up to the present day, curried favor with white supremacists, secessionist neo-Confederates, and unabashed Christian fundamentalist would-be theocrats who are eager to incite civil war to topple the existing order and then impose their draconian theonomic version of “biblical law” upon America — a political vision which comes astonishingly close to the dystopia depicted in Margaret Atwood’s novel “The Handmaid’s Tale” that was vividly portrayed in a Hulu television series which premiered in early 2017.

Underscoring the severity of the theocratic visions cherished by Moore’s allies, in 2008 Roy Moore participated in a seminar, held by the now-defunct, Texas based Christian Reconstructionist group “Vision Forum”, and gave a speech at the event which was packaged as one of the lesson plans in a 2011 Vision Forum teaching curriculum, aimed at young adults, titled “Law & Government — An Introductory Course”.

One of the lessons in that curriculum, from Pennsylvania Christian Reconstructionist pastor William O. Einwechter, teaches that America began a downward spiral with the rise of the suffragette movement — which in 1920  gained for American women the right to vote. Einwechter’s lesson bluntly states that it is against God’s will and against scripture for women to hold public office.

In another lesson, which immediately precedes Roy Moore’s in the teaching series, Einwechter discusses the conditions under which incorrigibly rebellious children may be stoned to death, per God’s law as revealed in scripture.

Another 2011 Vision Forum course contributor was Christian Reconstructionist Joseph Morecraft who, among his various positions, has advocated limiting voting rights and holding public office to males from fundamentalist churches.

Morecraft was present at the 2003 trial in which a judicial ethics panel removed Roy Moore from his position as Alabama supreme court chief justice, for refusing to remove his 2.6 ton Ten Commandments monument from the lobby of the Alabama state judicial building.

Introducing Roy Moore to his audience, in Moore’s 2008 Vision Forum speech that was repackaged as a lesson plan in the 2011 curriculum, Vision Forum head Doug Phillips revealed that he was also present at Moore’s 2003 trial and had prayed with Moore the night before the trial.

Moore’s ties to the Christian Reconstructionist Vision Forum go back at least as far as 1999, when Moore gave a Vision Forum Presentation titled “The Law of the Land” that was marketed in DVD format in 2003, as part of a Vision Forum teaching series.

The Vision Forum ministry was shut down in 2013 following an admission, by its head Doug Phillips, who had promoted an extreme version of biblical patriarchy, of having an extramarital sexual relationship with a young woman associated with Phillips’ ministry.

The Christian Reconstructionism movement aspires, as part of its sweeping social and political agenda, to impose biblical patriarchy and biblical law (in a form of government known as theonomy) including capital punishment for a range of offenses such as adultery, female “unchastity” (intercourse before marriage), homosexuality, blasphemy, idolatry, witchcraft, and incorrigible child or teen rebellion against parental authority.

Government functions would be radically pared down to law enforcement, national defense, and perhaps construction and maintenance of roadways. All current social welfare functions of government would be principally taken up by churches.

Some Christian Reconstructionist leaders have called for the execution of both women who have abortions and the doctors who perform them, and some leaders in the movement have openly called for the extrajudicial assassination of abortion doctors.

One of those who espouses both positions is Matthew Trewhella, a convicted arsonist with militia movement ties who has been repeatedly investigated by the FBI for his antiabortion activities and is signatory to a statement calling the murder of abortion doctors “justifiable homicide”.

Until it was pointed out by Right Wing Watch, a project of the liberal advocacy group People For The American Way, Roy Moore’s senate campaign website featured an endorsement from Trewhella, who is in turn a chapter leader for the Maryland-based Christian Reconstructionist organization Institute on the Constitution (IOTC) that is currently endorsed by Roy Moore.

Michael Peroutka’s IOTC currently sells a book from Matthew Trewhella titled “The Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrates : A Proper Resistance to Tyranny and a Repudiation of Unlimited Obedience to Civil Government”.

In June 2015, Roy Moore spoke at an Montgomery, AL anti-abortion rally that was attended both by Trewhella and also John Brockhoeft, a convicted abortion clinic bomber associated with the domestic terrorist group The Army of God. 

While less overtly militant or theocratic, the more overtly racist Council of Concerned Citizens has nonetheless been credited (see 1,2,3,4) with playing a key role inspiring the Summer 2015 assassination of nine African-American church prayer group members by white supremacist Dylann Roof, who hoped his act might trigger a race war.

Roof, who has espoused neo-Nazi sentiments, brought 88 hollow point bullets to the massacre, in an apparent symbolic evocation common among neo-Nazis that codes for “Heil Hitler” (“H” is the 8th letter in the alphabet.)

In his political manifesto, Roof credited material on the website of the Council of Conservative Citizens with having played a key role in shaping his views on race. In response, in an unrepentant official statement issued after Roof’s manifesto was picked up by media following his massacre, the Council of Conservative Citizens declared that,

"This is not surprising: The CofCC is one of perhaps three websites in the world that accurately and honestly report black-on-white violent crime, and in particular, the seemingly endless incidents involving black-on-white murder."

The CofCC website material that inspired Roof misleading depicted an epidemic of violent black-on-white crime and linked to a pseudo-scientific report, “The Color of Crime”, that is sponsored by the white nationalist activist Jared Taylor —  who has held several CofCC leadership positions including serving as its spokesperson.

In June 2015, it came to light that Roy Moore spoke before the Council of Conservative Citizens in 1995 — “Roy Moore once addressed white supremacist group cited by Dylann Roof, website reports”, announced a story from the Al.com Alabama media outlet concerning a Buzzfeed.com scoop on Moore.

But Roy Moore may have also addressed the group fully a decade later, in 2005 when the Council of Conservative Citizens’ “Statement of Principles” stated that the CofCC opposed the “immigration of non-European and non-Western peoples”, maintained that “the American people and government should remain European in their composition and character”, and declared that, “We also oppose all efforts to mix the races of mankind… and to force the integration of the races.”

Other featured speakers at the 2005 Council of Concerned Citizens event that listed Moore as a speaker included the CofCC’s Jared Taylor, perhaps America’s leading propagandist for pseudo-academic justifications of racism, and James Edwards, who sits on the CofCC board of directors and hosts what is perhaps America’s most prominent white supremacist radio show, The Political Cesspool. 

Closely aligned with the CofCC is the Alabama-based, neo-Confederate League of the South (LoS).

League of the South co-founder and president Michael Hill has called for the formation of paramilitary death squads to target LoS political opponents ; and in the past several years Hill’s LoS has begun collaborating with Neo-Nazi groups, a several year emergent pattern that included working with neo-Nazi elements of the “alt-Right” to organize the violent “Unite The Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia at which a neo-Nazi car ramming of multiple anti-racism protestors killed paralegal aid Heather Heyer.

Roy Moore’s ties to the League of the South include heavy financial sponsorship from its leadership, money which has played a significant role in driving Moore’s political career.

Over the past decade, Moore’s top funder has been Maryland lawyer, politician, and theocratic activist Michael Peroutka who, according to an October 6, 2017 report from TalkingPointsMemo, “has given Moore, his foundation and his [political] campaigns well over a half-million dollars over the past decade-plus”.

Peroutka’s overlapping affiliations have included a leadership role in the League of the South as well as participation in the theocratic Christian Reconstructionist movement (he was the 2004 presidential nominee of the Constitution Party, which was founded in 1991 to advance the agenda of the Christian Reconstructionist movement.)

Michael Peroutka’s Institute on the Constitution currently sells at least four works by Christian Reconstructionism’s founder R.J. Rushdoony and as late as September 2015 was selling Rushdoony’s tome the Institutes of Biblical Law, the most seminal book within Rushdoony’s movement and which mapped out how biblical law was to be applied in all spheres of society.

Peroutka has been a featured speaker at League of the South annual conferences at least five times — in 2004, 2008, 2010, 2012, and 2013.

In 2004, while running as the Constitution Party presidential nominee, Peroutka toldLeague of the South leaders at the group’s annual national conference,

 

“I come from Maryland, which by the way is below the Mason-Dixon Line. … We’d have seceded if they hadn’t of locked up 51 members of the legislature. And by the way, I’m still angry about that”.

 

At the 2012 LoS annual conference, Peroutka, playing an acoustic guitar, joined his League of the South audience in singing a rousing rendition of “Dixie”. At the 2013 LoS national convention, after he was nominated to join the League of the South’s board of directors, an emotional Peroutka gushed, to LoS head Michael Hill,

 

“I want to do my best, with God’s help, to be worthy of what you’re, of what you do and what you’re asking me to do. I’m going to try my best. I pledge the resources of the Institute on the Constitution and the resources of the Peroutka family to that effort. God bless you.”

 

In a question and answer period following his 2013 LoS speech, Peroutka mentioned having supper, the previous evening, with Roy Moore — who was then serving his second term as the Alabama Supreme Court’s chief justice.

In late 2014, when his new leadership role in the LoS became controversial due to his bid to win several local political positions in Maryland’s Anne Arundel County, Peroutka quietly stepped down from the League of the South board but told the Baltimore Sun,

 

“I didn’t do it to bring up any political points,” Peroutka said. “I don’t have any problem with the organization.”

 

Around the same time as that controversy, an article by Presbyterian theologian and slavery defender Robert Louis Dabney, who during the Civil War served as a Confederate chaplain, disappeared from Peroutka’s Institute on the Constitution website.

The Dabney article argued that African-Americans were, by nature of their inferior qualities, probably best suited to be slaves:

 

“...if the low grade of intelligence, virtue and civilization of the African in America, disqualified him for being his own guardian, and if his own true welfare (taking the “general run” of cases) and that of the community, would be plainly marred by this freedom; then the law decided correctly, that the African here has no natural right to his self–control, as to his own labour and locomotion.”

 

Another IOTC article that also seems to have disappeared in late 2014 lionized Robert Louis Dabney as a true Christian conservative.

Even as some of the most extreme racist content was being removed from the Institute of the Constitution website, the League of the South was growing increasingly militant.

In 2014, the League of the South formed its own paramilitary unit and, in an article titled “A Bazooka in Every Pot” that was published on the LoS website, LoS president and co-founder Michael Hill called for the formation of 3 to 5 man death squads to target “political leaders, members of the hostile media, cultural icons, bureaucrats, and other of the managerial elite”. Wrote Hill,

 

“Stealth and the concentration of firepower at certain points for a short time are the keys to successful Gen4 Warfare, whether it’s busting up a traffic roadblock, ambushing a gun confiscation raid, or taking down a high-profile tyrant.”

 

Michael Hill and his League of the South went on to help organize the Summer 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, VA that quickly spiraled into violence including an automobile ramming attack on anti-racism protestors that injured upwards of a dozen and killed one, paralegal Heather Heyer.

Hill and his LoS members participated and even helped instigate some of the violent Charlottesville melees — which included a vicious group beating of a 20-year old African-American Deandre Harris.

In photographs of the beating, an individual who appears to be League of the South Florida chapter head Michael Tubbs can be seen approaching the melee while Harris is on the ground being clubbed by multiple assailants.

Prior to his involvement with the League of the South, Tubbs had in the early 1990s served several years in prison for assembling a massive arsenal of stolen heavy weapons and explosives and for notes Tubbs had written indicating an intent to bomb media outlets and businesses owned by Jews and blacks.

Tubbs was a featured speaker at the 2012 LoS national convention along with Michael Peroutka. During his speech, Tubbs said the League was “creating a climate favorable to secession, within our local communities, and by recruiting the necessary people we need to do the hard work to make secession and self-government a reality.”

That Michael Peroutka remains untroubled by the League of the South’s increasing radicalization is underscored by the fact that the senior instructor for Peroutka’s “Institute on the Constitution” effort — which is currently endorsed by Roy Moore and teaches a Christian Reconstructionist interpretation of the Constitution and US government — is Pastor David Whitney, who serves as chaplain for the Maryland chapter of the League of the South.

Others joining Roy Moore in a public endorsement of the Peroutka IOTC course include the Creation Museum impresario Ken Ham, the noted Christian nationalist pseudo-historian David Barton (who has claimed that the US Constitution is based on concepts drawn from Old Testament scripture), two seminal influences on the anti-government militia movement — Dr. Edwin Vieira and Guns Owners of America president Larry Pratt, and pastor Chuck Baldwin, who was the 2008 Constitution Party presidential nominee and has stated that “the South was right in the War Between the States”.

Among his many notable positions, the IOTC’s David Whitney advocates a theocratic government under which voting rights would be granted only to orthodox Christians and maintains the “God-given right to secede” from governments that do not follow “God’s law”.

Both Roy MooreMichael PeroutkaDavid Whitney, the League of the South, and the Christian Reconstructionism movement all advance the claim that God’s law (said to be revealed in biblical scripture) is superior to and supersedes man’s law.

A corollary of that position also endorsed by all five is the doctrine of “Nullification and Interposition” in which a “Lesser Magistrate” chooses to “nullify” a law believed to violate God’s law as revealed in scripture. 

These doctrines are widely used in the neo-Confederate movement to justify the secession of the South from the Union prior to the Civil War and by the League of the South to argue for a future Southern secession.

Roy Moore’s many connections to the League of the South do not merely come through individuals such as Michael Peroutka and David Whitney and through ideological affinity — Moore has also given direct material support to the LoS cause.

In 2009, Moore’s Foundation for Moral Law nonprofit —  launched after Moore became a nationally recognized hero to the evangelical right because of his refusal to remove a several ton granite Ten Commandments monument that Moore had installed at the Alabama state courthouse — hosted an annual “Alabama Secession Day” event associated with the League of the South and that was organized by Selma, Alabama activist Patricia Godwin.

Godwin’s chosen projects include preserving the memory and legacy of Nathan Bedford Forrest, the brilliant Confederate cavalry leader whose lightning raids earned him the nickname “Wizard” and who went on to become an early leader and “Wizard” of the Ku Klux Klan.

Pat Godwin, who has been known to refer to her black-majority hometown of Selma as “Zimbabwe on de Alabamy”, has sometimes referred to herself as the “Wizardess”.

In an undated op-ed (the first appearance of which, at the Internet Archive, is on March 2, 2012) that she contributed to Alabama-based publication First Freedom, which promotes both neo-Nazi and neo-Confederate positions and sports the byline “Inviting the Zionist-controlled media’cracy to meet a rising free South”, Godwin wrote,

 

“Since Selma, Alabama – the Civil Rights Hot Pot of the World – is my home, I witnessed the trash that came here in 1965. In 1965, and for a few years thereafter, the people of Selma, Alabama, were willing to tell the truth about this “Mother of All Orgies”… but now, the scalawag/carpetbaggers see $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ in the civil rights movement! They don’t even realize they are aiding and abetting the ultimate goal of the One World Order – to brown AmeriKa and annihilate our Anglo-Celtic-European culture!”

 

By May 2012, First Freedom had established a print version and another Godwin op-ed in the May edition lavished praise on the League of the South:

 

“I would like to know there are those among us who are averse to the League of the South! I think it is a great political arm where we can collectively fight this leviathan of political correctness in the political arena…  the LoS is a great vehicle for getting in the enemy's face! Is this adversity toward the League because its members are known to condone and support…secession...when all other peaceful means of getting our government back into the hands of the protectors of the constitution and liberty have failed?”

 

The May, 2012 First Freedom edition features various articles and cartoons that inveigh against the “Holocaust myth” and also a reprint of an article from George Lincoln Rockwell, founder of the American Nazi Party.

One parody attacks African-Americans by caricaturing them as birds who, without the uplifting influence of the “National Association For the Advancement of Blackbirds”, would otherwise,

 

“quickly revert to their happy-go-lucky jungle ways, croaking and hopping to their savage rhythms, sitting motionless in the sun for hours, and occasionally perhaps consuming an aged uncle for Sunday dinner”

 

Pat Godwin is not the only League of the South partisan to contribute to First Freedom— LoS president Michael Hill has contributed multiple articles as well.

In an early 2009 announcement for her “Alabama Secession Day” event Pat Godwin wrote,

 

“Traditionally & historically, we have always tried to hold this historic commemorative observance on or close to January 11...the actual date of Alabama seceding from the union.  I have been frantically trying to find an appropriate venue for our event for months now...thankfully, Judge Roy Moore has afforded us the ground floor of the building where the offices of The Foundation for Moral Law are.”

 

Godwin also noted that Roy Moore’s Foundation For Moral Law building had special significance — “This is the first bank that President Jefferson Davis went to seeking funds for the Confederacy in 1861”. Godwin went on,

 

“Of course this program is FREE, but we will be giving the opportunity for DONATIONS to give to the Foundation for Moral Law in appreciation to Judge Moore for affording us a place to hold this event.  Other details of the program will be forthcoming.  Please put the following date on your calendar and plan to be at the CRADLE OF THE CONFEDERACY”

 

Listed speakers for the event included John Eidsmoe, the official legal counsel for Roy Moore’s Foundation for Moral Law. Eidsmoe is author of the 1987 book Christianity and the Constitution — The Faith of Our Founding Fathers which paints the Founding Fathers as, almost uniformly, orthodox Christians and states, on page 376,

 

“Old Testament Israel is often though to have been a theocracy. In one sense it was — and so is the United States in that same sense. For theocracy come from two Greek words, “theos” for God, and “kratos” for ruler — meaning God is the ruler of the nation.”

 

Another of the listed speakers for the 2009 Alabama Secession Day event was League of the South board member Franklin Sanders (recently deceased), who at a 2007 LoS event had asked, “If secession is treason today, why wasn’t it treason back in 1776 ?”

Sanders’ 1989 novel Heiland depicts a future clash between godless, immoral, death-worshiping city dwellers and pious, Dixie-singing Southern Christian agrarians who eventually destroy their secular city foes with a nuclear weapon.

Sander’s novel is only one of probably dozens of similar novels written over the past several decades by authors on the far right who envision civil war or race war, and religious and ideological and/or ethnic cleansing.

Perhaps the most important in the genre was William Pierce’s tract “The Turner Diaries” that depicted a race war to topple the federal government and rid America of non-whites and Jews, and which probably helped inspire the devastating 1995 Oklahoma City domestic terrorist bombing.

The third listed speaker for the 2009 Alabama Secession Day event was Sons of Confederate Veterans member Todd Kiscaden, who in 2013 could be found firing off a cannon (following the singing of “Dixie”) at an annual “birthday” party event, hosted each year for nearly two decades by Pat Godwin at her Selma home (known by the nickname “Fort Dixie”), in honor of Confederate general Nathan Bedford Forrest.

Prior to the Civil War, Forrest had earned a fortune as a slave trader. He then became a brilliant, self-taught Confederate cavalry commander who is accused of presiding over a massacre of captured black Union troops at Fort Pillow and has been credited as an early post-war leader, or “Wizard”, of the Ku Klux Klan.

Godwin’s projects have included an attempt to erect a public monument to Forrest and an effort to stop her home town of Selma, Alabama, from granting public recognition of the landmark 1965 Selma Civil Rights march (“the mother of all orgies” according to Godwin.)

In 2009, when he allowed Pat Godwin to hold “Alabama Secession Day” at his Foundation for Moral Law building, Roy Moore probably knew something about Godwin and her reputation.

That’s likely because of a controversy which arose in Alabama in 2004 while Roy Moore’s protege Tom Parker — who had been appointed by judge Moore as Alabama’s Deputy Administrative Director of Courts and who also served as  legal adviser and spokesman for Moore —  was running for a seat on the Alabama Supreme Court (Parker won the election and was reelected as an Alabama associate Supreme Court justice in 2010 and 2016.)

Tom Parker’s close relationship with Roy Moore has also included serving as a Special Projects Manager for Moore’s Foundation for Moral Law and, like Moore, Parker’s political campaigns have also been heavily financed by League of the South ally Michael Peroutka.

During Parker’s 2004 campaign, in July, amidst Confederate battle flags, Parker spoke to an audience gathered at Pat Godwin’s “Fort Dixie” home for her annual Nathan Bedford Forrest birthday party event.

That same month, in July, Godwin had sent out a heated email message (later republished by First Freedom) in which the Selma neo-Confederate activist attacked, "the trash that came here in 1965," and charged that civil rights activists "are aiding and abetting the ultimate goal of the ONE WORLD ORDER — to BROWN AmeriKa and annihilate Anglo-Celtic-European culture!"

A month prior to the 2004 Godwin event, Tom Parker was on hand for the funeral of Alberta Stewart Martin who was, as described a story from the Southern Poverty Law Center, “believed to have been the last living widow of a Confederate veteran.” According to the SPLC, Parker,

 

“[M]ade himself a quick favorite by giving away hundreds of miniature Confederate battle flags to the 300 people, many in period dress, who gathered for this major neo-Confederate event.”

 

A photograph from the event discovered by the SPLC showed Parker holding one of his miniature Confederate flags, flanked on his left by a leader of the League of the South and on his right by a leader of the Council of Conservative Citizens.

The SPLC’s story was picked up by Alabama’s Birmingham News, in an October 16, 2004 story titled “Parker shown with hate group leaders”. In response to the controversy, Parker told the Birmingham News that “Political correctness should not cause people to dishonor our history”.

A few days later, on October 19th, the Birmingham News story was, in turn, picked up the nationally syndicated Associated Press, and so the likelihood that Roy Moore was unaware of Pat Godwin’s reputation as a neo-Confederate activist and staunch promoter of Nathan Bedford Forrest is small, especially in light of Moore’s considerable political ambitions.

[Forrest is generally credited as the first leader of the Ku Klux Klan which, within a few years of its founding in 1865, had evolved into a domestic terrorism movement for white supremacy. By 1874, Forrest had strongly renounced the increasingly violent movement, but the damage had been done.]

IN February 2010, Patricia Godwin held a second “Alabama Secession Day” event at Roy Moore’s Foundation For Moral Law building.

One day before the event, the executive director of Moore’s foundation, Rich Hobson (now campaign manager for Moore’s US Senate bid) told the Associated Press that Moore knew nothing about the upcoming pro-Confederate rally.

But, as reported by CNN’s KFile investigative team on September 27, 2017, the 2010 “Alabama Secession Day” event organizer Pat Godwin had, prior to the rally, clearly stated that Moore had himself authorized the event. The KFile team contacted Godwin, to clarify the matter :

 

‘Godwin told CNN that Moore did not "sponsor"or "endorse" the event but that he did approve the use of the foundation's building in both 2009 and 2010.’

 

Godwin’s event announcement also mentioned that donations to Moore’s Foundation For Moral Law were to be raised at the event, which occurred while Roy Moore was making his failed 2010 campaign bid to become Alabama governor.

Moore’s 2010 gubernatorial bid was funded by Michael Peroutka, at the time an active member of the League of the South.

The 2010 Alabama Secession Day featured two of the speakers from the 2009 Alabama Secession Day event — John Eidsmoe and LoS board member Franklin Sanders — as well as 2008 Constitution Party presidential nominee Chuck Baldwin, a Florida pastor who in 2002 wrote that “Martin Luther King, Jr. brought havoc and unrest to America as few men have ever done” and in 2006 had declared, “I believe the South was right in the War Between the States, and I am not a racist”.

Patricia Godwin told CNN’s KFile that Eidsmoe had attended her event in a purely personal capacity, because he was a friend of Godwin’s, and not as an official representative of Roy Moore’s Foundation For Moral Law.

In video from the event filmed by a local media outlet, Eidsmoe states, concerning the Southern states that seceded from the union in 1861, that, “It is our belief that it was their constitutional right to secede” and claimed that right flowed from the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Eidsmoe also stated,

 

“I support the Constitution of the United States of America. I took an oath to defend it. But I also believe that Jefferson Davis and John C. Calhoun understood that Constitution better than did Abraham Lincoln and Daniel Webster.”

 

As in her 2009 event announcement, Pat Godwin’s announcement for the 2010 Alabama Secession Day informed potential attendees that donations for Roy Moore’s foundation would be solicited at the event:

 

“Of course this program is FREE, but we will be giving the opportunity for DONATIONS to give to the Foundation for Moral Law in appreciation to Judge Moore for affording us a place to hold this event.”

 

During the event (see video), Pat Godwin blamed president Abraham Lincoln for precipitating the Civil War, by fortifying Fort Sumter.

 

Bruce Wilson's extensive report can also be found in summary form.

Bruce Wilson co-founded of Talk to Action, a blog dedicated to the intersection of politics and religion, with Frederick Clarkson. His original pieces can be found on his blog.

Emily Morgan