U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore made clear his belief Friday in the supremacy of God’s law over man’s law — or at least God’s law as he sees it.
In remarks before the anti-LGBT Values Voter Summit in D.C., the Alabama Republican bemoaned the current state of the country and said it must “go back to the basis of our morality, which is in God, not man.”
“We return the knowledge of God to our land, and God will heal the land,” Moore said. “Someone asked me this afternoon, how do we do this? And I say it’s simple: Recognize God, acknowledge God again. This is not complicated.”
Citing mass shootings in Las Vegas, Orlando and Virginia Tech, Moore said “our foundation been shaken to the core because we have forgotten the source of our morality.”
“They ask me, “Well, what’s all talk about God? Don’t you know God’s not acceptable in this system, political arena?'” Moore said. “Well, let me tell you, when you forget God, you can forget politics. When you forget God, you forget — just like it says — your heritage, your rights, your freedom. For me, it’s a question of freedom or slavery.”
At a time when many on the religious right are calling for exemptions from civil rights law to discriminate against LGBT people in the name of religious freedom, Moore is taking the view those views should supplant codified law altogether. (Meanwhile, Moore has stoked fears about the implementation of Sharia law in the United States, although he can’t quite say where that’s taking place.)
As chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, Moore urged his state to ignore the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in favor of same-sex marriage nationwide. For resisting the decision, the Alabama judiciary suspended Moore from the bench. (It wasn’t the first time. Moore was also suspended in 2003 for refusing to remove a monument dedicated to the Ten Commandants from the grounds of the court.)
Moore’s demeanor was consistent with the Southern good ol’ boy persona that carried him to victory in the primary against incumbent Sen. Luther Strange (R-Ala..). The candidate blended his remarks with citations of “A Tale of Two Cities” and a version of “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee” with different lyrics.
At one point, Moore made a bizarre joke about two cows having a conversation in a field about a disease causing them to forget their identities, and one saying he was a rabbit and running off. For Moore, the rabbit represented America forgetting its values.
“We might laugh, but that is exactly what we in America are doing,” Moore said. “We’re like rabbits, we run instead of taking a stand.”
Moore, who wasn’t endorsed by Trump, said the president’s election last year marked a time when you could “feel a burden lifted from your soul” about the direction of the country, but the change that was expected didn’t happen.
“We’re seeing not much being accomplished,” Moore said. “Some things that are good are happening, but we’re seeing a stagnancy in Washington, D.C. Many of people are frustrated, and I think that frustration is going to have an effect come the 2018 elections.”
Taking a departure from Trump, Moore called for repeal of Obamacare, but without replacing it, and using the U.S. military to address illegal immigration and “then we build the wall when we got the money.”
Although Moore complained about the right to abortion, he never explicitly mentioned same-sex marriage during his speech. In a possible reference to his defiance of the same-sex marriage ruling, Moore said, “I probably don’t deserve the praise I was given earlier about taking a stand because to me, it’s easy, you do what’s right.
Moore is facing a run-off on Dec. 12 in Alabama to win the open U.S. Senate seat against Democratic nominee, Doug Jones, whom the Human Rights Campaign has endorsed. A Cygnal poll published on Thursday found Moore enjoys an eight-point lead in the race.