Connect with us

RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

‘I Have Stood Against Same-Sex Marriage’: Roy Moore Is Running for the US Senate on a Platform of God, Guns, and Gays

Published

on

Roy Moore, the former Alabama chief justice who lost his 2017 bid for the U.S. Senate, is back on the ballot, and he’s urging Republican primary voters to keep in mind that “I have stood … against the removal of God from society—and the Ten Commandments—and I have stood against same-sex marriage and for traditional marriage.”

That statement came near the end of a 40-minute interview Moore gave to Birmingham’s WTVM-TV, a broadcast affiliate of NBC, which posted the video on Monday. While the interviewer questioned Moore on a wide range of policy areas, Moore’s answers repeatedly pointed back to the nation’s “moral problem.” And the answer to the nation’s moral problem, he said, is having the country and its schools turn back to God. The interview included echoes of a speech he made last fall to the Huntsville Republican Men’s Group, when he said America needed to return to the days when abortion and sodomy were illegal and public schools had morning “devotionals.”

In response to a question about gun violence, Moore argued that “gun violence is not a proper term” because people, not guns, are responsible for violence. And stricter gun laws, he said, are not the solution to the nation’s moral problem.

“Congress has never been good on moral problems, if you will, and solving those moral problems is very simple,” Moore said. “You turn back to the God and the basis of religion upon which this nation was founded.” In answering a question about safety and security in the nation’s schools, he said, “Well, one thing they should do is teach the laws of God.”

Moore also emphasized his states’ rights view of the Constitution, saying it is not the business of the federal government to make schools secure or oversee the elimination of discrimination in schools in areas like discipline and hiring. “I think the segregation issues have been addressed,” he declared.

On environmental protection, Moore said clean air and water are being taken care of “privately” and by the states. “Environmental protection is just another way for the big government to interfere,” he added.

Moore also said that state trial judges’ interpretation of federal constitutional issues is just as authoritative as rulings of federal appeals courts.

Moore, who has argued that faithful Muslims are not fit to serve in Congress, blamed divisiveness on the country’s lack of acknowledgment of God:

Divisiveness is a big problem in our society. We need to go back to the recognition that we’re one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. We forget when we forget God and exclude God from the conversation, you take away, and you create divisiveness. Hatred, divisiveness, that comes from a lack of realization that you’re created by an Almighty God.

When we’re a nation that thinks we can’t acknowledge God, we forget what we’re founded upon. We forget the meaning of the First Amendment. And certainly we need to go back to that.

When asked by the interviewer the things on which he would not compromise, Moore said, “I will not compromise on the acknowledgment of God. I think the courts started making law. This same-sex marriage is not a law made by our Constitution or by our legislature. It was made by courts. And courts have no business making law.”

At times, it sounded as if Moore envisioned himself in an even higher office than the U.S. Senate. In talking about his military experience, Moore said, “you need somebody with military experience in command—or in charge of the Senate. You need somebody that’s gone through these things.” The other candidates in the Senate race have not served in a war, Moore said. “I’ve been trained as a military leader – a highly regarded military leader. And that’s one of the chief jobs as the president.”

Moore is clearly still angry about his 2017 loss, which he attributed to a “disinformation campaign” that he said amounted to federal government interference in his race. He likened sexual misconduct allegations against him to those made against Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh, a comparison he has made before. He called on the New York Times and Washington Post to release their copies of an “after-action report” on “Project Birmingham”—a group that reportedly spread misinformation in the 2017 Alabama Senate election—repeating a call he made last April.

Moore also appears to be bitter about his treatment at the hands of Republican leaders who distanced themselves from his 2017 campaign, portraying their refusal to back him as stealing the election:

I can win. They know I can win. In fact, I did win, until Richard Shelby came out and put out that people should not go to the polls and vote or should vote for another candidate. Over 22,000 voted for another candidate besides the Democrat, and I lost by less than 21,000. So it was ridiculous. They stole the election then, and they’re still trying to steal the election by keeping me out of Washington. I have opposed the establishment, and they do not like it. And they have vowed to keep me out.

Regarding election security in general, he said the biggest threat to voters is “letting illegals have drivers’ licenses.”

Moore said he opposed the impeachment of President Donald Trump, and he treaded lightly when asked about Trump tweeting last year that Moore probably couldn’t win the Senate race. He suggested that Trump was being pressured by Washington insiders. “They’re driving the president because they have the power in the Senate to remove him,” Moore said.  (It was one of a couple indicators that the interview was conducted before the Senate impeachment trial.) “And he’s subject to forces up there in Washington, and with all deference to the president, I can win.”

It’s worth remembering that while much of the Republican establishment wanted nothing to do with Moore, religious-right groups and right-wing activists rallied around his 2017 campaignpouring money into last-minute ads and traveling to Alabama to hold a press conference backing Moore and attacking his critics. After Moore lost the 2017 race, Trump-promoting “prophet” Lance Wallnau criticized Christian voters for “giving the devil a free pass” by not supporting Moore and warned Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, “You’re going down.”

Right Wing Watch noted in November:

For the record, it was Moore’s unorthodox view of the Constitution—notably his refusal as a state judge to abide by federal court rulings on church-state issues and marriage equality—that got him ousted twice as the state’s chief justice. Moore has been supported by Christian nationalists and embraced by some of the country’s most extreme anti-abortion activists.

One of the primary funders of Moore’s political career has been Michael Peroutka, a Christian Reconstructionist and neo-Confederate activist. Peroutka has also been a backer of Moore protégé and current Alabama Chief Justice Tom Parker, who has called on state courts to actively push the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade and the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling.

Recent polling puts Moore far back in the crowded primary race, in which former senator and attorney general Jeff Sessions is favored to win the opportunity to challenge incumbent Democratic Sen. Doug Jones. The primary will be held on March 3.

This article was originally published by Right Wing Watch and is republished here by permission.

Continue Reading
Click to comment
 
 

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.

NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

Trump’s Cabinet Bible Study Leader Teamed Up With A Prayer Warrior to Pray Against ‘Evil Pork’ in Coronavirus Bill

Published

on

“You are a holy, righteous God who reigns, and all the evil darts that the secularist journalists, etc., would like to use to poke at us would be thwarted.”

Dave Kubal, who runs the pro-Trump prayer warrior group Intercessors for America, hosted congressional and Cabinet Bible study teacher Ralph Drollinger on a special prayer call Wednesday afternoon. During call, which took place amid congressional wrangling over legislation to mitigate the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, Drollinger denounced efforts by members of Congress with an “evil secular mindset” to include what he called “evil pork” in the legislation.

Drollinger teaches members of Congress and President Donald Trump’s cabinet, and public officials around the country and the world, that the Bible instructs them to embrace right-wing policies that align with his very conservative interpretation of scripture. He teaches that legislators who do not share his particular conservative Christian worldview cannot be counted on to do the right thing because, he has written, “the longer a person rejects Christ, the greater his depravity becomes.”

Drollinger expressed hope that God would use the virus in a way that would cause people to turn to God and bring about a revival. But he was concerned that economic relief provisions in the legislation might include such generous unemployment benefits that it would be an “impetus to slothfulness.” That would be “antithetical to free-market capitalism,” he said, which he teaches is the economic system favored by God.

Drollinger and Kubal took turns reflecting and praying. Drollinger urged that the final legislation would not include provisions that would erase “internal mechanisms” for “every man in America to get up and provide for himself and his household.” Kubal led prayer against “the increase of government” and for the protection of free-market capitalism.

They both prayed that during the final hours of legislative debate on a stimulus package, God would empower and lift up members of Congress who shared their biblical worldview and shame the promoters of “evil pork.”

Related: Trump Cabinet Bible Study Leader Blames Coronavirus on Gay People and Environmentalists

After dispensing with prayers for the coronavirus legislation, the two discussed Drollinger’s recent written Bible study in which he, in his trademark pedantic fashion, discussed whether the coronavirus epidemic is a sign that America is under God’s judgment.

Drollinger is not one to shy away from criticizing other religious leaders, even conservative Christians, who don’t interpret the Bible exactly as he does. On the IFA call, he dismissed evangelical churches that avoid teaching about God’s wrath in favor of “cotton candy” messages. But he also derided preachers talking about the virus as God’s judgment on America for dispensing “cliché evangelicalism.”

On the IFA call, Drollinger suggested that what public officials are dealing with now is how to tamp down the “consequential wrath” that he described as the result of the Chinese government’s irresponsibility. He said Christian lawmakers understand their job, and that he has “all the confidence in the world” in Trump.

Drollinger prayed that the pandemic would drive more elected leaders to see their need for biblical wisdom and into the kind of Bible studies that his Capitol Ministries provides, and that there would be “a groundswell of believers coming to office, converted in office, and growing in office.”

Drollinger also prayed that “the secularists, even those secularists that are on this call peeping in right now, would be confounded by the fact that you are a holy, righteous God who reigns, and all the evil darts that the secularist journalists, etc., would like to use to poke at us would be thwarted.”

This article was originally published at Right Wing Watch and is republished by permission.

Continue Reading

RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

Trump Cabinet Bible Study Leader Blames Coronavirus on Gay People and Environmentalists

Published

on

The minister who hosts a weekly bible study session for President Trump’s cabinet has an opinion about the origins of the coronavirus. According to Ralph Drollinger, it’s just another form of God’s wrath in response to an increasingly progressive nation.

“Relative to the coronavirus pandemic crisis, this is not God’s abandonment wrath nor His cataclysmic wrath, rather it is sowing and reaping wrath,” Drollinger wrote in a series of posts. “A biblically astute evaluation of the situation strongly suggests that America and other countries of the world are reaping what China has sown due to their leaders’ recklessness and lack of candor and transparency.”

As The Intercept points out, Drollinger also railed against the “religion of environmentalism” and people who express a “proclivity toward lesbianism and homosexuality,” who he claims have  infiltrated “high positions in our government, our educational system, our media and our entertainment industry” and “are largely responsible for God’s consequential wrath on our nation.”

Among the participants in Drollinger’s bible studies are Mike Pompeo, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, and Health Secretary Alex Azar (who, along with Carson, are members of the coronavirus task force). Other participants include 52 GOP lawmakers.

“The evangelical lessons are carefully catered to conservative ideology, with a focus on interpreting current events through a partisan lens,” writes The Intercept’s Lee Fang. “Drollinger’s study guides have provided Biblical justification for the Trump administration’s undocumented immigrant child separation policies and arguments in favor of lower taxes on the wealthy.”

Read Fang’s full report over at The Intercept.

Continue Reading

RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

Tennessee Pastor Says America’s Coronavirus Outbreak Is a ‘Reckoning’ for Allowing Abortion and Gay Marriage

Published

on

When right-wing pastor Perry Stone held a prayer service at his church in Cleveland, Tennessee, earlier this week, he declared that the current COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak in America is a “reckoning” brought on by the nation’s rejection of God and its embrace of reproductive rights and marriage equality.

“If this is a moment of reckoning, and I know it is; I know what I heard, I did not make that up,” Stone said. “I audibly heard the phrase, a male voice speaking, and I believe it was the Holy Spirit.”

“Why is there a reckoning?” he asked. “Because we have by law forced God out of our country and basically told him, ‘In public places, you’re not welcome.’ You’re not welcomed in our schools, so our schools are now shut down. No prayer in public school, no Bible reading in public school. Now they’re telling kids to stay home for who knows how long, so our schools are shut down.”

“Then we have said to God, ‘The infants that you put in our wombs, we don’t respect them, we don’t want them, we will get them out of our bellies through abortion,’” Stone continued. “If you watch the women who are pro-choice, the majority of them have a spirit about them where there is no love.”

“The Bible talks about going after ‘strange flesh,’” Stone added, as he recounted the biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah. “There is a reckoning because the courts of the land passed a law to take an infant’s life, that it was OK, and for marriage as we have known it to be changed into something we have never known. Both of their laws, biblically in Leviticus and Deuteronomy, are what God calls an abomination. And the Bible teaches us that God is long-suffering, he is not willing that any perish, he wants everyone to come to repentance, but there will be a time when the Lord says, ‘Enough is enough.’”

Perry Stone: America’s Coronavirus Outbreak Is a ‘Reckoning’ for Allowing Abortion and Gay Marriage from Right Wing Watch on Vimeo.

The article was originally published at Right Wing Watch and is republished here by permission.

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2019 AlterNet Media.