Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore has been traveling the nation spreading his message that America has always been a Christian nation that has "lost its way" and that the Judeo-Christian deity figure 'God' should reign supreme over the US government and judicial system.
Moore, who was reelected as Alabama's top judge last year after being removed from the same Supreme Court in 2003 for his refusal to remove a monument inscribed with the Judeo-Christian Ten Commandments from the state judiciary building, addressed a crowd of about 1,400 people gathered for the Pierce County Prayer Breakfast in Tacoma, Washington on Friday.
Despite the official sounding name, no members of the Tacoma City Council attended, nor did Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland, who refused to give the customary greeting because of Moore's stance against same-sex marriage. Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy did attend, the Tacoma News Tribune reports
Moore warned that a battle was raging in America over the acknowledgement of 'God.'
"God is sovereign over our government, over our law," Moore declared. "When we exclude 'Him' from our lives, exclude 'Him' from our courts, then they will fail."
The 67-year-old Moore insisted that only those who accept 'God' will have their "sins forgiven."
"We've forgotten that God is intimately connected with this nation," he said. "Without God there would be no freedom to believe what you want."
Also on Friday, video footage
of Moore's January 17 address to Pro-Life Mississippi's Pastor For Life luncheon emerged
, at which he suggested that the Constitution only applies to Christians because the word "religion" only applies to the Judeo-Christian faith.
"Everybody-- to include the United States Supreme Court-- has been deceived to one little word in the First Amendment called 'religion,' they can't define it," said Moore. "[But] Buddha didn't create us, Mohammed didn't create us, it was the 'God' of the Holy Scriptures on which this nation was founded."
In the Mississippi video, the audience can be heard voicing its agreement with Moore's assertions.
"They didn't bring a Koran over on the Pilgrim ship Mayflower," Moore continued. "Let's get real, let's go back and learn our history, let's stop playing games."
"You can't be happy unless you follow 'God's' law, and if you follow 'God's' law, you can't help but be happy," insisted Moore. "It's all about 'God.'"
Moore also used the occasion to attack gays.
"I love that song you started with, 'Onward Christian Soldiers,' because we sang that at the United States Military Academy over and over... our motto was everything was about 'God.' Today, they have two men getting married in chapel," he lamented, with the crowd audibly groaning in disapproval of same-sex marriage. "So excuse my fervor."
Advocates of the constitutional principle
of separation of church and state expressed alarm that the highest judicial official in a US state would endorse such unconstitutional views.
"Judge Moore's ignorant fervor is dangerous," wrote
atheist educator Michael Stone on the Progressive Secular Humanist blog. "This man has no business presiding over any court of law. The fact that Moore is once again chief justice of Alabama's Supreme Court should be alarming to every reasonable American."
But plenty of people expressed agreement with Moore's beliefs.
"I loved him," gushed 56-year-old Amy Small of Gig Harbor, Washington, who attended the Tacoma event. "He really made it clear how important it is keeping 'God' in our country's consciousness," she told the News Tribune
"Judge Moore's right," commented
Dave Berryman of Muscle Shoals, Alabama on NewsMS. "The US Supreme Court will legalize same-sex marriages. When that happens, we can expect the same thing from 'God' 'He' gave Sodom," referring to the Biblical city destroyed by 'God' for its wickedness.
In the past, similar arguments were used in the South to defend slavery
, 'Jim Crow' segregation
and the long-standing ban on interracial marriage
that ended less than 50 years ago.
This isn't the first time a high-ranking Alabama official has expressed highly controversial religious beliefs. During his 2011 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day address, Governor Robert Bentley declared
that only Christians were his brothers and sisters.