Ray Moore, running in a special election for a US Senate seat from the state of Alabama is an accused teenage sexual predator.
Some believe that charge, others don't. The Republican National Committee is among the believers. It cut off funding for Moore. Key Republican leaders including Senate leader Mitch McConnell have asked Moore to step down.
Moore refuses. What's interesting to me is the rationale of those defending Moore.
Allegations Don't Matter, Even If True
Alabama Pastor Earl Wise told the Boston Globe that he would back Moore even if sexual assault allegations were true.
The Boston Globe interviewed nearly 10 evangelical pastors, all of whom said the allegations did not change their support for the candidate.
"There are some 14-year-olds, who, the way they look, could pass for 20,” said Wise.
Character Traits? Who Gives a Damn?
Nate Silver has an interesting column on the story: Care About Most Are Policies, Not Character Traits.
Roy Moore has been abandoned by Republican leadership in Congress, the Republican National Committee, and even some national evangelical leaders. But the embattled Alabama Senate candidate, who is facing allegations that he sexually assaulted, harassed or made sexual advances toward teenagers, still appears to have the support of a big chunk of his base ahead of the special election being held on Dec. 12: Alabama’s white evangelical Protestants.
A JMC Analytics and Polling survey conducted in the immediate aftermath of the first set of allegations found that most evangelicals (71 percent) said they wouldn’t dissuade them from voting for Moore.
For years, Roy Moore has positioned himself as a tenacious advocate for conservative Christian priorities like opposition to gay rights and abortion — even in the face of resistance from the government. He has twice been removed from his position as chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. First, he refused to comply with a federal judicial order to take down a monument to the Ten Commandments that he erected in the Supreme Court courthouse. Later, after again being elected to the post, he ordered lower court judges to refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples in defiance of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that gay couples have a constitutional right to marry.
On the campaign trail, Moore has denied the existence of evolution (57 percent of evangelicals do as well). He has said that Ronald Reagan’s famous statement about the Soviet Union being “the focus of evil in the modern world” could apply to the U.S. — when asked for an example, he pointed to the legalization of same-sex marriage. Moore has suggested that the 9/11 attacks may have been a punishment from God because abortion and sodomy are legal. He called the 2015 Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage “even worse” than the 1857 decision in the Dred Scott case, which found that African-Americans were property and not citizens.
“For evangelicals, Moore is the ultimate champion of the values mandated by biblical Christianity,” said Geoffrey Layman, a political science professor at the University of Notre Dame who studies religion and politics. “He’s established himself as someone who will fight for them even at great personal cost.”
It's unfair to categorize "all" Evangelicals in one bucket, but it does seem fair to put most of them in that bucket, assuming the Boston Globe report is close to being correct.
Unfortunately, the bucket isn't pretty.
Apparently, consensual sex between two adults is more problematic than a 30-year old man preying on 14-year old girls.
Consensual sex between two adults is also more problematic than the forced slavery of blacks.
He Denies It
Why Does It Matter?
Does it even matter whether Moore is guilty? Apparently not.
At least the pastor Pastor Earl Wise made that clear.
Today we learn this from another Pastor, Flip Benham: Moore dated 'younger ladies' for their 'purity'.
What about his purity?
Mike "Mish" Shedlock