Roy Moore: Religious Liberty ‘Comes From God, Not From The Constitution’

UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 31: Alabama Republican Senate nominee Roy Moore is questioned by the media in the Capitol on October 31, 2017.  (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
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Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore (R) took aim at journalists during a Tuesday visit to Capitol Hill. After refusing to say if he stood by earlier comments that Muslims shouldn’t be allowed to serve in Congress, Moore offered reporters a lesson in his view of religious liberty.

“Reporters don’t understand religious liberty, where it comes from. It comes from God, not from the Constitution,” Moore declared as he entered an elevator in a Senate office building.

Those remarks came after he repeatedly told reporters he wouldn’t talk to them about his earlier op-ed that Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) shouldn’t be allowed to serve in Congress because he’s a Muslim.

“I’ll address that later. I didn’t say he couldn’t. You go read my World Net Daily article — it says ‘should,’ not ‘could,'” Moore said. “Read my article and you’ll find out what I believe.”

Moore was in the Capitol after joining the weekly GOP Senate luncheon. Republican leadership, after trying to defeat Moore in his primary, are now rallying to his cause — even if they say they disagree with some of his views.

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) took issue with his party’s embrace of Moore, slamming them for hypocrisy for complaining about Democrats voting against a religious Catholic judge while embracing a man who doesn’t believe in religious liberty.

“When a judge expressed his personal belief that a practicing Muslim shouldn’t be a member of Congress because of his religious faith, it was wrong. That this same judge is now my party’s nominee for the Senate from Alabama should concern us all. Religious tests have no place in the U.S. Congress,” he said.

Moore said he’s “not commenting” when asked if he still believed homosexual conduct should be illegal — and declined to address earlier comments that the Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage was worse than the Dred Scott decision that codified slavery.

Moore wrote in the World Net Daily article that “Islamic law is simply incompatible with our law.”

“Can a true believer in the Islamic doctrine found in the Quran swear allegiance to our Constitution? Those who profess a sincere belief in Allah say ‘no!'” he said.

Moore, a former Alabama Supreme Court chief justice who was twice forced from office, is currently the front-runner for Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ old Senate seat.

He has a long history of controversial comments and actions on race and religion, as TPM has previously documented.

Before Moore’s comments, he had a meeting with a few aides in a Senate coffeeshop. Sen. Luther Strange (R-AL), who Moore recently defeated in a bloody primary, happened to pop in for coffee — and breezed by Moore’s table without saying hi to his old foe.

Strange told TPM he hadn’t seen Moore as he exited — but didn’t go back in to say hi.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Cameron Joseph is Talking Points Memo's senior political correspondent based in Washington, D.C. He covers Capitol Hill, the White House and the permanent campaign. Previous publications include the New York Daily News, Mashable, The Hill and National Journal. He grew up near Chicago and is an irrationally passionate Cubs fan.
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