Former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, who is running for the U.S. Senate again, told reporters he wants to take the U.S. back to the “moral basis” of the 1960s and 1970s when sodomy and abortion were illegal, there was no national health care system, and nobody talked about socialism.
Moore was defeated in a 2017 special election after he faced charges, which he denied, that he sexually harassed and molested teenage girls in his 30s. Religious right leaders and right-wing media rallied around Moore during that campaign and denounced his critics and accusers. In 2017, Moore called his critics “unforgivable” and “pure evil.” After that defeat, he made it clear that he would continue to fight against people who “do not share the vision of those who built this country.”
Moore spoke recently to the Huntsville Republican Men’s Group, according to the Alabama Political Reporter:
“We have got to go back to what we did back in the sixties and seventies back to a moral basis,” Moore said. “We did not have a national healthcare system. You know when Obama passed this thing rising all our costs and business started going down the tube everybody said it was going to be repealed. You never hear anybody in Congress talk about it now. Our indebtedness was $22 trillion. Back in the sixties and seventies it was much lower. It was a sixth of that. Abortion was not legal when I went to Vietnam. It was passed later. It was OK’d later. We had abortion laws in our country and our state. We did not have same sex marriage. We did not have transgender rights. Sodomy was illegal. These things were just not around when my classmates and I went to West Point and Vietnam.”
Moore also complained about Supreme Court decisions on the separation of church and state that took official prayer out of the public schools. He complained that the country is “continually under attack from atheists and secular humanists who want to take those laws from us.”
Here is more of Moore’s nostalgia:
“We had the Pledge of Allegiance,” Moore continued. “We said the Pledge of Allegiance. We had morning devotionals. I know most of you in here over the age of sixty probably remember days like that. We are continually under attack from atheists and secular humanists who want to take those laws from us.”
“We have drag queens teaching kindergarten children in this state and this community….in Huntsville in Mobile they taught kids and they dress them up in drag,” Moore told the audience. “Where does this come from? Gender identity is being taught in California to young kids and parents have no choice but to let their kids be taught that.”
“The U.N. You don’t hear any talk about the U.N.,” Moore said. “In our backyard we have an organization in our backyard that intends to take away our rights. They hire kids to go out and protest our economic conditions. We have got to wake up. They don’t stand for us and we are maintaining them.
“When I went to school the Constitution was highly regarded,” Moore said. “Now we have kids who undermine our Constitution and impeach our President simply because they do not like his politics. That is not constitutional, and we should know that.”
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.