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 eight-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.
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.”
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…