As Roy Moore declines to step aside, a tale of two Republican parties emerges (Washington Post link): The reactions to the allegation that Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore initiated sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl when he was a 32-year-old assistant district attorney have highlighted deep divisions within the Republican Party and underscored the growing tribalism that has infected the nation’s politics.
The most remarkable pushback came from Alabama State Auditor Jim Zeigler, who dismissed the allegations by saying that there was also an age gap between the biblical Joseph and Mary. “Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus,” he told The Washington Examiner. “There’s just nothing immoral or illegal here. Maybe just a little bit unusual.”
Zeigler said the allegations, even if true, are “much ado about nothing.” As part of his defense, he argued that Moore “fell in love with one of the younger women” and noted that the woman he wound up marrying later on is 14 years younger than him. “There is nothing to see here,” Zeigler said, predicting that voters would be angrier at The Washington Post for writing the story than at Moore for his behavior. He made another biblical reference: “Zachariah was extremely old to marry Elizabeth and they became the parents of John the Baptist,” he said.
The Republican National Committeeman from Alabama, Paul Reynolds, said that he trusts Vladimir Putin more than Moore’s accusers. “My gosh, it's The Washington Post. If I’ve got a choice of putting my welfare into the hands of Putin or The Washington Post, Putin wins every time,” he told The Hill. “This is going to make Roy Moore supporters step up to the plate and give more, work more and pray more.”
‘Blasphemous’: Prominent evangelist blasts ‘really creepy’ use of the Bible to justify sexual abuse (Raw Story link): Prominent Christian missiologist Ed Stetzer wrote in Christianity Today to slam supporters of Republican senate nominee Roy Moore for the “sheer foolishness” of attempting to use the Bible to rationalize sexual assault.
“Simply put, it is important to make clear that Christians don’t believe the message that is coming from some of Moore’s supporters,” Stetzer fact checked. “Actually, most of us find it really creepy.”
Ed Stetzer, Ph.D., holds the Billy Graham Chair of Church, Mission, and Evangelism at Wheaton College, serves as executive director of the Billy Graham Center for Evangelism and is a contributing editor for Christianity Today.
Stetzer counseled that, “in the midst of an avalanche of accusations against liberal Hollywood that we accept immediately as truth, let’s not brush aside an accusation against a religious right leader. We need to take allegations seriously on all sides of the political aisle.”
Thursday, Alabama State Auditor Jim Zeigler said that, “Even if you accept The Washington Post’s report as being completely true, it’s much ado about very little.”
“Take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus,” Zeigler told The Washington Examiner. “There’s just nothing immoral or illegal here. Maybe just a little bit unusual.”
Additionally, Roy Moore’s brother claimed the Republican senate nominee was being “persecuted” like Jesus Christ.
Stetzer was appalled that some Roy Moore supporters used the Bible to justify sexual abuse of a 14-year-old. “If this is evangelicalism, I’m on the wrong team,” Stetzer charged. “But it is not. Christians don’t use Joseph and Mary to explain child molesting accusations.”
“His statement is so far beyond truth that it would be comical, if it wasn’t so offensive and, let me say, nearly blasphemous,” Stetzer noted. “I want to be clear: this is neither an evangelical view, nor should the Bible be used in this way.”
Stetzer confessed that “anger” might be too light of a word for his feelings. “So, let’s be clear. No. Normal. Evangelical. Believes. This. About. The. Bible.” Stetzer repeated. “And to all you reporters out there, THIS IS NOT WHAT EVANGELICALS BELIEVE.”
Mod: This last cite comes from a Republican author named Max Boot. He is a military historian and foreign-policy analyst who has been called one of the “world’s leading authorities on armed conflict” by the International Institute for Strategic Studies.
But, no, once you start racing to the bottom you never quite stop. There is always another level of degeneracy to be plumbed. Enter Roy Moore, the Republican Senate candidate in Alabama. He believes that “homosexual conduct should be illegal” and that Muslims should not be permitted to serve in Congress. Now the Washington Post reports that this fearless crusader for “traditional values” had a habit of propositioning underage girls.
In one case in 1979, when he was a 32-year-old assistant district attorney, the Post reports, Moore allegedly offered to watch a “little girl” outside a courthouse for her mother. He subsequently took advantage of this entree to kiss and fondle this 14-year-old after undressing both of them down to their underwear. The statute of limitations has expired on this sordid episode, but under Alabama law it would constitute sexual abuse in the second degree and be punishable by up to a year in prison.
Under common morality, of the kind that Moore claims to champion, his conduct is simply vile. You don’t have to be the parent of teenage girls — which I am — to be deeply disgusted. Yet he is utterly unrepentant. Moore simply waves off the allegations, claiming, “This garbage is the very definition of fake news and intentional defamation.”
On his Twitter feed he has the gall to write, “Our children and grandchildren’s futures are on the line. So rest assured — I will NEVER GIVE UP the fight!” He even has the audacity to send a fundraising appeal to his supporters claiming that the Post article is evidence that “the forces of evil are on the march in our country,” and asking for a donation to fight the “Clinton-Obama machine.”
So far, much to their eternal discredit, Moore’s Republican backers in Alabama appear to be sticking by him. Paul Reynolds, the Republican national committee man from Alabama, told The Hill that he doesn’t trust The Washington Post: “If I’ve got a choice of putting my welfare into the hands of Putin or The Washington Post, Putin wins every time.”
State auditor Jim Ziegler is willing to admit the charges are true, but he doesn’t care. He cited the Biblical story of Mary and Joseph — “Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus”— and concluded, “There’s just nothing immoral or illegal here. Maybe just a little bit unusual.”