Evangelical Christians, local politicians, and religious right activists have fallen all over themselves as they grasp for reasons to support disgraced Alabama senate candidate Roy Moore. Moore, who was removed from the state supreme court twice for disobeying federal court orders, has been accused by multiple women of sexual abuse and harassment when they were teenagers.
While most mainstream Republicans have rejected Moore and rescinded their endorsements, one group of people has steadfastly remained in Moore’s corner. After he spent his career decrying “godless liberals” and positioning himself as a champion of religious liberty, the (un)godly justifications for Moore’s abuse of teenage girls is being carried by evangelical Christians in the name of Jesus.
Here’s a sampling of the most disgusting examples of unholy Christian leaders attempting to deflect the allegations by wrapping them in Christ’s robes.
Alabama state auditor Jim Ziegler
“Take the Bible. Zachariah and Elizabeth for instance. Zachariah was extremely old to marry Elizabeth and they became the parents of John the Baptist. Also take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus.”
American Family (Association) Radio’s Bryan Fischer
“The Bible is very, very clear that you never condemn anybody on the testimony of one witness. If there is a crime that has been committed and you only have one witness, you do not convict on that basis. Now what we’ve got here is four people that claim a crime of some kind, or something inappropriate happened, but in each case, there is only one witness. We don’t have two witnesses to any of these accusations to this point, which means from a standpoint of biblical justice, we have to hold our fire, we have to withhold our judgment, we have to wait and see if more information comes out.
“Until there is a second witness, then we have to say that, biblically, the standard of proof has not yet been met. If the standard is innocent until proven guilty, then Roy Moore has to be considered, conceived of in our minds, as somebody who is being falsely accused.”
American Family Association official Sandy Rios
“The focus is on Justice Moore, but really he is a proxy for all of us that are believers in Jesus. Now I’m saying in terms of the hatred and vitriol coming his way and the delight, really, in destroying him if they can. It’s what the darkness always does to the light.
“Remember that Jesus himself was accused, but he was completely innocent. Remember that they paid guards to come and lie about whether the stone was rolled away and the body was not there. This is not new.”
50 Alabama pastors in an open letter published by Moore’s wife on social media
“You can know a man by his enemies, and he’s made plenty – from the radical organizations such as the Southern Poverty Law Center and the ACLU to the liberal media and a handful of establishment politicians from Washington. He has friends too, a lot of them. They live all across this great State, work hard all week, and fill our pews on Sunday. They know him as a father, a grandfather, a man who loves God’s Word and knows much of it by heart, a man who cares for the people, a man who understands our Constitution in the tradition of our Founding Fathers, and a man who deeply loves America. It’s no wonder the Washington establishment has declared all-out war on his campaign.
“We are ready to join the fight and send a bold message to Washington: dishonesty, fear of man, and immorality are an affront to our convictions and our Savior and we won’t put up with it any longer.”
Jerry Moore, the candidate’s brother, in an interview with CNN’s Martin Savidge
“He says it’s because his brother has been leading so far in double digits, and he also says he knows that they are not telling the truth and these women are going to as he put it have to answer to God for these false allegations,” Savidge reported. “And he’s also portrays that his brother is being persecuted in his own words like Jesus Christ was,”
Roy Moore himself in a fundraising email sent to supporters
“The forces of evil will lie, cheat, steal — even inflict physical harm — if they believe it will silence and shut up Christian conservatives like you and me. I believe you and I have a duty to stand up and fight back against the forces of evil waging an all-out war on our conservative values!”
President of evangelical Liberty University Jerry Falwell Jr.
“It comes down to a question who is more credible in the eyes of the voters — the candidate or the accuser. The same thing happened to President Trump a few weeks before his election last year except it was several women making allegations. He denied that any of them were true and the American people believed him and elected him the 45th president of the United States.”