Roy Moore's five most controversial remarks

Roy Moore's five most controversial remarks
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Former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore is the favorite to win Tuesday's GOP Senate primary runoff, despite a history of controversial statements on gay rights, abortion and the 9/11 terror attacks.

Moore's role in high-profile religious liberty disputes and his reputation as a conservative firebrand have made him a household name with Alabama's religious right. He’s been suspended from the state Supreme Court twice, once for refusing to remove a Ten Commandments statue from state grounds and later for refusing to follow the federal Supreme Court’s landmark ruling legalizing same-sex marriage.

But Moore has also been dogged by a penchant for making statements that could offend voters outside his hard right base — and could hurt him in the GOP runoff against Alabama Sen. Luther StrangeLuther Johnson StrangeGOP rushes to cut ties to Moore Cruz’s Democratic challenger fundraises off support of Roy Moore Moore digs in amid mounting GOP criticism MORE in the race to decide which Republican will face the Democratic opponent to serve out the rest of Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsCurtis wins Chaffetz's former Utah House seat Overnight Cybersecurity: What we learned from Carter Page's House Intel testimony | House to mark up foreign intel reform law | FBI can't access Texas shooter's phone | Sessions to testify at hearing amid Russia scrutiny FBI can’t unlock Texas shooter’s phone MORE’s Senate term.

Here are five of the most controversial comments of Moore’s career. 

Terror attacks and violence caused by godlessness

Moore has argued on multiple occasions that America’s secular shift is responsible for many of its darkest moments, including the 9/11 terrorist attacks and recent “shootings and killings.”

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Moore made both comments, unearthed by CNN, this year. 

Speaking at Alabama’s Open Door Baptist Church in February, Moore cited a biblical passage about forsaking God’s “word and trust in perverseness and oppression” leading to a wall breaking “suddenly at an instance.” 

“Sounds a little bit like the Pentagon, whose breaking came suddenly at an instance, doesn’t it?” Moore said. 

“If you think that's coincidence, if you go to verse 25, 'there should be up on every high mountain and upon every hill rivers and streams of water in the day of the great slaughter when the towers will fall.' You know, we've suffered a lot in this country. Just maybe, because we've distanced ourselves from the one that has it within his hands to heal this land."

In August, he made a similar argument about “shootings and killings” sparked because America is losing the acknowledgement of God.”

Moore specifically cites America’s views on abortion and “sodomy” as potential reasons why God could be frustrated with the country. He regularly rails against abortion, and argued in 2005 footage reported by CNN that homosexuality should be illegal.

‘Maybe Putin is right’

Days before Moore won first place in the August primary that set up Tuesday’s runoff, Moore spoke with The Guardian and appeared to sympathize with Russian criticism of the United States.

Moore noted that former President Reagan’s description of the Soviet Union as “the focus of evil in the modern world” could be applied to America today, because “we promote a lot of bad things” like “same-sex marriage.”

When The Guardian’s reporter noted that current Russian President Vladimir Putin makes a similar argument, Moore replied, “Maybe he’s more akin to me than I know.”  

Birther comments

Moore was a leading proponent of the “birther” conspiracy theory, which posited, without evidence, that former President Obama wasn’t born in the United States.

Moore expressed doubts about Obama’s country of origin as recently as December.

“My opinion is, there is a big question about that,” he said.

“My personal belief is that he wasn’t [born here], but that’s probably over and done in a few days, unless we get something else to come along.” 

Moore had previously shared his skepticism about Obama’s place of birth on a number of occasions, including calling for a “major investigation” in an interview with WorldNetDaily. 

Opposition to Muslim congressman’s oath of office

Moore took serious issue with Rep. Keith Ellison’s (D-Minn.) decision to take his oath of office with his hand on the Quran. 

Ellison, who became the first Muslim in Congress upon his election in 2006, took the ceremonial oath of office using a Quran that had been owned by Thomas Jefferson.

But Moore criticized Ellison’s decision to use a Quran, airing his criticism in a 2006 post on WorldNetDaily.com

“In 1943, we would never have allowed a member of Congress to take their oath on ‘Mein Kampf,’ or someone in the 1950s to swear allegiance to the ‘Communist Manifesto,’ ” he wrote. 

“Congress has the authority and should act to prohibit Ellison from taking the congressional oath today!”

In that same piece, Moore said that there’s enough evidence for Congress “to question Ellison’s qualifications to be a member of Congress” because, he wrote, Islam is “directly contrary to the principles of the Constitution.”

‘Reds and yellows’ 

Moore sparked still more controversy just days ago when he decried division among “reds and yellows” during a stump speech, when he compared the current political climate to the strife around the Civil War. 

“We were torn apart in the Civil War — brother against brother, North against South, party against party. What changed?” Moore asked.

“Now we have blacks and whites fighting, reds and yellows fighting, Democrats and Republicans fighting, men and women fighting. What’s going to unite us? What’s going to bring us back together? A president? A Congress? No. It’s going to be God.”

After the quote provoked criticism, Moore’s campaign said that he was only paraphrasing the popular religious song “Jesus Loves the Little Children,” which contains similar references to “reds” and “yellows.”