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Roy Moore issues fiery video refusing to concede: 'Immorality sweeps over our land'

Amanda Holpuch in New York

In a statement, the Alabama judge railed against a litany of issues, including ‘abortion, sodomy and materialism’, before wishing viewers a ‘Merry Christmas’

Roy Moore refused to concede the Alabama senate election in a fiery video statement released Wednesday night in which he warned: “The heart and soul of our country is at stake.”

“Today, we no longer recognize the universal truth that God is the author of our life and liberty,” the former Republican candidate said. “Abortion, sodomy and materialism have taken the place of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

He added: “Immorality sweeps over our land.”

Homosexuality should be illegal


In 2005, Moore said: “Homosexual conduct should be illegal.” In an interview televised on C-Span, Moore added: “It is immoral. It is defined by the law as detestable.” During a debate in September 2017, he went out of his way to bemoan the fact that “sodomy [and] sexual perversion sweep the land”.


September 11 attacks as divine punishment


In a speech in February, Moore appeared to suggest that the terrorist attacks of September 11 were the result of divine retribution against the United States and prophesized in the Book of Isaiah. In comments first reported by CNN, Moore quoted Isaiah 30:12-13, saying: “Because you have despised His word and trust in perverseness and oppression, and say thereon ... therefore this iniquity will be to you as a breach ready to fall, swell out in a high wall, whose breaking cometh suddenly at an instance.” Moore then noted: “Sounds a little bit like the Pentagon, whose breaking came suddenly at an instance, doesn’t it?” He added: “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.’"


Praise for Putin


In an interview with the Guardian in August, Moore praised Putin for his views on gay rights. “Maybe Putin is right. Maybe he’s more akin to me than I know.” The comments came after Moore suggested the United States could be described as “the focus of evil in the world” because “we promote a lot of bad things”. Moore specifically named gay marriage as one of those “bad things”.


'Reds and yellows’


At a rally earlier in September, Moore talked about “reds and yellows fighting” while discussing racial division in the United States. Moore justified this on Twitter by citing lyrics from the song Jesus Loves the Little Children. He wrote “Red, yellow, black and white they are precious in His sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world. This is the Gospel.”


Tracking livestock is communism


In 2006, Moore condemned a proposal for a national ID system for animals as “more identifiable with communism than free enterprise”. The proposal received attention after a cow in Alabama had been diagnosed with mad cow disease. Moore, who was then running for governor, was skeptical that the outbreak was real. Instead, Moore suggested it was a ruse intended to promote the tracking system.


Moore lost to the Democrat Doug Jones on Tuesday after facing multiple allegations of sexual assault during the campaign. In a statement released by the Moore campaign on Wednesday night, Moore said he was still waiting for the final vote count. The count currently stands at 49.9% to 48.4%.

Alabama voting officials have said it is unlikely Jones will not be declared the winner. The Moore campaign can call for a recount, but would have to pay for it unless the margin is within half a percentage point.

Moore spoke from behind a shiny wooden desk, with a large statue of someone riding a horse and a decorative lamp in the background. In the statement, he quoted from Abraham Lincoln’s proclamation in March 1863 for “a day of national humiliation, fasting and prayer.

He then transitioned smoothly from Lincoln’s call for more humility to Moore’s own proclamation of the ills of the US.

“We have stopped prayer in our schools,” Moore said. “We have killed over 60 million of our unborn children. We have redefined marriage and destroyed the basis of family, which is the building block of our country.”

He continued to rail against a litany of other issues, including transgender rights (“We have even begun to recognize the right of a man to claim to be a woman, and vice versa”), the economy and campaign finance.

Moore has long complained about these issues and was one of the most prominent opponents to same-sex marriage in the lead-up to its legalization. Prior to that, he attracted nationwide attention in a battle to keep a statue of the Ten Commandments in the rotunda of Alabama’s supreme court when he was its chief justice.

His defeat on Tuesday followed accusations by two women who said he assaulted them when they were teenagers. Their claims were followed by allegations from other women who said Moore had romantically pursued them when they were underage. He has denied all the allegations.

Democrats were energized by Moore’s loss, which shrunk the Republicans’ majority in the Senate to one. “Alabama’s not an outlier – it’s a trend,” Tom Perez, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, said on Wednesday.

The defeat was a blow to Donald Trump, who defied other senior members of his party by backing Moore despite the allegations against him. On Wednesday, Trump claimed that he had known all along that Moore was unelectable, which, he said, was why he initially endorsed his opponent, Luther Strange, during Alabama’s summer Republican primary.

“The reason I originally endorsed Luther Strange (and his numbers went up mightily), is that I said Roy Moore will not be able to win the General Election,” Trump wrote. “I was right! Roy worked hard but the deck was stacked against him!”

In the video, Moore also alluded to the allegations of sexual misconduct that have been made against him. “Even our political process has been affected with baseless and false allegations, which have become more relevant than the issues which affect our country,” Moore said.

The four-minute-and-46-second video ends with a white screen wishing viewers a “Merry Christmas” and reminding them that the video was paid for by Moore’s campaign for Senate.