Thoughts on the Roy Moore Situation

“It never happened, and I don’t even like hearing it because it never happened, and they’re doing this a month away, four weeks [before the election], after 40 years in public service.”  — Justice Roy Moore, speaking with Sean Hannity

I haven’t really been following Roy Moore’s career closely. Though, of course, I remember the hullaballoo over the Ten Commandments monument several years ago. (Not sure where I stand on that, since I don’t remember the details or the arguments given.) My sense is that he’s a good man and Christian brother, whom I mostly agree with in principle and whose motives I generally understand. But, the way he has handled certain matters — both in what he says and/or does — I sometimes take issue with. As for the current accusations against him of sexual misconduct, I tend to doubt he is guilty, and I am highly suspicious of the timing of the “revelations”. On the other hand, I don’t actually know the man or the alleged evidence, so I can’t really say.

A few weeks ago, I shared a piece by Tim Dukeman. This week, I’d like to cite another Facebook friend, Derick Dickens. Derick and I don’t always see eye-to-eye (e.g., he treats President Trump more harshly than I do), but he’s a smart, insightful guy, and I value his observations and opinion. Lucky for me, he decided to put a few thoughts down in a FB post in regards to Roy Moore, which I appreciated, and he then gave me the thumbs-up to share them with you.

“Since I have been involved in politics, I have been asked this week to weigh in on the Roy Moore situation.

On purpose, I have avoided any conversation on Moore for years. Roy Moore, a former champion Martial Arts fighter and Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, has been in the news since his fight over the 10 Commandments in the Alabama Supreme Court building. Many liberals have compared him to the Taliban while some conservatives believe he is one of the greatest politicians in America today.

There are people quick to scorn Moore and others quick to almost deify him, but I appreciated Marvin Olasky’s comments over a decade ago when he said concerning the 10 Commandments issue, “Christian activists, for their part, should not rush either to support or scorn, but should think through whether this is the issue [the 10 commandments issue] on which they want to concentrate their attention.” Olasky expresses my views well.

Yet, I have had some troubles with Moore and company as it has divided many Christians. The divide is immense as seen in the division between the Attorney General Bill Pryor and Roy Moore. Both supported the 10 commandments but were on opposite sides on their removal. It seems that Bill Pryor’s view has won over the Trump Administration, which seems sort of ironic considering Moore’s supporters tend to be Trump supporters. Roy Moore’s bitterness against Pryor is well known. Moore said that Bill Pryor was unrepentant for his role in removing the 10 commandments, using language that assumes Pryor sinned. Pryor, on the other hand, felt that Christians are under authority to obey the laws of the land and Moore’s move was unwise and with no Biblical warrant.

In retrospect, I agree with Pryor. Removing the 10 Commandments did not violate our religious beliefs and was within the jurisdiction of the state government. As a result, Moore is required to obey the law. Moore did not. While good Christians can disagree on this issue, Moore and company attacked those who did disagree.

Besides calling Pryor to repentance, Moore attacked other Christian Leaders like Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention and Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice, who advised Justice Moore that he’s trying to defend a bridge too far. These leaders were all lambasted by some Moore supporters as traitors to the Alabama or U.S. constitutions, or to the Bible itself. Today, I still see some calling those who disagree with Moore socialists or RINO’s.

Onto the Sexual misconduct charges: After allegations of sexual misconduct, many are discussing whether Moore is innocent or guilty of those charges. The charges are serious and they are made by four different ladies. Even some Christians supporting Moore said the charges seem like credible statements, even if they believe the statements themselves are false. Others say this is an underhanded trick played by the Democrats and the Washington Post.

In the end, I do not know if Moore is guilty or innocent. While I am not a fan of Roy Moore, I do not have the evidence one way or the other and will be slow to pass judgment.

Yet, let’s be clear. If Roy Moore committed these acts, he should be in jail and should not run for office. However, we should take the charges seriously and be ready, if evidence demands, to abandon Roy Moore.

I have not always been a fan of Moore and while I personally tend to believe the accusations, I also know these could be lies. Either way, these accusations should be taken seriously and investigated. Yet, all Christians should be quick to say, “If true, Moore should resign and if untrue these are horrible lies.””

Interesting that Derick tends to believe the current accusations against Moore, while I am giving him the benefit of the doubt, for now. But, we are both trying to be fair and balanced and to reserve judgment until the facts are in.

I don’t know about you, but it bothers me that so many even on the political Right, particularly GOP Establishment, are withdrawing public support from Moore. Essentially, they are doing exactly what the Dems/Libs want: assuming the worst, running in fear, and generally giving in to the “guilty until proven innocent” mindset that dominates many in America these days. “Trial by media” strikes again. As Derick said, if the accusations turn out to be true, Moore should do the right thing and bow out of the senatorial race. But, until then, those who are demanding this are jumping the gun.

Derick brings up another phenomenon that I wanted to mention — namely, the way that Moore and many of his supporters automatically assume the worst about fellow-Christians who happen to disagree with them on a controversial issue (e.g., the 10 Commandments debacle), even to the point of making counter-accusations of, for example, compromising the Bible and/or the U.S. Constitution. Unfortunately, Christians do this sort of thing more than we care to admit, often on non-essential issues.

Is it really so hard to admit that there might be another principled position that well-meaning, honorable people can hold to? Is it also necessary to publicly bash those people we disagree with? (I struggle with this impulse a bit myself in the science apologetics arena.) I suppose I should be used to politicians acting in an unprofessional or, um, less-than-mature manner, especially when they are on the defense. But, I hold my fellow followers of Jesus Christ to a higher standard, which would make Moore’s guilt in any of the current accusations against him particularly sad. I pray that’s not the case.

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