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Most readers will probably know about the evangelical candidate for the Alabama state seat, Roy Moore, and the sexual allegations. There are now some four women cited as claiming sexual abuse involving minors (one of the women being fourteen at the time, and with some thirty people on the record at the Washington Post). There is now a watershed moment in the US and around the world where people, women mainly (but not exclusively), are feeling empowered to come out and make these allegations.

The sad thing is that, in Alabama, so many diehard Republican voters simply don’t care about Moore’s moral failings – they will simply never vote Democrat and will double down. They will excuse any moral disgrace due to cognitive dissonance in order to maintain loyalty to their ideology. The polarisation in politics these days mean that anything becomes excusable.

Moore is now using this as an opportunity to up his campaign, and he has subsequently raised well over an extra $100,000.

This discussion is really interesting:

YouTube video

Looking at this from the other side, FOX News added:

If these allegations are true, he can’t run. And the idea, as mentioned above, that the four separate independent (mostly Republican) accusers are “fake news” is nonsense (not to mention the thirty other sources on file). There does seem a rare degree of seeing reality in the FOX segment. There is a very interesting reference to the state auditor who claimed analogy to Joseph and Mary and that Joseph married a teenager in Mary and had Jesus as a child. This was wildly insane. The Washington Post reports it here:

“Take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus,” Alabama State Auditor Jim Zeigler told The Washington Examiner. “There’s just nothing immoral or illegal here. Maybe just a little bit unusual.”

In the Bible, Mary is the mother of Jesus, and Joseph became her husband. Beliefs about the specific story of Joseph and Mary and Jesus’ birth vary widely in Christian history and across traditions. Mary is referred to in scripture as a virgin, but there is disagreement about what that means. Generally, however, Christians believe that Mary was a virgin when he was born. Joseph is usually referred to as Jesus’ “father” or a father figure.

The Bible does not state Mary and Joseph’s specific ages, but she is usually understood to be a teenager, and Joseph was an adult.

Moore is a judge and the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in Alabama, one of the most solidly evangelical states in the country. He was twice elected to and twice removed from the state Supreme Court after refusing to follow church-state laws. In 2003, he refused to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the state judicial building. In 2016, he was suspended after ordering judges to deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Here, on CNN, you can see Republicans go at each other when one hears another seemingly excuse Moore:

Principled Republicans have been replaced by political gymnasts who try to excuse away moral disgraces, as according to Tara Setmayer, who absolutely cremates Jack Kingston in showing the double standards of Trump’s campaign. Steve Bannon and the now-President’s campaign paraded out women who had allegations against Bill Clinton to huge cheers. Why defend Moore as being innocent until proven guilty but not do so for Clinton during those campaign moments?

Incredible double standards.

Steve Bannon himself has come out in defence of Moore; see at 7:45 in this video below:

The challenge, as entirely was the case with Trump, is with the large swathes of evangelical voters in Alabama. How do they square their strong evangelical moral stances with these allegations? Some 49% of them are evangelical Protestants.

The Washington Post has a very good article on this:

Now, as Moore’s Republican U.S. Senate campaign is imperiled by allegations of sexual overtures to a 14-year-old girl when he was in his 30s, there’s an outpouring of impassioned and soul-searching discussion in evangelical ranks.

“This is one of those excruciating decision moments for evangelicals,” Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said in a telephone interview. “These allegations, if true, are devastating. If true, this is a very big deal.”

Mohler said Alabama voters face a potentially wrenching task of trying to determine if the allegations — Moore has emphatically denied them — are credible….

“Evangelicals are steadily losing their moral authority in the larger public square by intensifying their uncritical loyalty to Donald Trump,” Franklin wrote in an email. “Since this is Roy Moore and not Donald Trump, I think there may be significant disaffection with him, and increased demands for his removal from the ballot.”

As for Moore himself, Franklin suggested there were “classic evangelical remedies” such as confession, prayer and remorse and isolation.

“Election to higher office is not one of them,” Franklin wrote.

Although Trump won 80 percent of the white evangelical vote in his presidential victory, his candidacy exposed and hardened rifts among conservative Christians about partisan politics, the personal character of government leaders and the Gospel. Surveys by the Public Religion Research Institute found that the percentage of white evangelicals who said they still trusted the leadership of a politician who commits an immoral act rose from 30 percent in 2011 to 72 percent last year….

“Right now there are evangelicals who feel trapped,” Cyzewski wrote. “They think Moore did something reprehensible, but believe abortion is evil.”

Katelyn Beaty, an editor at large with the evangelical magazine Christianity Today, suggested that among many of Moore’s evangelical supporters, there’s a “presumption of innocence” because of their mistrust of national media such as The Washington Post.

“Many Christian communities have trouble appropriately responding to sex abuse allegations,” Beaty wrote in an email. “There is a default trust in powerful, charismatic male leaders, coupled with a discomfort with women who use their story or voice to challenge the status quo or power structures.”

 We are in a really problematic time for morality and politics, as this video declares:

See Bannon’s talk at 6:15 in the video above.

When we live in a time where it really doesn’t matter for many entrenched citizens what their candidate does, morally speaking, because they have a ring-fenced vote.

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Jonathan MS Pearce

A TIPPLING PHILOSOPHER Jonathan MS Pearce is a philosopher, author, columnist, and public speaker with an interest in writing about almost anything, from skepticism to science, politics, and morality,...