MSNBC host Chuck Todd said Wednesday that Republican Alabama senatorial candidate Roy Moore doesn't believe in the U.S. Constitution because he believes in God-given rights.
Todd, introducing his discussion of the former Alabama chief justice, said that "the phrase ‘Christian conservative' doesn't even begin to describe him."
"First off, he doesn't appear to believe in the Constitution as it's written," Todd said.
He then played a clip of Moore saying, "Our rights don't come from government, they don't come from the Bill of Rights, they come from Almighty God."
"Those are just a taste of what are very fundamentalist views that have gotten him removed from office twice as Alabama's chief justice," Todd said.
Moore's views are actually well in line with the philosophy of many of the Founders. As they saw it, the Constitution and the government only protected inalienable rights that were endowed by God or some other divine provenance.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," wrote Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence.
Jefferson also made reference to "the God who gave us life gave us liberty at the same time" in earlier writing.
"I say RIGHTS, for such they have, undoubtedly, antecedent to all earthly government,-Rights that cannot be repealed or restrained by human laws-Rights, derived from the great Legislator of the universe," John Adams wrote in his "Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law."
The language of the Bill of Rights recognizes the Founders' commonly held belief that rights are natural and god-given. It does not explicitly grant rights, stating instead that existing rights "shall not be infringed," "shall not be violated," and that Congress "shall make no law… abridging" them.