(CNN) Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore said in a speech last month that Americans have asked for "shootings and killings" by removing the "acknowledgment of God" from society.
Moore, the former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, made the comments to the group Citizen Impact USA on August 24 at an event on defending religious liberties. Video of the speech was uploaded by the Atlanta-based production company, Studio 25 productions, on YouTube on August 25.
Moore is running against fellow Republican and incumbent Sen. Luther Strange in a runoff primary race set for September 26.
"We are losing the acknowledgment of God, and I'm standing here talking, to Christians and Pastors, and I'm telling you we're losing the acknowledgment of God," Moore said, before reciting several verses from the Old Testament book of Hosea that deal with lack of knowledge of God.
"You wonder why we're having shootings, and killings here in 2017? Because we've asked for it," Moore said. "We've taken God out of everything. We've taken prayer out of school, we've taken prayer out of council meetings."
A Moore spokesman did not return a request for comment on the candidate's comments.
Moore has in the past suggested tragic events were the result of American society turning away from God. In a comment from February reported on by CNN's KFile last week, Moore suggested the September 11, 2001 attacks might have occurred because the US had distanced itself from God.
Moore bested Strange in the initial primary, receiving 39% of the vote compared to Strange's 33%. President Donald Trump will travel to Alabama this weekend to campaign for Strange, who is also backed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Trump's former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, is backing Moore.