The top judge in Alabama believes that the law and the courts cannot function without God.
Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore made that claim at the Pierce County Prayer Breakfast in Tacoma, Washington in May while discussing the addition of "under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance.
The chief justice said Americans had forgotten that there was no comma between "one nation" and "under God" in the Pledge.
"When we say the Pledge, we say 'I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation' and we pause," he remarked. "They didn't mean for us to pause, ladies and gentlemen, and that pause has cost us a lot."
"It has cost a lot because we have forgotten that God is intimately connected with this nation," Moore continued. "Without God there would be no nation. Without God there would be no freedom to believe what you want. That goes all the way back to people like Thomas Jefferson in his bill for religious freedom. He knew what it meant. He knew the limits of civil government, and he knew who gave us that freedom to believe what we want about God, but it comes from God."
Reading a 1954 legislative report from the House of Representatives, the chief justice noted that "under God" had been added to the Pledge to contrast values of the United States with the values of the Soviet Union, whose communist doctrine was explicitly anti-religious.
The legislative report stated that "under God" didn't violate the First Amendment's prohibition of a government establishment of religion because there was a difference between "the existences of a religion as an institution and a belief in the sovereignty of God."
Moore implored the audience to remember that "God is not religion."
"God is sovereign over our government and over our law," he said. "And when we are lead to believe anything else, when we exclude him from our lives, exclude him from our law, exclude him from our courts, then they will fail."
Moore was removed from office in 2003 for defying a federal judge's order to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the Alabama Supreme Court building. Moore was re-elected as the state's chief justice in 2012.
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