Alabama Senate Front-Runner: Evolution Is Fake And Homosexuality Should Be Illegal

Former judge Roy Moore says "God's law" should trump man's.

U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore has approached his work over the decades as he once approached mastering kickboxing and building a house with own hands: with laser focus and a fervent belief that he has God on his side.

Moore, 70, is vying to become the next U.S. senator for Alabama, and his chances are looking good. A poll released Monday by Louisiana-based JMC Analytics and Polling found that the former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court holds an 8-point lead in the Republican primary run-off over his opponent, U.S. Sen. Luther Strange, who was appointed by Alabama’s governor in February to temporarily fill the seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Whoever wins will face Democrat Doug Jones, whose odds are low in the overwhelmingly red state.

Both Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and President Donald Trump back Strange. But Moore’s unabashed religious views and apparent disregard for the legal establishment have won hearts in the overwhelmingly Christian state.

In February, several months after being suspended from court for defying federal orders on same-sex marriage, Moore appeared on the radio show of a pastor who has claimed the Bible calls for the death penalty for gay people.

He’d appeared on pastor Kevin Swanson’s program several times over the years, and there was a clear affinity between the men who believe they are two lone crusaders for Christ. Moore lamented to Swanson: “Our problem today is we’re denying that there is even a God or that he has sovereignty over our country.”

When the pastor asked him: “What does one do when God’s laws conflict with man’s laws?” Moore responded, “God’s laws are always superior to man’s laws.”

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Bill Clark via Getty Images

It’s an extreme view that would put an elected judge far outside the bounds of the legal mainstream: The U.S. government relies on its judicial branch to maintain checks and balances and uphold the law of the land. 

But, for Moore, there’s no contradiction. The Vietnam veteran and lifelong Christian holds the view that the U.S. Constitution is a kind of extension of the Bible, and that the Founding Fathers intended their America to be a Christian nation.

In 2014, he went so far as to suggest that the First Amendment applies only to Christians. Speaking at an anti-abortion luncheon, Moore said: “Everybody, to include the U.S. Supreme Court, has been deceived as to one little word in the First Amendment called ‘religion.’”

He claimed that the country’s leaders don’t want to acknowledge “the duties we owe to the creator and the manner of discharging it,” paraphrasing from the Virginia Declaration of Rights.

“They don’t want to do that, because that acknowledges a creator God,” Moore argued. “Buddha didn’t create us. Mohammed didn’t create us. It’s the God of the Holy Scriptures. They didn’t bring a Quran over on the pilgrim ship, Mayflower. Let’s get real. Let’s go back and learn our history.”

Moore, who counts former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson among his supporters, has a long history of flouting U.S. law in favor of his own religious beliefs.

In 1997, Moore defied a federal court order to halt Christian prayers before sessions and remove a homemade plaque of the Ten Commandments he kept in his courtroom. He counter-sued the ACLU for allegedly infringing upon his freedom of speech and declared that the Constitution is “founded upon a fundamental belief in God.”

Four years later, he erected a massive granite monument to the Ten Commandments in the Alabama Judicial Building in Montgomery. When a federal judge ordered Moore to remove the monument, he refused. As a result, Alabama’s judicial ethics panel removed Moore from office ― his first tenure as chief justice.

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Then-Alabama chief justice Roy Moore speaks outside the state judicial building in Montgomery on Aug. 25, 2003.
Reuters Photographer / Reuters

The trial seemed to further convince him of his divine charge. After the verdict was read out in court, Moore told reporters: “I have absolutely no regrets. We fought a good fight. We kept the faith. But the battle is not over. The battle to acknowledge God is about to rage across the country.”

Over the ensuing years, Moore twice sought the Republican nomination for Alabama governor ― in 2006 and 2010. And in 2012, he launched a campaign to reclaim his old post as the state’s chief justice. 

Moore toured anti-abortion rallies during his campaign, telling crowds: “This is not just about religion, this is about law; the organic law of our country.” 

For Moore, issues like abortion and same-sex relationships are part of this “organic law” and are as clearly defined as the law of gravity.

“Sodomy is against the laws of nature,” he told The Washington Post in a recent interview. “Let’s say the court decides to get rid of the law of gravity and says you can jump off the Empire State Building. Can they do that? No, they certainly can’t do that.”

In a 2002 child custody case during his first term as Alabama chief justice, Moore called being gay “an inherent evil” and “abhorrent, immoral, detestable, a crime against nature and a violation of the laws of nature and of nature’s God.”

Moore has said he believes “homosexual conduct should be illegal” and that same-sex relations are akin to bestiality. After the U.S. Supreme Court declared same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states, Moore, who’d been reelected as chief justice of Alabama, instructed state judges to flout the order. In September 2016, he was once again removed from court for the remainder of his term.

But he wasn’t deterred. Moore announced his run for U.S. Senate several months later and continues to share his extreme views on the campaign trail. 

“There is no such thing as evolution,” he recently told a Washington Post reporter. “That we came from a snake? No, I don’t believe that.”

Equally ludicrous to Moore is the idea that non-Christian faiths have the same religious legitimacy as his own. During a campaign stop this summer the candidate called Islam a “false religion” that’s “completely opposite with what our First Amendment stands for.”

Moore has also suggested that the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks happened because the U.S. has “distanced” itself from God. He claimed God was angry at Americans who “legitimize sodomy” and “legitimize abortion.”

He used the same logic in August to say that “shootings” are also a result of rulings against prayer in public schools and council meetings. “We’ve asked for it,” Moore said at an event on defending religious liberties. “We’ve taken God out of everything.”

The former judge views everything from child abuse to rape to the high murder rate in Chicago as symptoms of America’s moral decline. And he continues to use apocalyptic religiosity in his campaign, recently telling worshippers at a church in Decatur, Alabama: “You think that God’s not angry that this land is a moral slum? How much longer will it be before his judgment comes?”

Moore’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for clarification of the former judge’s comments.


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Before You Go

Christian Women Preach
Rev. Karlene Clark(01 of 14)
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"It seems that in this election we are forced to say what should be obvious: Jesus would never be on the side of the sexual predator. Many of us feel betrayed by the Christian leaders who continue to endorse this candidate, realizing that for those prominent Christian men, women are less important than partisan politics, and the assault of women by powerful, predatory men is worth little more than a shrug. This Christian pastor will stand for the dignity, respect, and equality of women - because it’s the right thing to do, and because it is exactly what Jesus did."
- Rev. Karlene Clark, Wesley United Methodist Church
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Rev. Jennifer Crumpton(02 of 14)
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"Christian women in particular have been deeply patriarchalized over the course of history, due to the male hierarchy of the church and the theology and doctrine that claims women were made secondarily by God for the service of men, and that men hold dominion not just over the earth, but over women and their bodies. Many Christian women have been forced to ignore, go along with, and even perpetuate misogynistic principles and behavior We are still fighting this undercurrent of male domination today. This election situation is a critical moment in time to stand up to this phenomenon and the willingness with which people dismiss it."
- Rev. Jennifer Crumpton, Femmevangelical
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Rev. Traci D. Blackmon(03 of 14)
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"In 2 Samuel 13, the story of the rape of Tamar, the daughter of King David, is recounted. Although this is not the only rape story contained in scripture, in my opinion it is one of the most insidious ... Ever since reading this text early in my ministry life I have asked myself the question, 'Who will cry for Tamar?'
I believe it is my moral obligation to cry out against the sexual exploitation and violence perpetrated against women. It is my moral obligation to interrupt gender shaming and sexual misconduct wherever it is found.
Unfortunately for us all, these interruptions are currently needed in the inexcusable hateful rhetoric of one of our candidates for the highest office of this land. I believe if I do not speak out, no matter how many or how few are courageous enough to join me, that the harm done to women in our society will be irreparable.
I will never knowingly vote for any candidate who denigrates any human being, all of whom I believe to be created in the image of God. I implore others who profess to love God to join me in this pledge."
- Rev. Traci D. Blackmon, Acting Executive Minister, Justice & Witness Ministries, United Church of Christ
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Rev. Loretta Ross(04 of 14)
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"I signed in order to stand in solidarity with my sisters in our shared faith in a loving God. We are each temples for the Holy Spirit. When anyone attempts to defile the dwelling place of divinity, we all suffer ... Recently, I had felt overwhelmed and deeply burdened by the implications of Trump's behavior. Standing up for goodness, truth, and justice gives me inner strength and peace for the work ahead in these times. I too, as well as my daughters, have been victims of sexual violence and abuse."
- Rev. Loretta Ross, The Sanctuary Foundation for Prayer
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Rev. Linda Higgins(05 of 14)
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"I am a Christian woman who believes that we are all beloved of God and to treat any person as other or less than is the definition of sin. I am called as a Christian to love God and my neighbor as myself. I believe that mothers and fathers should not have to protect their children from the presidential race due to how nasty it is: the language, how it portrays women, people of color or people from other countries. We are all children of God and equal as such.I am also a woman who has lived through experiences of men thinking they could treat me as an object and do not believe any one should president with that view of women."
- Rev. Linda Higgins, St John's Richmond United Church of Christ
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Rev. Kimberly Rogers(06 of 14)
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"The Church must be vocal, it is part of our call to do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with God. None of these basic tenants of our faith are being adhered to when women are being degraded. Donald Trump is not 'the issue,' he is just one more symptom of a much larger problem in our country. I pray that the gift of his presence in this election is that we uncover the mask of sexism and misogyny that leads to rape culture, domestic violence, and inequality in the work place. To live in a world where Donald Trump is president terrifies me, I pray that all can come to understand the danger behind his words and ideology."
- Associate Pastor Rev. Kimberly Rogers, Central Presbyterian Church
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Rev. Carol Howard Merritt(07 of 14)
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"When the news of the video came out, a wave of trauma rippled through my personal relationships and social media feeds. With shattered hearts, we confessed that we had been raped or violated. We knew the indignity of having unannounced and uninvited prodding hands clutching at our intimate selves. We remembered looking up in blurred confusion to see a powerful man lurching over us, devouring our weakness and mortification in order to sate his ravenous ego.
We may have been too bewildered to know how to respond when the assault happened. We may have been held captive, pretending that it didn’t occur in order to avoid retaliation or to save our jobs. We might have filed away our indignity in the thickening folder that included all the other evidence of everyday sexism. But as Christians, we know women do not exist in order to titillate fragile egos in locker rooms. Women were not created so that entitled men can use us as objects for flippant fondling or heinous leering. We proclaim that women are God-bearers, and God has empowered us to bring good news to the poor, bind up the broken hearted, and set the captives free. That’s why I added my voice to this letter."
- Rev. Carol Howard Merritt, Author
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Dr. Laura Levens(08 of 14)
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"As a Christian: Over and over and over again, I have witnessed a cycle of male leaders being easily forgiven for sexual indiscretion, misconduct, and assault, and I have had enough. Men are caught, men say they apologize, and then other Christian leaders exhort the rest of us, especially women, to forgive and continue to trust the man in power because he apologized. I’m done with this message. The Christian message of forgiveness should no longer be co-opted to maintain men in places of power, especially not the office of the President of the United States. It is time that Christians begin speaking about the humanity and dignity of women, and of everyone. Christians are not here to teach the violated to forgive; we are here to stand with the downtrodden. That is what Jesus did."
- Dr. Laura Levens, Assistant Professor of Christian Mission, Baptist Seminary of Kentucky
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Diana Butler Bass(09 of 14)
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"We cannot stand by and allow the Jerry Falwells and James Dobsons of the world claim to speak for God regarding Trump and sexism ... When this election is over -- and Hillary Clinton is the nation's first female president, I hope that we will finally get beyond the idea of 'Christian women leaders' being some special subset of Christian community. Women are the majority of Christians around the world -- we are the heartbeat of living faith. The media spends too much time covering male leaders -- and then a small subset of authoritarian conservative men -- as if they are the voice of the church. They are not. Women are. All the women. The women who preach, the women who write theology, the women who pray, the women who serve, those who hold the hand of the dying. Those who care for children, those who feed the hungry, those who embrace the poor and visit prisoners. Those who weep and mourn for the pain they've suffered. Those who find the God's love is more beautiful and trustworthy than those who abused them. That's the church -- a church that knows no facile forgiveness or partisan spin. But the church that understands grace, peacemaking, and mercy. And that church is rarely heard in public because it is too busy living its faith. Women are the high priests of that church."
- Diana Butler Bass, Author and Historian
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The Rev. Jacqueline J. Lewis(10 of 14)
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I am an African American, a Christian woman, a clergy person, I have a passionate vision for a world free of bias, discrimination, and hatred. I sign my name in honor of the God who called me into ministry, and in honor of my mentor, a Palestinian Jewish Rabbi we have come to call Jesus. I sign my name because men AND women are created in God’s image, and all human beings are fearfully and wonderfully made. I sign my name to insist on just treatment for every person. My faith demands it. And our nation requires it.”
- The Rev. Jacqueline J. Lewis, Ph.D., Senior Minister, Middle Collegiate Church
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Dr. Serene Jones(11 of 14)
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"As a devoutly Christian woman, I am deeply appalled and righteously enraged by the demeaning and hateful words and actions of Trump towards women - and towards so many others. As a Christian, I believe that God loves all women and girls and has created us with bodies and lives and hopes and dreams that are truly sacred. We are precious in God's eyes. So when Trump demeans and assaults women, I consider it flat out blasphemy; it's against God, it's death-dealing, not life-giving. God calls women to fullness of life and freedom. Trump, it's seems, wants to either grope or imprison us."
- Dr. Serene Jones, President, Union Theological Seminary
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Rev. Dr. Susan Thistlethwaite(12 of 14)
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"I wanted to add my voice as a Christian woman to confront Donald Trump and his blatant manipulation of the Christian faith for political ends. He 'found Jesus' just as he was being nominated as the Republican presidential candidate, and that's only one example. Given his sexually aggressive behavior toward women, in his own words, this is an insult to the Christian faith itself."
- Rev. Dr. Susan Thistlethwaite, Professor of Theology, Chicago Theological Seminary
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Rev. Dr. Katharine Henderson(13 of 14)
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"As a Christian, I believe that all people are created in God's own image. The Republican candidate's repeated denigration and objectification of women offends not only me as a woman, but also my Christian faith that believes in the fundamental equality of all people, and demands that all be treated with dignity and respect."
- Rev. Dr. Katharine Henderson, President, Auburn Seminary
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Rev. Dr. Rebecca Todd Peters(14 of 14)
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"Trump has claimed to be a Christian. He has even claimed to by a Presbyterian. I am an ordained Presbyterian pastor and a Christian ethicist. There is nothing about this man that speaks of Christian virtue or values. His attitude that his wealth and fame translate into the power and privilege to do whatever he wants is in marked disagreement with a faith that calls its followers to service and humility. This is a man who thinks that he has not done anything that requires forgiveness. Yet, we have seen time again that he has insulted, shamed, abused and denigrated women. These actions are not acceptable in society and they are certainly not in line with the Christian understanding that we are to love our neighbors. Given the overwhelming public message that 'Christians support Trump' it’s past time for a counter-narrative that there are plenty of Christians who find him unfit for office."
- Rev. Dr. Rebecca Todd Peters, Professor, Department of Religious Studies, Elon University
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