It’s Not About Politics or Jesus. It’s About Roy Moore and Christian Culture.

“No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar” ― Abraham Lincoln link


No- Roy Moore’s dating habits are not like this. link

Roy Moore’s brother claimed that Roy believes (as does his brother) that he is being persecuted just like Jesus Christ was. I think if I hear this excuse for bad behavior one more time, I shall enroll in primal scream therapy. Evangelicals have a penchant for using this statement to absolve themselves of any responsibility for their indefensible behavior which is being pointed out to them.

The controversial Judge Roy Moore has built his support amongst evangelical voters in Alabama by claiming that he is a strong Christian of impeccable integrity. His integrity has come into question since 5 women have come forward, alleging that Moore had either pursued them or sexually assaulted them when they were teens. He claims to be a Southern Baptist but his church does not seem to be a member of the SBC.

TWW does not discuss politics for politics sake, believing that our readers are thoughtful individuals who can make up their own decisions on how to vote without our input into the matter. However, we do discuss issues of abuse within the general evangelical and liturgical communities. We would ask that the discussion surrounding this post deal specifically with the charges against Moore.

I became persuaded that these accusations were true when I listened to Sean Hannity’s interview of Roy Moore last week. Hannity is known to be a Moore supporter so I was surprised when he asked some questions of Moore that led me to believe that these allegations had substance. My husband, who listened along with me, said “I think the guy did it.” However, despite this interview, Hannity still believes that Moore is innocent.

“Let me ask you this you do remember these girls would it be unusual for you as a 32 year old guy to have dated a woman as young as 17? That would be a 15 year difference or a girl 18. Do you remember dating girls that young at that time?” Hannity asked.

“Not generally, no,” Moore answered. “If did, you know, I’m not going to dispute anything but I don’t remember anything like that.”

…I don’t remember ever dating any girl without the permission of her mother. And I think in her statement she said that her mother actually encouraged her to go out with me.

The following are some articles and thoughts on the Roy Moore situation.

Why did the women wait until now to make their claims?

Most women, especially teenagers, who are victims of assault or untoward advances often feel shame, embarrassment, are frightened and blame themselves what happened. They may confide in a friend but can remain silent for decades. However, times are changing. As more victims begin to stand up to their abusers and find support in the court of public opinion, others are encouraged that they will be listened to as well. Think about Jerry Sandusky, Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, etc.

I believe that many victims may become angry when their abuser is touted as a man of integrity when they know that he is a secret abuser. This could be the case in Roy Moore’s situation. He certainly claims his Christian credentials at every turn. It does not surprise me that some women, now older and savvy, decided to speak out about what happened to them.

Is there evidence that Roy Moore is lying?

Yes.

Yesterday, Slate posted Roy Moore Is Lying: Here’s the mountain of evidence against him.

The post goes on to report:

Corfman’s friends also vouch for her account. They weren’t there when she met Moore, but soon afterward, she told them about dates with him, including a sexual incident. One friend recalls details from Corfman’s contemporaneous reports (Moore “wore nothing but tight white underwear”) that match her current story. An ex-boyfriend of Corfman’s says she also told him about having dated Moore. To discount Corfman’s story, you’d have to believe not only that she’s trying to sabotage Moore’s campaign but that she prepared the attack 38 years ago.

In the same post, the author looks at Moore’s denial about knowing the latest victim to come forward.

I don’t even know the woman.” On Monday, a fifth woman, Beverly Young Nelson, said that Moore had sexually assaulted her in his car outside the Old Hickory House in Gadsden—where she worked and he was a regular customer—when he was 30 and she was 16. Moore says that’s impossible: “I don’t even know the woman. I don’t know anything about her. I don’t even know where the restaurant is or was.”

That denial won’t stand up. If Moore doesn’t know Nelson, why does she have a high school yearbook signed by him (“to a sweeter, more beautiful girl”) on Dec. 22, 1977, just before the alleged incident? And why does the inscription say, in handwriting remarkably similar to Moore’s, “Olde Hickory House”?

People claim that they *know Roy Moore* and know he wouldn’t do such a thing.

Seriously? How do they know? Jerry Sandusky’s wife claimed her husband could not have molested the boys when he brought them home because she would have known.

The difficult problem with sex abuse is this. It usually happens behind closed doors and there are only two witnesses: the abused and the abuser. Have you ever listened to the neighbors of a serial killer when they find out the truth? I have. Almost all of them say things like “He was great neighbor. He always helped me to shovel my yard” or “He always came to the neighborhood cookout.”

I don’t care if someone has been Roy’s best friend since he was 5. They were not with him every second of his life and abusers can be incredibly able manipulators and charmers. That is how they get away with their activities.

child abusers may appear very charming or likeable in an effort to win the trust of the child and those around the child.

A former homeschooler takes on the *courting culture* in certain evangelical circles.

Roy Moore’s alleged pursuit of a young girl is the symptom of a larger problem in evangelical circle is an op ed in the LA Times on 11/10, written by Kathryn Brightbill, a former homeschooler. Unfortunately, we cannot refute what she has written.

We need to talk about the segment of American culture that probably doesn’t think the allegations against Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore are particularly damning, the segment that will blanch at only two accusations in the Washington Post expose: He pursued a 14-year-old-girl without first getting her parents’ permission, and he initiated sexual contact outside of marriage. That segment is evangelicalism. In that world, which Moore travels in and I grew up in, 14-year-old girls courting adult men isn’t uncommon.

I use the phrase “14-year-old girls courting adult men,” rather than “adult men courting 14-year-old girls,” for a reason: Evangelicals routinely frame these relationships in those terms. That’s how I was introduced to these relationships as a home-schooled teenager in the 1990s, and it’s the language that my friends and I would use to discuss girls we knew who were in parent-sanctioned relationships with older men.

Here are some examples she discussed.

Phil Robertson, Duck Dynasty star, who is greatly beloved by The Gospel Coalition which featured a number of his writing.(Do a search on TGC’s website.):

“Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson advocated for adult men to marry 15- and 16-year-old girls and deemed age 20 too old because “you wait until they get to be 20 years old, the only picking that’s going to take place is your pocket.”

Imprisoned Jack Schaap of the IFB and other IFB churches:

Former IFB megachurch pastor Jack Schaap argued that he should be released from prison after being convicted of molesting a 16-year-old girl, asserting that the “aggressiveness” of his victim “inhibited [his] impulse control.” In the wake of the Schaap case, numerous other stories emerged of sexual abuse cover-ups involving teenage girls at IFB churches. In another high-profile case, pregnant 15-year-old Tina Anderson, who was raped by a church deacon twice her age, was forced to confess her “sin” to the congregation.

Doug Wilson: Reformed conservative celebrities greatly loved by John Piper and The Gospel Coalition:

Prominent conservative Reformed theologian Doug Wilson has a documented history of mishandling sexual abuse cases within his congregation. Nevertheless, he continues to be promoted by evangelical leaders such as John Piper, whose Desiring God site still publishes Wilson’s work. When a 13-year-old girl in Wilson’s congregation was sexually abused, Wilson argued that she and her abuser were in a parent-sanctioned courtship, and that this was a mitigating factor.

Similar issues in the PCA (Presbyterian Church of America):

A Presbyterian Church in America, or PCA, pastor attempted to discipline a woman who warned home-school parents of the convicted sex offender in his congregation. (The sex offender had gone online to solicit a 14-year-old girl for sex.) Another PCA church allowed that same convicted sex offender to give the invocation at a home-school graduation ceremony. He wasn’t perceived as an attempted child rapist, and he was “repentant.”

She ends her post by stating that the evangelical church is due for a reckoning.

The evangelical world is overdue for a reckoning. Women raised in evangelicalism and fundamentalism have for years discussed the normalization of child sexual abuse.

Ross Douthat had some choice words for the swine of conservatism.

Douthat wrote The Swine of Conservatism on November 11. He first described  *liberal pigs,* as those who act like Harvey Weinstein while at the same time pretending that they respect women. Then, he defines conservative swine. Pay attention to these categories. I think he nails it!

One type is what you might call the rotten patriarch. This is the man who depends on the trappings of spiritual or familial authority to exploit the young and weak, shame them into silence, and pre-emptively discredit them.

The rotten patriarch might be anyone from a handsy pastor or a lecherous pillar of the community to the leader of a sect or religious order.

For instance, there is the burrower, the networker, the institutionalist — the predator who embeds himself within a hierarchical system that protects him because it wants to protect itself.

the creep who relies on the promise of forgiveness to keep his place and his powers and his opportunities to prey again.

Here is where he brings it home. Unlike many in the evangelical churches that we cover, Douthat knows that some people use the naivety of those in the church to *return to the same sins.”

Biblical precedents are often invoked in the predator’s defense. Didn’t King David sleep around? Doesn’t every saint have a past, every sinner a future? All good Christian wisdom — except that some sinners only want a future where they can return to the same old awful sins.

He describes toxic Christian culture as one that combines male headship with “boys all be boys.”

Some cultural conservatives, in evangelical Christianity especially, combine a belief in male headship in churches and families with a “boys will be boys and girls shouldn’t tempt them” attitude toward sex. It’s a combination that’s self-contradictory and deeply toxic, handing men not just power but a permission slip to abuse it — which, predictably, they do.

Dothat offers a serious warning to Christians.

“For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light.” These words apply everywhere now, to Hollywood pagans and Alabama Christians alike.

But the Christians have particular reasons to meditate upon them — and to consider that they don’t just apply to sexual predations, but to the worldly impulses that make otherwise decent people into defenders of the indefensible.

No, Roy Moore dating teen girls is not like Joseph and Mary. 

There is so much to say about this situation. I bet we will be writing more as this story develops. So, a final example is the statement by Jim Zeigler, a friend of Roy Moore. Zeigler needs to get with his pastor and review why Moore’s pursuit of teenage females is not like the relationship between Mary and Joseph. (Good night! I can’t believe I need to say this!)

Also, this embarrassingly imbecilic excuse seems to give further credence to allegations of Moore’s dating tastes.

An Alabama state official on Thursday dismissed a Washington Post report alleging that GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore had initiated a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old girl decades ago, saying there was an age gap between the biblical Joseph and Mary. The Post also alleged that Moore had pursued three others when they were between the ages of 16 and 18 and he was in his early 30s.

“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.”

I think this tweet sums up me feelings about this situation.


Comments

It’s Not About Politics or Jesus. It’s About Roy Moore and Christian Culture. — 267 Comments

  1. Watching Moore on that Hannity interview was so disturbing. I don’t know how anybody could have supported him after that.

  2. I’ve researched case studies in abuse, kept up with news on situations of abuse, and also served on a jury dealing with felony assault. In all of these, there typically comes a point when it is clear the quality evidence goes toward one side and when the other side has not or cannot clear up legitimate questions about gaps and other inconsistencies in their story/testimony.

    From all we’ve seen so far in the case of Roy Moore, it seems to me it is well past that point, and the coherent evidence of a pattern of sexual misconduct is on the side of the survivors (which just this afternoon increased to six women).

    Attempts at cultural explanations or commendations about a reported abuser’s character to deflect legal/political accountability may play to his support base, but I doubt it will play out that way in a court of law — or, ultimately, in the court of public opinion about him as a public figure.

    This is all part of “the reckoning” that, according to *Variety* author Peter Debruge, has been building for years and is now upon us in multiple social institutions. And the evidence of an endemic abuse and excuse mentality in parts of the Church will not escape that movement.

  3. As a follow-up link, I’d recommend Peter Debruge’s opinion piece from November 9th on the Variety website: “Ridley Scott’s Decision to Replace Kevin Spacey Sends the Right Kind of Message.” While it is mostly about Kevin Spacey and the film industry, this was the first place I saw the term the reckoning used about what’s happening now. Others have been using that term lately as well. Whether they got it from Debruge or not, it’s an apt description.

    http://variety.com/2017/film/opinion/ridley-scott-kevin-spacey-christopher-plummer-replacement-1202611217/

  4. Love,joy,feminism blog at patheos is run by a woman homeschooled. She has examples from her experience of the world in which men must be able to support a family but women only need to be able to cook, clean, have and raise children. In her group many were able to do,this by age 13!!

  5. I think that the reason the town people who knew about this back when did nothing is cultural. Note that Brightbill said that 14 year old girls courting adult men is ‘not unusual’ in, apparently, the culture she was raised in. I believe that she is correct, and I am correct. This is not particularly uncommon-at least in my experience for the older adolescents. I think this is more than likely why nobody made an issue of it at the time; there would not have been enough support against the age issue. And if the girls said nothing at the time then nobody knew about anything but about the current claimed events-they would only have known about his penchant for young girls.

    If Brightbill is wrong about this, then she might be wrong about the rest of what she says, but I do not think that she is wrong about this.

    Now, no it is not about Jesus. That is ridiculous.

    I do think that current public attitudes in support of Moore are political to some extent because I have read the other candidate’s positions on some issues and I can see where some people would strongly disagree with some of his positions. Personally I almost refused to vote at all in the last general election. That is a very difficult position. That does not rule out the cultural atmosphere either of the area or of the religious atmosphere; I just think that the other current candidate’s political views cannot be dismissed as a factor in the public response to the allegations.

  6. okrapod wrote:

    then nobody knew about anything but about the current claimed events

    correction: then nobody knew anything about the currently claimed events

    It has been a long day–

  7. This a side note to this and more of a general reflection – actually goes with the previous post about virtue signaling. But this is a thing that has kept me from social media because I have been immensely triggered during this time and I am trying to limit my exposure to things….

    What bothers me are men and (some women) who are tweeting and think piecing about these issues that have not personally listened to people before or indirectly/directly benefit and are part of institutions and groups who have not listed to people who tried to expose this stuff earlier.

    People who have tried to address abuse either through personal testimony or through critiquing from a systemic perspective and how that leads to people being abused and not heard. Usually people have consistently tried to bring up both at the same time. They have not been listened to, and the why behind that needs to be addressed in order for lasting change to occur.

    The virtue signalers are dealing in abstraction and have never been personally affected themselves by any of these things. And are part of Christian institutions and cultures that enable and perpetuate the things they are now supposedly “calling out”, with no real risk to themselves.

    It’s one thing to tweet and write about it…It’s another thing to live it out, walk through it yourself, watch a friend or loved one (or multiple people) have their life destroyed from abuse, question God’s existence, try to confront things behind closed doors because most people don’t have access to power and national bylines to help themselves or people they love.

    So people are now talking about it. Okay. People not in power have always been talking about it and suffering over it. The shift of power still needs to go to people with out power and those who have been hurt and aleady damaged. I fear that all this *talk* in the evangelical world is not leading to any sort of systemic, lasting change. Again, the why behind people not being heard before needs to also be addressed. Because the power structures and imbalances still remain. What causes the abuse and the cover ups are still there, despite all this now public tall about everything.

    It’s as if they think they discovered something new and now are the people to talk about it. While one, historically and most recently, especially exampled in SGM and CJ Mahaney, they have not stood up for and cared for the abused. Two, it’s not prophetic to talk about the collapsed house. It’s prophetic to see the poor foundation and try to show it to people when the house appears to be standing fine, and there’s no real benefit to yourself for pointing it out.

    What I’m saying is…for examlple, will evangelicals now go to people like Dee and Deb, look at futurist Brad’s website (by the way I love your work and have benefitted grearly from it the past few years!), Julie and others from spiritual Sounding Board…Diane Langberg? There are many academics and counselors who have already been dealing with this and researching this, walking through this? For years?

    Women who have been personally hurt, men who have been abused and silenced… will they get to lead the discussion and be heard to deal with systemic issues?

    Or are we going to have to suffer through virtue signaling and no actual changes?

    Hollywood even seems to be getting to the systemic talk and structural change even though it’s still early and significant change and upheavel will take time. I don’t have the same hope for evangelical culture, but I hope I’m wrong.

  8. Many women never disclose sexual abuse for any number of reasons. I’m one of them.

    When I was 10 years old, my mother made a dentist appointment for me. The office was within walking distance from our home which was in a upper middle class neighborhood. At some point during my visit, the dentist changed the chair to a reclining position and began to rub his hands over my body. I jumped up and ran home, but never told anyone at the time. I was young and afraid that no one would take my word about such an incident about a well-established dentist.

    Fast forward 50 yrs. and I’m undergoing some extensive dental work. The process involved some novocaine and the dentist administered it and left the room with me in that reclined chair. He said “just relax” and he would be back in a couple minutes. No way!! Without thinking about it, I jumped up and stood there until he returned fulling expecting me to be a bit groggy I guess.

    That pattern at that dentist’s office played out the exact same way until his assistant, observing my apparent refusal to relax in the reclined chair, asked if I was nervous or something. Bolting out of that chair happened without much thought but was a built-in, automatic reaction to an event that had happened 50 yrs. earlier. At that point I told her what had happened and that it was just the way I felt more comfortable. She understood and I eventually developed a great respect for this dentist and his staff and learned with some effort to relax in the chair whether it was reclined or not.

    That would never happen today I don’t think as dentists and physicians are never alone with a patient. I don’t know if it’s a law or how that practice evolved over the years, but it’s a very good one.

    Anyway, abuse whether physical, emotional, sexual and verbal take a toll on the victim and the effects manifest themselves sometimes in the most unlikely ways.

  9. Ken G wrote:

    @ dee:
    @ JYJames:
    Organized false accusers. Zero evidence.

    Wow! So the women themselves are not evidence of the man with a problem?

  10. Was Moore banned from the Gadsden Mall and the YMCA for his inappropriate behavior of soliciting sex from young girls?

  11. “However, despite this interview, Hannity still believes that Moore is innocent.”

    Hannity finally appeared to change course, and gave Roy Moore an ultimatum: He should within 24 hours give information that would “remove all doubt” that the charges are true, or else get out of the race. 3 more victims have come forward. And now, at the expiration of the 24-hour deadline, Hannity is backpedaling and saying what Moore does “shouldn’t be decided by me”. Wow, what a brave moral-high-ground stance you almost took there.

    In the era after the revelation of Trump bragging of sexual assault on the “Access Hollywood” tape, and still getting elected, I guess it shouldn’t be surprising. But still: We have descended to the point where supposed conservative Christians are defending a predatory sexually-assaulting pedophile, because they care more about the political win, and electing someone who supposedly shares their “values”, than about 14-year-olds. It has come to this!

    How much lower can we possibly sink? We have badly lost our way.

  12. Bridget wrote:

    Wow! So the women themselves are not evidence of the man with a problem?

    Moore’s attorney wants the actual yearbook turned over so the signature and writing can be analyzed and authenticated. They only produced a copy of what is written in the yearbook. Without the actual yearbook, there is no evidence.

  13. JYJames wrote:

    Was Moore banned from the Gadsden Mall and the YMCA for his inappropriate behavior of soliciting sex from young girls?

    I have seen news stories on that with 2 anonymous people saying yes, several not anonymous people that worked at stores in the mall saying yes, but also that the news contacted the actual security guard that worked there back then and he is saying “no comment”

  14. I think one of the hardest things about alleged sex abuse by a famous person is that once it goes public many women will take courage from other women coming forward and disclose their own abuse from the alleged perpetrator and that is awesome but realistically it could be expected that sometimes someone may indeed make something up for 15mins of fame. I am not suggesting any of these women have done that, i am just saying that is what is so frustrating when it involves a well known public figure. If 6 women come forward with credible accusations and one with just a desire to make headlines it hurts the credibility of the others. Thats why i always used to say i reserve judgement until after court and a guilty verdict. I think however that incidences of church and political cover-up have shown that innocent victims can often not get justice in courts or the court of public opinion and can often get so slandered that the victim looks like the criminal.

  15. sandy c wrote:

    Hannity on tv said that Roy Moore needs to respond within 24 hrs about the interview or hannity will agree he needs to step down. Here is moore’s response: https://mobile.twitter.com/MooreSenate/status/930947969012158464/photo/3

    Moores response to this allegation might very well be believed except that at the very end he denies ever dating young girls at all. Which reminded me of this statement : “It was common knowledge that Roy dated high school girls, everyone we knew thought it was weird,” former deputy district attorney Teresa Jones told CNN in comments aired Saturday. “We wondered why someone his age would hang out at high school football games and the mall … but you really wouldn’t say anything to someone like that https://www.cbsnews.com/news/teresa-jones-says-roy-moore-common-knowledge-dated-teens/

  16. http://etowahbaptist.com/our-beliefs-2/

    http://etowahbaptist.com/churches/gallant-first-baptist/

    From the post:

    “He claims to be a Southern Baptist but his church does not seem to be a member of the SBC.”

    Gallant First Baptist is a member of the Etowah Baptist Association.

    The Etowah Baptist Association is the local Sourthern Baptist Association.

    http://etowahbaptist.com/churches/gallant-first-baptist/

    This is the organizational structure of the SBC.

  17. OOPs, too many references. My mistake. Poor editing. Let me correct that.

    From the post:

    “He claims to be a Southern Baptist but his church does not seem to be a member of the SBC.”

    Gallant First Baptist is a member of the Etowah Baptist Association.

    The Etowah Baptist Association is the local Sourthern Baptist Association.

    http://etowahbaptist.com/churches/gallant-first-baptist/

    This is the organizational structure of the SBC.

  18. For me Christianity’s elephant in the room has always been the barbaric edicts of old testament law combined with the interpretation that that the whole enterprise is inspired by God.
    The reality is the bible was written long before many of the democratic concepts we have grown up with were even conceived.
    In the Roman empire of Jesus time a boy was able to inherit and run his estates plus join the army at 14. You were lucky if you saw 40. Jesus as a rabbi at 33 would have been considered an old wise man.
    Was Mary a teen? Probably. Joseph himself may have been “older” at 20 for all we know.
    There was no concept of childhood.
    But we’re not in the 1st century, we’re in the 21st. Our society has recognized that the brutality of the past was wrong. Our ancestors worked hard to build a better future. Some of them died in terrible wars for that future. People are still dying today in attempts to realize that future.
    The bible is not a roadmap to a better society and cannot be used to justify these egregious abuses against young women.
    The bible is a reflection of where we were not where we should be going.

  19. GMFS (actually, it’s nearly afternoon here!).

    Fae the post:

    “No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar” ― Abraham Lincoln

    Point 1 of 2: disclaimer

    I’m not seeking to comment on the suitability, or otherwise, of Mr Moore for public office, nor on the likely truth of the allegations against him specifically. TBH he’s not famous in the Forth Valley and I’ve no idea who he is. I will therefore trust others with that side of things.

    Point 2 of 2: Successful lying

    There are some interesting truths behind the quote from Mr Lincoln. It is possible to be a successful liar, of course. To mix it with another famous quote: you can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time. (There are many satirical or humorous variations on that theme doing the rounds!) A successful liar is never going to be someone whose lies are never uncovered.

    But you don’t have to hide your lies to be a successful liar. You just have to press the right buttons to get enough supporters who don’t care whether you’re lying or not. Past a certain point, it doesn’t matter how outraged your opponents get over your lies – you don’t need their support, and your supporters won’t listen to them. Just ask the people of Sweden, which of course was devastated last night by a catastrophic asteroid impact.

  20. Last night before church someone asked my husband to put Roy Moore on the prayer requests. He assumed it was to pray that Moore would step down, but the man said, “no, that he would be vindicated in his lawsuit.” My husband point blank refused and said Moore was a pedophile. We lamented the rest of the night. I just don’t understand why politics seems to affect people’s sense of morality. In my opinion, Nationalism is the biggest idol in the church.

  21. [Sorry, my comment above (in mod) must have used a trigger word! Feel free to delete it, or edit either comment, if I’ve run afoul of the rules.]

    “However, despite this interview, Hannity still believes that Moore is innocent.”

    Hannity finally appeared to change course, and gave Roy Moore an ultimatum: He should within 24 hours give information that would “remove all doubt” that the charges are true, or else get out of the race. 3 more victims have come forward. And now, at the expiration of the 24-hour deadline, Hannity is backpedaling and saying what Moore does “shouldn’t be decided by me”. Wow, what a brave moral-high-ground stance you almost took there.

    In the era after the revelation of Trump bragging of s. assault on the “Access Hollywood” tape, and still getting elected, I guess it shouldn’t be surprising. But still: We have descended to the point where supposed conservative Christians are defending a predatory s. assaulter, because they care more about the political win, and electing someone who supposedly shares their “values”, than about 14-year-olds. It has come to this!

    How much lower can we possibly sink? We have badly lost our way.

  22. ishy wrote:

    Ken G wrote:
    Without the actual yearbook, there is no evidence.
    Untrue. The testimony of the women is admissible evidence.

    The testimony of the women and, I believe, there are people from the women’s pasts who can confirm the stories.

  23. brad/futuristguy wrote:

    Attempts at cultural explanations or commendations about a reported abuser’s character to deflect legal/political accountability may play to his support base, but I doubt it will play out that way in a court of law — or, ultimately, in the court of public opinion about him as a public figure.

    Exactly. As someone raised in the South, there is definitely a “boys will be boys” cultural pass given to many infamous people there. From local politicians to Presidents … the bad boy club exists because their supporters allow it. Perhaps this sickness is more widespread, but the South appears to have a stronger case of it. On the other hand, existing in the middle of it, are some of the most genuine people of faith on the planet.

  24. “Prominent conservative Reformed theologian Doug Wilson has a documented history of mishandling sexual abuse cases within his congregation. Nevertheless, he continues to be promoted by evangelical leaders such as John Piper, whose Desiring God site still publishes Wilson’s work. When a 13-year-old girl in Wilson’s congregation was sexually abused, Wilson argued that she and her abuser were in a parent-sanctioned courtship, and that this was a mitigating factor.”

    Blog and Mablog has a weird post about this where Wilson turns it into a rant against feminism.
    http://www.moscowid.net/2017/11/11/prominent-conservative-reformed-theologian-doug-wilson/#comments

  25. okrapod wrote:

    I think that the reason the town people who knew about this back when did nothing is cultural. Note that Brightbill said that 14 year old girls courting adult men is ‘not unusual’ in, apparently, the culture she was raised in. I believe that she is correct, and I am correct. This is not particularly uncommon-at least in my experience for the older adolescents. I think this is more than likely why nobody made an issue of it at the time; there would not have been enough support against the age issue.

    I don’t know about the culture in which Brightbill was raised, but several people from Gadsden have stated that a LOT of people had problems with a 30-year-old man pursuing a teen-age girl. In fact, it go him banned from the mall . So I gotta disagree with you on that point.

    Culturally, the overriding reason these incidents don’t get talked about is fear of negative consequences to the survivor, and to the whistle-blower. And so often, the “perp” has the power and standing in the community to make those consequences come about.

    The fascinating change in culture over the past very few weeks is the changes from disbelieving survivors, to believing them. All of a sudden, it’s okay to talk about it. It’s possible to accuse someone, and be taken seriously, at least in many cases. The overall 180° switch is mind-blowing!

  26. okrapod wrote:

    From the post:

    “He claims to be a Southern Baptist but his church does not seem to be a member of the SBC.”

    Gallant First Baptist is a member of the Etowah Baptist Association.

    The Etowah Baptist Association is the local Sourthern Baptist Association.

    http://etowahbaptist.com/churches/gallant-first-baptist/

    This is the organizational structure of the SBC.

    This is not necessarily true. Local and State Baptist associations are free to accept any Baptist church they want, whether or not the are an SBC “cooperating church”. Every organization in Baptist land is autonomous.

  27. Max wrote:

    Perhaps this sickness is more widespread, but the South appears to have a stronger case of it.

    I think there are a number of factors in this. One factor is the issue of ‘good ole boy’ which has both positive and negative aspects, depending on one’s social values. It seems to me that ‘good ole boy’ is admired by right many people regardless of any connotations which might look more negative to outsiders than to locals.

    This would include but not be limited to that old fashioned attitude toward women which can be both protective, gentlemanly and dismissive all at the same time. Good ole boy implies somebody who is ‘civilized’ and has manners among other things, but civilized includes a certain sense of entitlement. Think ‘our kind’. If some preacher or politician is ‘our kind’ much will be overlooked or even admired, even if the way in which he is ‘our kind’ may be on the negative side.

    Manners can be complicated and nuanced, but one can spot ‘manners’ a mile away as southern-at least I think so. We had a former senator a few senators back who never failed to refer to his wife as “Miss Firstname’. That is good ole boy manners. Our rector refers to me as ‘Ms Firstname’. That is polite good ole boy terminology, modernized from Miss to Ms. Roy Moore, on the other hand, seems to me to have some ‘signals’ of ‘our kind’ which I happen to not like much less admire but which probably some of his followers respond to.

    I find it all fascinating. I call my grandkids Miss Firstname and Mr Firstname, thought I am of course not a good ole boy. I suppose it may be some sort of cultural indoctrination perhaps. All of which has nothing to do with privilege, but I just wanted to throw that in.

  28. I find the comparison of Moore’s escapades to the relationship of Joseph and Mary to be most repugnant and even blasphemous. The Bible specifically states that Mary and Joseph had no relations until after the birth of Jesus and, get this–they were already MARRIED by then! Roy Moore wasn’t married to any of his victims as far as I can tell. People using the “Joseph/Mary” illustration in his defense need to shut up! It makes his supporters sound really stupid and desperate.

  29. “Not generally, no,” Moore answered. “If did, you know, I’m not going to dispute anything but I don’t remember anything like that.”

    Not GENERALLY no? Right then and there, I knew he was guilty.

  30. It’s true that boys will be boys. But as Paul put it: When I became a man, I put away childish things.

    I don’t want a boy’s finger on the Nucular Button, literally or metaphorically.

  31. okrapod wrote:

    This would include but not be limited to that old fashioned attitude toward women which can be both protective, gentlemanly and dismissive all at the same time.

    Sounds like too many complementarians I’ve known, and know of.

  32. @ Ken P.:

    Interesting. I looked that up on the SBC website and found that the church has to send money to the co-operative program in order to be considered co-operating; doctrines and other issues are also required but they alone are not enough without the financial contribution.

    So, a church can be affiliated with the local southern baptist association but they have to put up the cash to be considered co-operating with the convention. This is worse than I thought. I could not find if a church could call itself southern baptist but just not co-operating southern baptist. That would be interesting to know; maybe so since they use the qualifier ‘co-operating’ but perhaps not.

    Do you happen to know about that?

  33. brad/futuristguy wrote:

    the coherent evidence of a pattern of sexual misconduct is on the side of the survivors (which just this afternoon increased to six women).

    I like your comment. There is a pattern emerging even though some of these women do not know each other.

  34. brad/futuristguy wrote:

    As a follow-up link, I’d recommend Peter Debruge’s opinion piece from November 9th on the Variety website: “Ridley Scott’s Decision to Replace Kevin Spacey Sends the Right Kind of Message.”

    I read that and agree that it is good.

  35. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    I don’t want a boy’s finger on the Nucular Button, literally or metaphorically.

    At the moment there are several boys too close for comfort.

  36. TomkeinOK wrote:

    She has examples from her experience of the world in which men must be able to support a family but women only need to be able to cook, clean, have and raise children. In her group many were able to do,this by age 13!!

    I wonder how much they had learned about the world in which they lived by that time. I love the good homeschoolers out there. However, there is another group that do not stress a good education and instead teach women to read so they can follow recipes and take care of all the other children because, as many know, birth control is evil.

  37. okrapod wrote:

    I think that the reason the town people who knew about this back when did nothing is cultural. Note that Brightbill said that 14 year old girls courting adult men is ‘not unusual’ in, apparently, the culture she was raised in.

    Totally agree with this comment. Little did people understand in that culture that such courting could lead abuse. Moore is proof of that. Predators use the courting culture to live out their dreams. Sadly, there are mothers out their who would have been excited for their 14 year old to be courted by an attorney.

  38. emily honey wrote:

    Women who have been personally hurt, men who have been abused and silenced… will they get to lead the discussion and be heard to deal with systemic issues?
    Or are we going to have to suffer through virtue signaling and no actual changes?

    Al Mohler thinks it is really funny that people are concerned about CJ Mahaney. My hope is not in people like him. I thicken the next generation are far more savvy than those old coots who think that CJ is such a gas.

  39. NJ wrote:

    Sounds like too many complementarians I’ve known, and know of.

    Yes, like I have said before. I think that one reason comp has taken up in religion so easily is that the attitude in the culture predated that doctrine in the religion.

    One difference, however. There was a book some time back about how to dress for success. Lots of good information for women at the time, but back in the book they said that their advice did not apply to southern women. They said that it is common to see women in the south who own, or have inherited, or are in charge of some business or who have achieved business some way who dress in a very feminine style, but don’t be fooled, they are every bit in charge of the business.

    I had an aunt by marriage in Louisiana who had inherited and continued to own a road construction business (for crying out loud) from her father and who was feminine and fancy and downright elegant while at he same time every bit in charge of the business side of the business. My uncle, a civil engineer who ran that side of the business, was almost courtly in the way he treated her, to the extent I saw them. So, don’t be fooled by the trappings.

  40. I spent 7-12 grade in fundamentalist Baptist schools in the 1970’s, but in California… i do not remember any encouraging/justifaction of older men “dating” underage women… in fact, my gut tells me that our “culture” would have been highly suspecious of it.. there was something wrong about it…

    So, my point is that a culture advocating what I consider to be discusting ( justify underage “dating”) is regional…. Fundamentaliism in California in the 1970s , and earlier, was definitely not like the south…… i also remember no overt racism, or low key racism….again, a regional issue

  41. Root 66 wrote:

    The Bible specifically states that Mary and Joseph had no relations until after the birth of Jesus and, get this–they were already MARRIED by then! Roy Moore wasn’t married to any of his victims as far as I can tell.

    Whether they were “married” not is irrelevant. If the women were below the age of consent it’s illegal. If a man forces himself on any woman, whether or not it’s his wife, it’s sexual assault.

    Mary & Joseph’s relationship can’t be used as any defense. We don’t know what ages they were and what they were or weren’t up to is lost to history and either way it’s irrelevant because we don’t live in 1st century Judea.

  42. @ Jeffrey Chalmers:

    That is in keeping what I keep trying to preach. Regional. Southern. The basic issue is not a matter of religion. The fortuitous juxtaposition of the two does not establish nor negate either variable.

    I had a professor who used to talk like that. But it is true, I think.

  43. okrapod wrote:

    So, a church can be affiliated with the local southern baptist association but they have to put up the cash to be considered co-operating with the convention. This is worse than I thought. I could not find if a church could call itself southern baptist but just not co-operating southern baptist. That would be interesting to know; maybe so since they use the qualifier ‘co-operating’ but perhaps not.

    Do you happen to know about that?

    I don’t know of any churches that identify as Southern Baptist but say they are not cooperating, but it gets even weirder.

    From the SBC website:

    “We understand that in rare instances, for some specific reason, a church may believe it is best to identify and work with the Southern Baptist Convention only, bypassing the state and/or the association. If your church votes to bypass participating with your state Baptist convention, the church will need to go through a credentialing process with the SBC Executive Committee’s Office of Convention Communications and Relations. This office will work with the church to guide it through the steps to become identified as a cooperating Southern Baptist church.”

    The Cooperative Program (CP) is administered by local and state conventions, but a church can bypass the CP and give directly to the SBC or one of its entities and be considered “cooperating”. Basically, the SBC will consider a church “cooperating” if it writes a check and the SBC Executive Committee Office feels like it.

    Thus is the strange world of the SBC.

  44. Could Moore’s response to Hannity be any more weasel-like? He doesn’t “remember anything like that”? How can you not remember something like dating a teenage while in your thirties? Shame on Hannity, too. I haven’t listened to talk radio in many years but I thought he had more integrity than this.

    Those who feel a political or religious kinship with Roy Moore need to take this opportunity to clean house — particularly if they want to have any credibility when denouncing people like Harvey Weinstein or Kevin Spacey.

  45. @ ishy:
    @ okrapod:

    You overlooked the definition of evidence and jumped to admissible evidence. We need a definition of evidence. Using your source,

    “Evidence in a broad sense refers to something that furnishes proof of a matter. In the legal context, it is something legally submitted in court or other decision-making body to ascertain the truth of a matter. Evidence may take various forms, such as oral testimony, videotape, documents, and other forms.”

    https://definitions.uslegal.com/e/evidence/

    The oral testimony of witnesses could be admissible evidence. The yearbook could be admissible evidence. The testimony of the victims is not evidence because the testimony is in dispute. There needs to be something that furnishes proof of the matter.

  46. @ Ken P.:

    So basically the question about Roy Moore’s church is whether or not they wrote a check to the co-operative program. And this determines whether or not he was telling the truth about his church. Somehow that does seem to be an appropriate issue when discussing any politician,though-what about the money.

  47. @ okrapod:

    Given the convoluted structure, Roy Moore might think his church is SBC while it is not, if he is not paying close attention. Another thing, many members of SBC churches do not know their church is SBC unless they read their church’s fine print. Truth in advertising is not a Baptist strength these days.

  48. Jack wrote:

    Whether they were “married” not is irrelevant. If the women were below the age of consent it’s illegal.

    Then what is the Age of Consent?
    I understand in the Former Confederate States it’s younger than in the others.
    As an example, years ago I heard the Age of Consent in Louisiana was either 14 or 16.

  49. emily honey wrote:

    I don’t have the same hope for evangelical culture, but I hope I’m wrong.

    I don’t think you are wrong.
    This has all the earmarks (from where I sit) of the end of evangelicalism as a movement. It’s what happens when “Christians” take their eyes off of preaching Christ and Him crucified for sinners and affix them to politics, kingdom building, and the like.

    Watching all of this unfold is revealing just how worldly the so-called church actually is. The conservative Bible believing world is having the same gossip party as the sinful left, each one glorying in their shame. It’s pretty clear what their god is and how it cannot save them now. They are both more alike than either realize or will admit.

    But, nothing will change. God’s people will revel in the salacious details of sin while the world around them goes to perdition. The foundations are gone, abandoned long ago, and judgment is coming but no one cares. If you find one in twenty now to engage in meaningful conversation about Christ you are lucky, and that in the “church”.
    Judgment will begin with the house of God. Maybe it has already started.

    And maybe I am missing the point, but just how does all of this discussion of a particular sin and it’s details help exactly? Sinners sin. Christians even sin. People who claim to be Christian sin. It’s all bad. Ok. Now what? Not really seeing the positive side of all this being presented. Unless, Like I said, I am missing something.

  50. dee wrote:

    However, there is another group that do not stress a good education and instead teach women to read so they can follow recipes and take care of all the other children because, as many know, birth control is evil.

    Breeding stock for Heirs, Spares, and Godly Culture Warriors.
    Weaponized Wombs, nothing more.

  51. okrapod wrote:

    I think that the reason the town people who knew about this back when did nothing is cultural. Note that Brightbill said that 14 year old girls courting adult men is ‘not unusual’ in, apparently, the culture she was raised in

    Andyone remember Duck Commander’s two cents on the subject in that long-ago interview?

  52. Jack wrote:

    Mary & Joseph’s relationship can’t be used as any defense.

    Remember the Islamic version of that defense — Mohammed and Aisha?

  53. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Jack wrote:
    Mary & Joseph’s relationship can’t be used as any defense.
    Remember the Islamic version of that defense — Mohammed and Aisha?

    Yeah. What’s next??? Well Abraham married his half-sister………???

  54. @ Juulie Downs:

    “The fascinating change in culture over the past very few weeks is the changes from disbelieving survivors, to believing them. All of a sudden, it’s okay to talk about it. It’s possible to accuse someone, and be taken seriously, at least in many cases. The overall 180° switch is mind-blowing!”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++

    i’m stunned. I’ve maintained this stunned-ness for days, now. it sort of feels like how i imagine it felt when the Prize Patrol from Publisher’s Clearing House rang someone’s doorbell.

    A new normal. All of a sudden. yes, utterly mind-blowing.

  55. Max wrote:

    Exactly. As someone raised in the South, there is definitely a “boys will be boys” cultural pass given to many infamous people there.

    As a female raised in Southern Kentucky, I think a big part of the problem is too many girls are not taught to stand for what is right and/or defend themselves…… fight for themselves, figuratively and literally. So, these “boys” just keep getting away with being “boys”.
    If what those women are saying about Moore is true (and I believe it is), I think if a mean right hook had made contact with Moore’s lip (or a knee to his crotch) would have done all parties a world of good!

    For what it’s worth, Moore’s wife is 14 years his junior.

  56. @ Victorious:
    I have a similar anecdote to Victorious. 5oyrs ago I got off a bus after a teens bible study at my church. I had to walk about 30yards to my house. A car pulled alongside me and the driver opened the window. Naively thinking he wanted directions, I bent my head towards his and he propositioned me. I fled the last 20 yards to our door. I was so embarrassed. If I told my parents, dad exhausted by a hard job, snoozing in his slippers, would have had to put shoes on, find coins and go to a public phone box up the street. Mother would have been mortified – and if a police car came, she’d almost die of shame. I dimly perceived that teenage girls were never believed, maybe I had CAUSED the incident, bible tucked under my arm. I couldn’t say what he looked like and had no idea about makes of car or registration plates. The horror was not so much the incident itself but the fact that I knew I would not be believed and parents would rather hush the whole thing up than call the police. Children should be ‘seen and not heard’ back then. We had no notion of a right to body autonomy. If he’d touched me, or tried to get me into his car, it would have been the same. I would have had no words to describe parts of my body – and as most police officers were men back then, certainly could never ever have made a statement to one. So I fully understand women keeping silent – and feeling traumatised – for decades

  57. My understanding is that the age of consent in Alabama at the time and also currently is 16. If you notice, in one of Moore’s written statements, he uses the term “underage” as opposed to “young” or “teenage.”

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy on Thu Nov 16, 2017 at 12:02 PM said:

    Jack wrote:
    Whether they were “married” not is irrelevant. If the women were below the age of consent it’s illegal.
    Then what is the Age of Consent?
    I understand in the Former Confederate States it’s younger than in the others.
    As an example, years ago I heard the Age of Consent in Louisiana was either 14 or 16.

  58. You all might want to check this out. The thinking of this piece ties into why some folks don’t have all that much problem with younger females and older men. It is not specifically about age but rather about financial issues. IMO one reason that some moms are okay with older men might be related to what this article addresses.

    Go to fox dot com and read the opinion piece by Suzanne Venker “My message for women…’marrying down’ is nothing to celebrate”.

    Some of you may think it sounds too comp-ish, but I truly believe that this is an accurate representation of the way some but not all women think.

  59. Side note:

    I happen to know a former third grader when she first seemed to realize that some boy might be a good idea. So I said, what do you like about him? She replied that ‘he gets good grades and he keeps his work space neat.’ I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

    The other one is looking for a boy who is a good dancer. I cried. We have to work on that one.

    Moral of the story, not everybody is the same.

    If Moore married a younger woman and settled down I am glad he found what he wanted-for everybody’s sake. That sure beats the heck out of being the town menace, if that is what he became.

  60. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    For what it’s worth, Moore’s wife is 14 years his junior.

    I understand that type of thing (wife considerably younger than husband) was common 100-150 years ago. Since a woman’s status at the time depended on her husband’s status, there was a push to “marry up” to a man who had “made his fortune” and established a high status and reputation. Since that took time, a man would often be in his 30s or 40s before he “had arrived” and was now “a good (and prestigious) catch”.

    Though said much-younger wives were still above the Age of Consent, no matter what Elsie Dinsmore implies.

  61. @ A.Tumbleweed:

    If the original structures and same systems and values remain that perpetuate and result in cover ups and looking away or silencing abuse and mistreatment (of any kind), nothing really ultimately changes in the end.

    There will be behavioral modification or surface, temporal change. Maybe sexual abuse will be harder to cover up or let happen in the first place from now on (which is at least a plus). But abuse of other kinds will still perpetuate. And over time, in a genreration or two, the sexual abuse will likely regurgitate back again in these kind of systems. The roots of sexual abuse won’t really get dealt with.

    Evangelical church culture and her celebrities has a tendency and history of using social trends to brand build and fake prophet about things once it is not risky to do so. Some market, monetize, and pontificate on stuff they don’t have a lot of knowledge or experience in. They are not the people to listen to or lead on anything, especially in something as delicate and nuanced as this. I wouldn’t trust them on this topic until they address *first* their underlying power structures and system of values. Including their culture of celebrity.

    In my opinion Christians need to look outside most typical evangelical institutions for help and answers – where many great people are already dealing with reality and working for change in these areas. (And we all have the ability and agency and free access to God to do something ourselves as independent human beings). I think that’s where the Holy Spirit and Christ are doing most of their work.

  62. While we are mentioning older men who married or courted or tried to marry younger women, let us not forget the sad romantic tragedy of the much touted Bonhoeffer. When she bailed out, or tried to bail out, it broke his heart. It is an awful story of an older man and a younger woman. Not a scandal, just a sad story. If I remember correctly. He seems to have been a good man with good intentions but with issues-certainly not an abuser or a predator or anything similar.

  63. drstevej wrote:

    Add Al Franken to the cesspool…

    So to those who want Roy Moore to step down, do you want Senator Franken to resign, be unseated, etc?

  64. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    For what it’s worth, Moore’s wife is 14 years his junior.

    At this point, no surprise there. That seems to be what he was looking for all along based on what we have heard. And it does happen quite a bit. It’s when it starts too young that it bothers me.

  65. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Then what is the Age of Consent?
    I understand in the Former Confederate States it’s younger than in the others.
    As an example, years ago I heard the Age of Consent in Louisiana was either 14 or 16

    I get what you’re trying to say but in Moore’s case the “age of consent” I’m talking about is the law of the land as it stood at the time the alleged offenses occurred in the jurisdiction where they allegedly occurred.

    I’ve heard the “she started it” defense before in other cases. I have no doubt a 13 year old girl can be smitten by an older man …. just like cases where older women have targeted underage boys – some teacher cases for example. Willing participation does not abrogate the responsibility of the adult.

  66. Ken G wrote:

    So to those who want Roy Moore to step down, do you want Senator Franken to resign, be unseated, etc?

    Absolutely!

  67. Ken G wrote:

    So to those who want Roy Moore to step down, do you want Senator Franken to resign, be unseated, etc?

    Short answer? Yes. Sexual assault isn’t funny whether a liberal or conservative, christian or other faith or no faith does it. It’s time for it to stop.

  68. @ Ken G:

    The point is that the judge decides what to admit and what not to admit, and the s/he decides what to actually admit or not within the laws of evidence which vary from one jurisdiction to the other. That is what the link I submitted says.

    If this is true, then it is pointless to make broad statements about admissibility given those variables.

  69. Ken G wrote:

    The testimony of the victims is not evidence because the testimony is in dispute. There needs to be something that furnishes proof of the matter.

    It’s not in dispute until it comes to court. Maybe read this again.

    Ken G wrote:

    “Evidence in a broad sense refers to something that furnishes proof of a matter. In the legal context, it is something legally submitted in court or other decision-making body to ascertain the truth of a matter. Evidence may take various forms, such as oral testimony, videotape, documents, and other forms.”

    “Evidence may take various forms, such as oral testimony . . .”

  70. Ken G wrote:

    Moore’s attorney wants the actual yearbook turned over so the signature and writing can be analyzed and authenticated. They only produced a copy of what is written in the yearbook. Without the actual yearbook, there is no evidence.

    Moore’s attorney is an incompetent clod who should not be practicing law. Did you even look at the demand letter he sent to al.com? It was embarrassing for all the grammar and spelling gaffes, to say nothing about his incomprehension of the law of defamation!

    And when I say that Trenton Garmon shouldn’t be practicing law I’m basing it on the fact that this guy is an actual honest-to-god ambulance chaser! He was disciplined by the Alabama Supreme Court for soliciting business from the family of a dead girl while they were still in mourning and when he had absolutely no relationship to the family. He approached the family as a pastor and then went in with his ambulance-chasing routine.

    Presumably, this is why Garmon is now pastoring a church in Pinellas County, Florida and some attorney named Jaregui is today running legal interference for Roy Moore.

    And to be completely blunt, I am of the opinion that even if the yearbook were authenticated and even if every woman who has come forward could be put back in the same place as they were 40 or 35 years ago, the people who are supporting Roy Moore will continue to support him because it’s party over country. And not only that, if you really bore down on these people you’d find out that they really don’t care about child abuse or women being treated as second-class. And that’s due in large part to many of these people belonging to churches that have no problem covering up or minimizing child abuse and keeping women in second-class positions.

    Dee, if this is too political please delete it.

  71. Muslin fka Deana Holmes wrote:

    And to be completely blunt, I am of the opinion….

    I don’t have an opinion about what you said about religion, but other than that i completely agree. They don’t care. About a lot of stuff. Different priorities of values.

  72. Bridget wrote:

    “Evidence may take various forms, such as oral testimony . . .”

    Yes, but the oral testimony is that of a witness or witnesses. It is not that of the individual making the accusation.

  73. I’d just like to remind people that when voting for someone, you don’t have to use a “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard. You can vote for someone because they wear your favorite brand of running shoes, for example.

  74. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    I don’t want a boy’s finger on the Nucular Button, literally or metaphorically.

    Nor I. Which is why my fervent prayer to the Almighty is that sane men in the senior officer corps. or below will refuse to obey said boy’s order to arm and launch.

  75. Ken G wrote:

    Yes, but the oral testimony is that of a witness or witnesses. It is not that of the individual making the accusation.

    Individuals making accusations testify on there own behalf all the time.

    Thank God I don’t think like that or I wouldn’t have believed my daughter when she came to me with accusations, “without a witness.” And she would have been devestated. This is exactly what happens in many child abuse cases. There is no other witness.

  76. Jack wrote:

    Ken G wrote:

    So to those who want Roy Moore to step down, do you want Senator Franken to resign, be unseated, etc?

    Short answer? Yes. Sexual assault isn’t funny whether a liberal or conservative, christian or other faith or no faith does it. It’s time for it to stop.

    Political party has nothing to do with demanding these politicians step down.

  77. okrapod wrote:

    I just think that the other current candidate’s political views cannot be dismissed as a factor in the public response to the allegations.

    His parties hypocrisy in the last few years has made alot of people view things differently now i think. Especially the senator/congressman that was vehemently ‘Pro-life’ until his mistress released the email where he told her to get an abortion when she said she was pregnant. Someone online posted this comment recently: the hipocrisy of pastors and politicians has done more to damage the gospel than any athiest ever could”

  78. Moore became a hero to the Christian community due to his 10 Commandments shenanigans. Now, many are unwilling to consider his other shenanigans. He’s been getting away with nonsense for years.

  79. NJ wrote:

    okrapod wrote:

    This would include but not be limited to that old fashioned attitude toward women which can be both protective, gentlemanly and dismissive all at the same time.

    Sounds like too many complementarians I’ve known, and know of.

    I would wholeheartedly disagree with the complementarian comparison. I have lived in both the upper westcoast and in Alabama and Georgia and have family that have lived in those areas for many generations. The manners and gentleman-ness i witnessed in the south was extremely appreciative of women and their contributions. Many women held high positions of leadership in society even in the 70’s. I am not referring to individual churches but the society as a whole. The politeness and respect for woman i witnessed there was an astounding contrast to what i witnessed in the west coast. I think the lack of societal manners evident almost everywhere nowdays is a huge problem. I have seen people being arrested by officers that said ‘please sir, put your hands behind your back, i know this is difficult but we will straighten it out at the station and let you call your wife’ that totally diffused violent situations in Alabama. and i have recently seen people nationwide being arrested after being slammed and handcuffed on the sidewalk by officers that said ‘get in the fu#@%# car’ Even in everyday life i have seen the same lack of respect by people in grocery stores, banks, and road rage. I had hoped we could solve problems of racial injustice (even in Alabama in the 70’s i witnessed many many white people addressing african americans as m’am and sir, except for some rednecks), crime, and poverty and done it in a civilized manner. The manners of Alabama and the idea that women and children are to be respected and protected are something i hope never disappears.

  80. Ken G wrote:

    So to those who want Roy Moore to step down, do you want Senator Franken to resign, be unseated, etc?

    Too early to tell, waiting for more details. One thing i would note however is that he apologized without justifying or victim blaming and she said she forgives him. Extent of abuse is important i think. If more accusers come forward and have more serious accusations (no, i am not saying that any level of abuse is ok) then definately. Politics aside it has been really wonderful to see that some men have been openly owning it and apoligizing

  81. @ sandy c:
    Al Franken apologized and said that as the Senate rules state, they should open an ethics enquiry over it. Didnt Jesus make comparisons about repentant harlots and tax gatherers getting into heaven easier than hipocrites? Lol i dont support the guy but he is really making people look bad by his true remorse

  82. Roy Moore was a liberal Democrat when all his shenanigans were allegedly going on. Now a conservative Republican, he surely is OK now? Will the real Roy Moore please stand up!

  83. What sealed the deal on Moore was his calling school and getting the girl out of trig class. I already believed the prior ladies, but the call was just the cherry on top.
    In the 80s, I taught in a couple of high schools in which a local businessman did the same thing. Employed many in the community and had a ” thing” for teenage girls. Several of the faculty finally convinced the administrators not to let any student take a call except from a guardian/parent. And it did some doing….People don’t understand what power certain people have in smaller cities/ towns.

  84. A.Tumbleweed wrote:

    The foundations are gone, abandoned long ago, and judgment is coming but no one cares. If you find one in twenty now to engage in meaningful conversation about Christ you are lucky, and that in the “church”. Judgment will begin with the house of God. Maybe it has already started.

    You and I see it the same way, Tumbleweed.

  85. Roy Moore’s Church is an independent Fundamental KVO Baptist Church. I watched his pastor state in an interview that the pastor will believe Roy Moore until Roy admits to it.

  86. K.D. wrote:

    People don’t understand what power certain people have in smaller cities/ towns.

    And probably ordained deacons at the local Baptist church, too!

    Several years ago, a civil engineer told me that while in college he took a class dealing with setting up an engineering practice in a small community. The class was advised to join “First” church when moving to town, since that’s where wealthy prospective clients would be members. Folks, besides politicians, have been using the church for years.

  87. sandy c wrote:

    Too early to tell, waiting for more details. One thing i would note however is that he apologized without justifying or victim blaming and she said she forgives him. Extent of abuse is important i think. If more accusers come forward and have more serious accusations (no, i am not saying that any level of abuse is ok) then definately. Politics aside it has been really wonderful to see that some men have been openly owning it and apoligizing

    Thank you for your well thought-out response.

  88. Max wrote:

    Several years ago, a civil engineer told me that while in college he took a class dealing with setting up an engineering practice in a small community. The class was advised to join “First” church when moving to town, since that’s where wealthy prospective clients would be members. Folks, besides politicians, have been using the church for years.

    I’ve seen that too Max! Not baptist but aerospace manufacturing company instructions to sr managment to be sure they had appropriate public recognition with the community! Good reminder, thanks!

  89. @ nancyjane:
    Wow thank you for posting this because when i read his response to Hannity i thought he had a very good defense of himself, but that article clearly dissolves that!

    “Moore went on to wonder at the notion that this “apparently caused her no distress at a time that was 18 years closer to the alleged assault,” while now, “talking before the cameras about the supposed assault, she seemingly could not contain her emotions.”

    This morning, I corresponded with a prominent Alabama attorney who reviewed the filings in Nelson’s 1999 divorce case. Based on those filings, the attorney insisted, Moore’s claims in the open letter are “completely disingenuous.” Nelson, this attorney told me, “was never before Moore,” since the divorce was not litigated…”

    https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/roy-moore-disingenuous-defense

  90. sandy c wrote:

    https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/roy-moore-disingenuous-defense

    More from that article :”Nelson’s divorce attorney, Rodney Ward, still practices in Gadsden. He concurred with this attorney’s analysis of Nelson’s divorce case. “I reviewed my file, and there was no hearing set in front of Judge Moore,” Ward told me this morning. “Looking at a copy of the order, it looks like Moore didn’t sign it. It looks like it was stamped by his assistant.” Had Beverly Nelson known who the presiding judge was, Ward went on, “my client would have filed a motion to have the judge recuse himself, to have a different judge appointed. So I don’t even think she knew who the judge was. It was only, like, sixty days from the time the divorce was filed to the time it was dismissed. Maybe ninety.” Ward concluded, “If Moore is claiming that she appeared in front of him, I do not believe that’s true.”

  91. Max wrote:

    Roy Moore was a liberal Democrat when all his shenanigans were allegedly going on. Now a conservative Republican, he surely is OK now? Will the real Roy Moore please stand up!

    Hey Max, this comment really got me thinking about something and i hope its not off-topic or distracting but here it is. What if a politician, or non politician (my comment is not even about this moore guy) repented from their sins and gave their life to Jesus and were born again and had fruit in their lives showing an actual change, should something they did 40 yrs ago, before their conversion, have any effect on whether they could hold office political or pastorial? Its really touchy concerning pedophiles because the amount of them that re-offend is so high, and because it is a sin done in secret. people that give their lives to Jesus and have commited different sins expect this total absolution for themselves but rarely seem to give the same for sexual abusers. I guess my opinion is that they should have a higher degree of scrutiny and always stay away from minors in private situations, but i really am trying to work out my faith/doctrine in this area. I feel like Jesus forgave my sins totally but that perhaps i dont give others the same grace if their sins are different than mine.

  92. 40 years ago, Moore was a cad. What is his current excuse for the fraudulent foundation he uses to raise money? More shenanigans.

  93. I would like to make a comment about attacking the credibility of thse that make sexual assault claims. (Not political) This Moore case has been interesting to me because of character of the women accusing Mr Moore but probably not like you would think. Some of Moores comments have been “i dont even know her” as if ‘she’ were an inconsequential female not even worthy of a powerful politician to know or remember. Another was that ‘she’ was a ‘divorcee’ and some of his supporters have brought up that one of those ‘she’s ‘ was in court giving custody of her kids to her mother, implying of course that she must be horrible person, even though giving custody of your kids to someone else when you realize your inability at the moment to care for them is sometimes ‘no greater love hath a man than he lay down his life for his friend’. Or my paraphrase ‘ no greater love has a mother that she voluntarily give custody of her children to another, even though to do so will rip her heart right out, she loves her children more than her own self’
    Since i became disabled i have been blessed to volunteer with addicts and though i am not a proffessional by any means i would say that i have spoken with about 400 addicts in the past 5 years. Out of those 400 i have met 3 that were not sexually abused or horrifically physically abused as a child.
    This point i am trying to make came up poignantly in the recent removal of Mayor Murray of Seattle. Of his accusers one was a known drug addict and when Murrays attorney attacked his character over that issue, the accusers attorney said ‘what did you think would happen to a boy that was sexually abused for years by a powerful man that everyone believed every time a young boy accused him to the police?”

  94. A.Tumbleweed wrote:

    This has all the earmarks (from where I sit) of the end of evangelicalism as a movement. It’s what happens when “Christians” take their eyes off of preaching Christ and Him crucified for sinners and affix them to politics, kingdom building, and the like.

    Watching all of this unfold is revealing just how worldly the so-called church actually is. The conservative Bible believing world is having the same gossip party as the sinful left, each one glorying in their shame. It’s pretty clear what their god is and how it cannot save them now. They are both more alike than either realize or will admit.

    But, nothing will change. God’s people will revel in the salacious details of sin while the world around them goes to perdition. The foundations are gone, abandoned long ago, and judgment is coming but no one cares. If you find one in twenty now to engage in meaningful conversation about Christ you are lucky, and that in the “church”.
    Judgment will begin with the house of God. Maybe it has already started.

    And maybe I am missing the point, but just how does all of this discussion of a particular sin and it’s details help exactly? Sinners sin. Christians even sin. People who claim to be Christian sin. It’s all bad. Ok. Now what? Not really seeing the positive side of all this being presented. Unless, Like I said, I am missing something.

    I pasted your whole comment because i think you bring up many important issues. I agree with what you said and i think christians need to be very careful about discussing the sins of others and getting their eyes on politics instead of Jesus.
    I recently read a book about the history of protestants called “Protestants” by Alec Ryrie and i just couldnt quite get past the chapter on what was going on with protestants during the rise of Hitlers Germany. I am not making comparison to politics of today when i mention this. What i was interested in was obviously the question ‘where was the church? And also what is a christians responsibility regarding government? In the US we have a democracy and not a throne which leads to the question of what responsibility do christians have to speak up about issues that the first century church did not have? The early christians spoke up sometimes about what was going on with political leaders and their sins- most notably John Baptist lost his head over the issue.
    The book ‘Protestants’ points out that a handful of protestants stood heroically against nazism but that many more were its collaborators or cheerleaders. A leader that never renounced his christian upbringing and spoke against athiesm and communism rose to power and many never said anything because of seperation of church and state (Luthers point used in reverse) and that they were caught up in an arguement that the church shouldnt say anything when leaders were sinning because it didnt affect the church and those being persecuted werent christians anyway. Until it was too late to do or say anything that is.
    I too believe the world is set on a course that will end in destruction and judgement from God and perhaps i cant change any of that but when its over i dont want God saying, why didnt you say anything?

  95. sandy c wrote:

    What if a politician, or non politician (my comment is not even about this moore guy) repented from their sins and gave their life to Jesus and were born again and had fruit in their lives showing an actual change, should something they did 40 yrs ago, before their conversion, have any effect on whether they could hold office political or pastorial?

    Here is my answer. Think of Saul and all the harm he did to Christians as recorded in Acts. Then he had his conversion experience (Acts 9) and was used of God to preach to the Gentiles and author many books of the bible. So I think it is possible.

  96. Just a thought, my entire Christian experience it was made very clear that I swim/slither very close to the shallow, polluted end of the spiritual gene pool. Trust me that was made clear on a permanent basis in my real-world experience. I just think women and children are treated horribly in our nation, I really do. Women have carried our species, they are the life givers, they are the backbone of the faith, they did not abandon Jesus at the cross. So why would a pastor rattle on protecting some mall rat looking to score (sorry about being crude). I realize he does not play a real big part in the modern evangelical industry but Jesus never reviled back against people who reviled him. I mean He listens to the worst of the worst and He continues to stay His hand, of course, He does, that is what a Father does.

    So I offer this, I am sorry to all women, to the jokes, the leers, the sordid jokes, the power inequities, using God as an excuse to treat U all like a nonhuman. We turned a blind eye to injustice and abuse. I just wanted to add that. God be with U all.

  97. @ sandy c:

    “What if a politician, or non politician (my comment is not even about this moore guy) repented from their sins and gave their life to Jesus and were born again and had fruit in their lives showing an actual change, should something they did 40 yrs ago, before their conversion, have any effect on whether they could hold office political or pastorial?”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    here’s how i see it:

    God has forgiven them
    and perhaps there has been positive change

    if the person was involved in stealing or any kind of financial crime, they should not be in a position dealing with money.

    if the person was involved in assault or abuse of any kind, they should not be in a position dealing with people. Manual labor or something cerebral instead.

    my personal boundary — I would not want them in my house or to have anything to do with my kids. but i will be polite to them. i believe God respects our personal boundaries.

  98. Ken G wrote:

    Here is my answer. Think of Saul and all the harm he did to Christians as recorded in Acts. Then he had his conversion experience (Acts 9) and was used of God to preach to the Gentiles and author many books of the bible. So I think it is possible.

    I agree. But Paul never denied what he did, on the contrary, he did the opposite. He repented, even though he had done nothing illegal under the laws he lived under.

  99. Ken G wrote:

    sandy c wrote:

    What if a politician, or non politician (my comment is not even about this moore guy) repented from their sins and gave their life to Jesus and were born again and had fruit in their lives showing an actual change, should something they did 40 yrs ago, before their conversion, have any effect on whether they could hold office political or pastorial?

    Here is my answer. Think of Saul and all the harm he did to Christians as recorded in Acts. Then he had his conversion experience (Acts 9) and was used of God to preach to the Gentiles and author many books of the bible. So I think it is possible.

    Paul had no problem owning his past sins. This is a sign of sombeody who is truly repentant. How many if those who have suposedly changed arecwilling to do this? And for the record, some of these past sins are disqualifiers from certain positions, regardless of whether the perp has ‘repented’.

  100. Am only half kidding when I say this. Politicians need a psychological workup before running for office. They seem predisposed to abusive behavior, lacking in conscience, empathy.
    Way too many fail big time on the sociopath scale.

  101. okrapod wrote:

    Then there was the Graham family,

    http://fundys.blogspot.com/2008/02/billy-graham-and-arranged-marriages.html

    This talks about Virginia and her first husband. This is Boz and Tullian’s mom. The link alleges that Billy introduced her to her first husband when she was 17 and that he was 20 years her senior.

    He wasn’t, though, he’s only 6 years older than her. But she did get arrested for attacking her second husband. And she seems to be remarried a third time now? Google doesn’t acknowledge her second husband except in articles relating to this domestic violence charge, which is weird.

  102. @ Liz:

    I checked it. You are right. I should have checked it myself instead of relying on ‘alleged’. Thanks.

  103. Every time we watch the news on tv, or I see it on the internet, someone else is accusing either a politician or someone from Hollywood of abuse. I honestly don’t know what to think of this. It’s kind of mind baffling. We’ve all heard of the “casting couch” in Hollywood. There could have been the equivalent of that in the political arena. It’s hard to know which stories to believe and which ones not to believe.

  104. sandy c wrote:

    I recently read a book about the history of protestants called “Protestants” by Alec Ryrie and i just couldnt quite get past the chapter on what was going on with protestants during the rise of Hitlers Germany. I am not making comparison to politics of today when i mention this. What i was interested in was obviously the question ‘where was the church? And also what is a christians responsibility regarding government?

    This is a topic of both intense academic and personal interest to me, and I had to study it for quite some time, so for what it’s worth, in partial answer to your question, “Where was the Church?”:

    At least in part, in the camps. Or in a ditch, with a Nazi bullet in their heads. Or erased from history.

    But for the most part, most of the sheep were blindfolded and fleeced.

  105. Harley wrote:

    Every time we watch the news on tv, or I see it on the internet, someone else is accusing either a politician or someone from Hollywood of abuse. I honestly don’t know what to think of this. It’s kind of mind baffling. We’ve all heard of the “casting couch” in Hollywood. There could have been the equivalent of that in the political arena. It’s hard to know which stories to believe and which ones not to believe.

    I agree.

  106. Rob wrote:

    Moore became a hero to the Christian community due to his 10 Commandments shenanigans. Now, many are unwilling to consider his other shenanigans. He’s been getting away with nonsense for years.

    He is “our guy!” so he can’t do anything wrong.

  107. Dee, you can delete my comment if it crosses your boundaries regarding politics. I will not be offended in the least.

    The issue of a “jesus” belonging to a political or religious affiliation has baffled me for years, ever since I began reading and understanding the Scriptures for myself via the help of God, the Holy Spirit. In my former religious state, relying on pastors, reverends, priests, bishops, elders, our Bible study “leader,” and even those who regard themselves as pious religious folks (many of whom get their “bread,” from God TV, Trinity Broadcasting Network, and Fox TV), I came to know that Jesus was either a Baptist or an Assembly of God member or follower, and Jesus was most definitely a Republican for that was the lesser of the two evils, so to speak.

    Oh, how I’ve heard that mantra throughout my church going years…..we must vote for the lesser of two evils for one is more “holy” than the other. Really. On the surface, the exterior, one political party appears more holy than the other, as if wickedness and evil does not exist on the right side of the issues. And we are shell shocked when one of those religious leaders, political leaders, or any other who labels themselves as a “leader” is faced with sin, in this case sexual sins of the mind or in the physical.

    Sin, repentance and turning to Jesus Christ as our LORD and Savior, was never meant to be a religious denomination, but His Body. Having Jesus as my Master and King was never meant for loyalty to a particular political party of this world, but of His Kingdom to come/eternal. Having Jesus as my Mediator inbetween our Father Who art in heaven, and me, a born again believer and follower of Christ only, was never meant to worship a pastor, a priest, a reverend, a bishop, a pope, an elder, and no, not even the prayer chain leader or the ladies aide president; my only Mediator is Jesus Christ; all other form of worship is human idolatry.

    Did our LORD and Savior, ever fight to have the ten commandments carved in stone and placed on the government lawns, buildings made with human hands, or any other human institution? Did our LORD ever get offended when nativity scenes are being subjected to ‘persecution’ because it offends a certain sect of our society?

    I find it fascinating how my Savior is molded and crafted into someone He never was while He walked this earth. And I find it even more fascinating how when you address these topics within fundamental, evangelical, visible Christianity, from an “american” perspective, it isn’t the unbelievers, nor the de-churched or unchurched believers that will persecute the believer, it is the “church folks” that will congregate and attack you the most.

    It is painful to our nation destroying itself in plain sight. May Jesus have mercy on His sheep and those who are in need of Him.

  108. sandy c wrote:

    What if a politician, or non politician (my comment is not even about this moore guy) repented from their sins and gave their life to Jesus and were born again and had fruit in their lives showing an actual change, should something they did 40 yrs ago, before their conversion, have any effect on whether they could hold office political or pastorial?

    From an old hymn:

    “What can wash away my sin?
    Nothing but the blood of Jesus
    What can make me whole again?
    Nothing but the blood of Jesus”

    If a man has truly repented and converted to faith in Christ, I believe he has been forgiven and cleansed of past sin. The real question is “Do certain past sins disqualify a man from public office or ministry?”

    Others have noted Paul’s sin of persecuting Christians and then being used by God in a mighty way after his conversion. And then there is David and many others in the Biblical record who came out of darkness into light to be used and blessed by God. Where does Roy Moore stack up in this regard? Are the consequences of past sin too much of an obstacle for the political position he seeks? We have pondered this question on TWW in regard to failed pastors (Noble, Driscoll, Tchividjian, others). At what point should folks recognize that the consequences of their sin – even if forgiven – become more of a liability than an asset to the cause they represent in either political or religious worlds?

    I once had a pastor who was the recognized town-drunk in a nearby community. After witnessing his father’s death in a bar room fight, he repented of his sins, came to Christ, and surrendered to the ministry. He was one of the best Gospel preachers I have ever sat under. I never doubted the genuineness of his faith – Christian character and fruit of ministry were obvious in his latter years compared to his former. He was a changed man.

    Is Roy Moore a changed man? Has the “old man” passed away? Are Christian character and integrity demonstrated in his walk? Is the life he lives now above reproach?

    “If a man is in Christ he becomes a new person altogether — the past is finished and gone, everything has become fresh and new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

    But yet the question remains from a watching world “Do certain past sins disqualify a man from public office or ministry?”

    What is the ‘right’ thing for Judge Moore to do?

  109. Muff Potter wrote:

    Nick Bulbeck wrote:
    I don’t want a boy’s finger on the Nucular Button, literally or metaphorically.
    Nor I. Which is why my fervent prayer to the Almighty is that sane men in the senior officer corps. or below will refuse to obey said boy’s order to arm and launch.

    “YOU’RE FIRED!”

  110. brian wrote:

    So I offer this, I am sorry to all women, to the jokes, the leers, the sordid jokes, the power inequities, using God as an excuse to treat U all like a nonhuman. We turned a blind eye to injustice and abuse.

    Thanks, Brian. You are a gentleman, one of The Good Guys.

  111. Max wrote:

    Is Roy Moore a changed man? Has the “old man” passed away? Are Christian character and integrity demonstrated in his walk? Is the life he lives now above reproach?

    Forgive me if someone has already said this, but there isn’t supposed to be a “religious test” for holding public office is there?
    This has become an issue of a moral test. Ok, who’s morality? Who says the mob gets to make the moral rules?

    When you try to apply an evangelical template to a candidate for public office, who is to say what that template looks like when the word “evangelical” can mean so many things? Even using a so-called biblical template would be problematic.

    Even the best person would have character flaws and past sins that would disqualify them in the minds of many people, which is why we vote. Let the voters decided who they want. This whole thing smells like people chasing money, power, and influence at all costs without any regard for serving the people. Sinners sin, who knew?

  112. A.Tumbleweed wrote:

    there isn’t supposed to be a “religious test” for holding public office is there?

    Agreed. But when a man courts the Christian vote claiming to stand on moral ground, he comes under such test by Christian voters, right or wrong. Moore is President-Emeritus of the Foundation for Moral Law (his wife is current President) … evangelicals who have supported him in the past think this means something regarding future political/moral positions he may hold on issues important to them.

  113. A.Tumbleweed wrote:

    who is to say what that template looks like when the word “evangelical” can mean so many things?

    Max wrote:

    But when a man courts the Christian vote claiming to stand on moral ground, he comes under such test by Christian voters, right or wrong. Moore is President-Emeritus of the Foundation for Moral Law (his wife is current President) … evangelicals who have supported him in the past think this means something regarding future political/moral positions he may hold on issues important to them

    We are finding out what one perspective of “Evangelical” looks like. It wouldn’t be the only perspective that does not have a good look.

  114. @ Max:
    Oh, I see that he comes under that test by Evangelical voters, but that’s the thing… Which bad man (or woman) are you going to vote for? As a Christian, doesn’t every vote come down to voting for the “cleanest dirty shirt”?

    I’m not excusing his behavior here, but I find it humorous that evangelicals suddenly chuck their theology out the window when it comes to politics and elections. I mean really, which sinner do people want to represent this big group of sinners? I hate that group of sinners over there, and hold up my sinner as superior to your sinner. Hooray for our side!

    A lot of this serves to reveal the true objects of worship throughout the various sectors of USA society, and just how ignorant people are not only of their own moral failings before a righteous and holy God, but in their own particular sect and micro-sect of society. And their own religion.

    Like we are supposed to be shocked that the entertainment industry is built on what has recently been revealed when their own product has been drenched with it for decades. And we are supposed to be shocked that our political system is rife with greed and perversion when they too have been actively promoting it since I have been on this planet. (50+ years, but who’s counting…) And we are shocked that religions don’t live up to their ideals, and actively participate in the perversion of the world. Gee, I guess God was right after all.

    Mankind is evil continually from their youth, with desperately wicked hearts that even we don’t understand. But God does and He intervened through Jesus Christ. Forgiveness freely given to any who will receive it. But people love their darkness, and even the redeemed like to play around in the muck. And the church gets distracted by love of the world and everything in it, and is surprised when things don’t go so well. This is what you get when a society forgets God and Jesus Christ, throws away their Bible and trusts in mere men.

    Hollywood, Political, and religious perversions are not the scandal. There should be no shock here. The true scandal is the Cross, that God would condescend to save the very people who hate Him, and that so many would figuratively spit in His face for being so loving. God’s people need to be pointing other people to Christ, not wasting our lives pointing to the sin of sinners except to illustrate the fundamental need for a Saviour.

  115. First, let me say that I am no supporter of Roy Moore. I live in Alabama and have no love for this particular candidate. I’m not sure what to believe at this point, there is too much noise on both sides of the political aisle for me. That said, I do have some questions/opinions I’d like to vet.
    1. Roy Moore is not a pedophile. There is no indication that any of these teenage girls were prepubescent at the time of their encounters. I think it is tacky and odd for a grown man to go after teenage girls, but only one of them was under the age of consent in Alabama (16), and there is nothing to indicate the 14 year old was prepubescent. By lumping Moore in with other pedophiles, we dilute how absolutely sick and deranged pedophilia actually is.

    2. The sexual assault, if two girls recollections are accurate, is horrendous and should be investigated thoroughly. I tend to believe those that make these types of claims, but the politics surrounding this are problematic.

    3. My question. If you take the assault/abuse allegations away, and it is only true that Roy Moore dated 16-18 year old girls while in his thirties, is there still an issue here?

    Thanks for the consideration.

  116. @ Bobo:

    #1 Your first point is absolutely correct. He does not remotely fit the psychiatric definition of pedophile. Nor do most of the practitioners of child sex in ‘other religion’. Pedophilia is a specific thing with several requirements to be met to qualify for that diagnosis. However, it is widely used in non-medical lay situations to mean more or less whatever the writer wants it to mean. This bugs the mess out of me. I see it as manipulative and unjust to the accused. The wiki article goes into this issue, how the word is sometimes differently used by various people.

    #2 The assault allegations need investigated and taken very seriously. He should not be let off in any way if he did those things.

    #3 For some people there seems to be; for some there does not seem to be. I think that were it just some 32 year old dating some 17 year old would not be a big deal, but cruising the mall as described is way over the line.

  117. Max wrote:

    Several years ago, a civil engineer told me that while in college he took a class dealing with setting up an engineering practice in a small community. The class was advised to join “First” church when moving to town, since that’s where wealthy prospective clients would be members. Folks, besides politicians, have been using the church for years.

    My step-grandmother ran a title company and was the notary public in this small east Texas toen in the 1970s and 1980s. She joined the Methodist Church because she had to join some church and she didn’t like the Baptist preacher.

  118. Bobo wrote:

    3. My question. If you take the assault/abuse allegations away, and it is only true that Roy Moore dated 16-18 year old girls while in his thirties, is there still an issue here?

    Yep!

    A grown man cruising the malls and department stores where the kids hang out is problematic. There is a power differential that is troubling. Do you really think that a 32 year old attorney is actually seeking out a 16 year old teen because they have much in common? In fact, if that is true, then something is seriously wrong in the emotional development of such a male.

    Sadly, it is the Christian courting culture who has tried for years to make us believe that young girls marrying older men is normal. (Joseph did it, fight?) Not only is it crappy theology but it is naive to imagine that such a relationship is on equal footing.

    If these allegations are true, and I believe that they are, then something is very weird about Roy Moore. Deep down inside, I bet some of his supporters are coming to that conclusion as well. I believe that there will be more coming out in the days and weeks to come. Already a 28 year old woman said he grabbed her buttocks while she was leaving his office.

    I do not have trouble with the politics connection. When someone is jumping up and down in the public eye, screaming about his Christian virtue, he is bound to have some people come forward to say “He ain’t a saint.” When one puts himself before the public eye, he must be prepared to have his life looked at very carefully. He doesn’t get to say what can and cannot be said about him.

    I believe that if Moore is elected (right now the polls have him down by 9 points when his lead had been in the double digits) the Senate will move to start an ethics investigation and he will be forced to resign.

  119. Max wrote:

    But when a man courts the Christian vote claiming to stand on moral ground, he comes under such test by Christian voters, right or wrong. Moore is President-Emeritus of the Foundation for Moral Law

    I agree. If you shout about your Christian life in public, you must be prepared to have it examined.

  120. A.Tumbleweed wrote:

    When you try to apply an evangelical template to a candidate for public office, who is to say what that template looks like when the word “evangelical” can mean so many things? Even using a so-called biblical template would be problematic.

    I don’t think that is happening here. Roy Moore, for years, has been touting his moral and spiritual qualifications for office. Roy Moore hung his cowboy hat on those values and have made it an integral part of his campaign. It is part of his platform.

    It should not be surprising if people have decided it is time to call him on his supposed Christian life. There are many people for whom I might vote based solely on their platform regarding the issues. I rarely check out an individual to see if they are *good Christians.* Christians sin just as much as anyone else and this is becoming Moore and Moore evident. (Sorry-I could not resist.)

  121. Max wrote:

    Is Roy Moore a changed man? Has the “old man” passed away? Are Christian character and integrity demonstrated in his walk? Is the life he lives now above reproach?

    I like this question. In fact, I have been listening for some sort of statement that “I was stupid and have been a changed man since I married my lovely, young wife.” That has not happened. Instead he is doubling down. My guess is that he has not repented for his actions and that makes me wonder if we will be hearing more claims.

    Yesterday, a woman who was 28 in the 90s claimed the Moore grabbed her buttocks when she was leaving his office. If this is true, be prepared. There will be more coming.

  122. Karen wrote:

    It is painful to our nation destroying itself in plain sight.

    I have come to the conclusion that our nation is not a *Christian* nation as some would define it. Many would claim to adhere to some values as outlined in Scripture. However, many conflate politics and faith as if the two are meant to be joined.

    Jesus said that his kingdom was not of this world. Jesus almost never discussed politics in spite of the Jews who lived in an uneasy relationship wth Rome. That ended in 70AD when the Romans invaded Jerusalem, destroyed the Temple, took slaves from the inhabitants and caused a massive diaspora as people ran from the area.

    Jesus told us to try to live in peace with all men if possible. He told us to pay our taxes and pray for our leaders. But he never said that politics would be the salvation of the people.

    I was very involved in politics from the time I was 16 when I was appointed as the first teen to serve on a study council looking at the problem of drugs. (Not much has changed…) After decades of participating in campaigns, I became disillusioned. I realized that politics would not solve our problems. About 15 years ago, I cut off my ties to politics except to continue to exercise my right vote.

    I am glad that some people are trying to make a difference out there in the political world. I, on the other hand, decided to turn my vision inwards to the church and will keep trying to make a difference when it comes to abuse in a limited group-the church.

  123. dee wrote:

    Max wrote:

    But when a man courts the Christian vote claiming to stand on moral ground, he comes under such test by Christian voters, right or wrong. Moore is President-Emeritus of the Foundation for Moral Law

    I agree. If you shout about your Christian life in public, you must be prepared to have it examined.

    I’m surprised the media have not picked up on this: https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/undisclosed-deal-guaranteed-roy-moore-180000-a-year-for-part-time-work-at-charity/2017/10/11/5f56679e-a9de-11e7-850e-2bdd1236be5d_story.html?utm_term=.4323e7c8e6f8

  124. dee wrote:

    Jesus said that his kingdom was not of this world.

    A crucial point that many 21st century Christians miss. When Jesus said that we were to be in the world but not of the world, He certainly didn’t mean we were to be a sub-culture of it! It’s getting increasingly difficult to find someone to fellowship with in church who knows that believers are to experience the Kingdom of God in the here and now, not only in the bye and bye. The heavenly realm must gaze on us in amazement that so many spiritual resources are available to the church to live in the power and presence of the Lord … but they are not appropriated because we don’t live as we ought.

  125. @ dee:
    Fair enough. For my two cents, I will concede that while his “trolling the mall” in his early 30s is odd (perhaps even a bit scandalous), divorced from the abuse and assault allegations doesn’t really do much in the manner of raising eyebrows for me. It doesn’t really have any impact on his ability to legislate.

    Also, I don’t see this as related to an “evangelical courting culture” as much as a man with political aspirations wanting a “hot young trophy wife” (perhaps these are interwoven, IDK). In fact, I’m more convinced that the “evangelical” nature of Roy Moore is a more a means to his political ends.

  126. The Man Who Wasn’t Thursday wrote:

    hat it’s worth, in partial answer to your question, “Where was the Church?”:

    At least in part, in the camps. Or in a ditch, with a Nazi bullet in their heads. Or erased from history.

    But for the most part, most of the sheep were blindfolded and fleeced.

    The Man Who Wasn’t Thursday wrote:

    This is a topic of both intense academic and personal interest to me, and I had to study it for quite some time, so for what it’s worth, in partial answer to your question, “Where was the Church?”:

    At least in part, in the camps. Or in a ditch, with a Nazi bullet in their heads. Or erased from history.

    But for the most part, most of the sheep were blindfolded and fleeced.

    Alec Ryrie’s book was astounding to me because he details how the church was at first spending their time in deep theological debates over the issue of ‘should the church speak up on government’ and martin luthers tract ‘On the Jews and Their Lies’ and over whether it was right to take property from and imprison those jews that had converted and were baptized as opposed to those who werent baptized! They discussed how that since hitler was anti-communist and anti athiest and such a nationalist it was better than the “liberalism, licentiousness and anti clerical secularism”. They even played the “manifest will” card: ‘God had permitted the Nazis to take power. The church could hardly defy His manifest will’ The book says that even Bonhoeffer at first (1933) took the position that the state had freedom to work out the jewish question as it saw best itself but that the church could speak up if it didnt preserve order in the country like not preventing violence in the streets. Only after realising that street violence was the nazi policy did he actually speak against the nazi party.

    The parallels to today are astonishing to me. The churches arguing over pre-destination, not addressing abuse in the country or their own parishes, the thinking that ‘those people’ deserve it because they dont hold the same beliefs as i do, and the ignoring that police are arresting a certain race with much violence and occasional murders. And churches are talking about what their theology says about whether they should care or say anything! its been going on for many years but maybe not to the same extent.

  127. I feel sorry for any females growing up in that household! It will be rude awakening if she does and her daughter see’s the light! The funny thing about FREE WILL children can choose to leave and not look back. These yahoo’s wonder why their theology doesn’t always work on kids ( I know why, because kids are smart, they figure it out). TomkeinOK wrote:

    Love,joy,feminism blog at patheos is run by a woman homeschooled. She has examples from her experience of the world in which men must be able to support a family but women only need to be able to cook, clean, have and raise children. In her group many were able to do,this by age 13!!

  128. Max wrote:

    Is Roy Moore a changed man? Has the “old man” passed away? Are Christian character and integrity demonstrated in his walk? Is the life he lives now above reproach?

    “If a man is in Christ he becomes a new person altogether — the past is finished and gone, everything has become fresh and new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

    But yet the question remains from a watching world “Do certain past sins disqualify a man from public office or ministry?”

    What is the ‘right’ thing for Judge Moore to do?

    Thanks for your comments that brings so much clarity to what i was pondering, that last part is something i have been wondering ‘has he changed’

  129. Late to the party, and I’m probably going to make a scene. Because, you know what? It’s hard to go against the flow, even on TWW! And even when I defend victims but believe that defending victims might look a little different sometimes. But first I agree with what has been said about why victims remain silent for however long they remain silent. Power differentials. Personal shame or fear of shaming from others. Fear of retaliation. And I also agree that the guy who compared the alleged behavior with Joseph and Mary is a Moron of the first order and a shame on the name of Christ. All of the people involved have terrible advocates. Truly awful advocates who do not help their case. Mr. Mary-Joseph and Gloria Allred. Sounds like a bad Christmas song.

    Again, the context for this case make it difficult to discern the truth. No one wants to think that, but the Hollywood stuff had our thinking primed for this, and the political setting frames our thinking one way or the other, and the age differential cultural issue is apparently huge. The older teens he dated were not underage, but conflating those with the 14 YO has served to bolster that allegation in the minds of many. I have said before that I would *not* allow any teenage daughter of mine to date a 30-something man. But that is a preference and not a moral judgment. If the rule is that doing so makes a guy a creep, then I’ll put out on the table the fact that my grandfathers were creeps and a few of my uncles were creeps, too. So were many other fine men. We need to be careful how we make Rules.

    Credibility is tricky. There is a good reason for having 12 jurors and for giving those jurors an opportunity to observe the parties and examine the evidence and then to deliberate and test it among themselves. I am not saying that this needs to be put before a jury. The point is that the process is there for a reason. Naturally, if someone talks to people just like them (picks a jury to suit their case) their view seems right. That is not the way the Bible tells us to decide things. It tells is to hear *both* sides impartially. It tells us not to favor the rich in a dispute and not to favor the poor in a dispute.

    So, what is the point of this Gramrambling? IMO, there are credibility issues with the judge’s interview with Hannity which I listened to and then carefully read the transcript. There were some answers that I did not care for at all, and if I were Hannity I would have followed up with some very different questions. IMO there are also credibility issues with the account of the 14 YO teen and the account of the Yearbook teen (not the signature issue which is a separate matter.)

    I read the accounts of those and carefully thought through those in the context of what I remembered from that time. By the way, I am not intending a slight by not using their names but rather describing them to readily set them apart from the other older teen dates. I think there are some people who are reading those accounts who were possibly not alive in 1977 who might not notice some things which are simply factually wrong. There is more that younger people do not notice simply because they were not there. But that is not the point which is that people need to examine both sides very carefully.

    As it has not been framed (and as people who should be wise as serpents we should ask *who* has framed the question this way and *why*), Christians must for some reason choose a side in an existential fight rather than thoughtfully consider issues. Christians must vote for “Our Guy” or else they have capitulated to those in DC who want to destroy them. Christians must vote against the “Bad Guy” to prove they are Courageous Defenders of Victims or else that proves they do not care about victims of child predators.

    Let’s take a step back and ask ourselves who is protecting the interests of children in this complex of a story? Who in this has demonstrated any interest prior to November in child sex abuse? That is not a political question but rather a moral challenge to lazy Christians of *either* camp. Because I do not believe that this actually is a moral question at all for either camp, though it may be for many individual Christians.

    IMO Christians, of ALL people, must find a way out of this binary, bi-polar, BPD craziness. We are called to be sober-minded and wise. That is a difficult path to walk when it seems like everyone feels pressed to make an immediate judgment about everything to put it on social media. Been there, too. There is no urgency to Do Something Now!!! There is time to prove the assertions on both sides and let the people of Alabama have justice along with the parties to the dispute. The people of Alabama are the ones being deprived of justice due to the artificial time pressure, and ISTM that Christian Americans ought to be concerned with that. I have said on the other thread that we are in the middle of a moral panic and a national mental breakdown which I frankly do not understand and which frightens me. Christians need to be the sane and moral center.

    Let the firing commence.

  130. dee wrote:

    Not only is it crappy theology but it is naive to imagine that such a relationship is on equal footing.

    This!! Yes! And the power differential!

  131. Gram3 wrote:

    Christians need to be the sane and moral center.

    I agree, excellent comments. I would also add that Christians need to highlight that this current environment is what the people wanted and asked for when they removed God & Christ from every arena of life, and be the ones pointing them to the only answer for their troubled souls. And Christians, of all people, should be known for protecting children.

  132. Max wrote:

    I’m surprised the media have not picked up on this: https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/undisclosed-deal-guaranteed-roy-moore-180000-a-year-for-part-time-work-at-charity/2017/10/11/5f56679e-a9de-11e7-850e-2bdd1236be5d_story.html?utm_term=.4323e7c8e6f8

    Yes, if Roy Moore gets elected, he might also be facing tax issues due to these shenanigans. It does gove the impression that the “foundation” was just a way for Moore to enrich himself.

    Then again, the reason Moore is famous is that has continued to defy higher courts, both in 2001 and 2015. In fact, 2001 is when I first heard of Moore because I was simply blown away at his favoritism towards one religious symbol to the exclusion of all others. In a country with multiple religious faiths, that kind of favortism is unnerving.

  133. Bobo wrote:

    3. My question. If you take the assault/abuse allegations away, and it is only true that Roy Moore dated 16-18 year old girls while in his thirties, is there still an issue here?
    Thanks for the consideration.

    If I as a teacher dated a 16-18 year old, even a 16-18 year old at another school, state, I would have been fired, put in jail…..Does that answer your question?
    In general, 30+ year old men shouldn’t be hanging around a high school, high school kids….unless they teach there, or have kids there….

  134. @ K.D.:

    Are you talking about still in high school or specifically age? My daughter graduated HS at 17 and was off to college right after that, and her BFF from high school was just a wee bit younger and off to the same college. That does not mean that they had a lot of sense, but I just wondered what exactly you were saying.

  135. Age.
    That said, in Texas a teacher cannot date a minor. In school or out. Age of consent of 17 in Texas does not apply to teachers. Even if they have a HS diploma or GED. 17 year olds are off limits. ( and younger)
    At 18 a teacher could date a person out of school.
    ( Sorry, 30 year olds shouldn’t be around high school age people.)

  136. Gram3 wrote:

    we are in the middle of a moral panic and a national mental breakdown … Christians need to be the sane and moral center

    Allowing any other compass to chart true North would descend America into moral chaos. Unfortunately, we have a Christian leadership crisis in America … there are too many opposing voices in what should be the same camp. When the church is not in its right spiritual mind, it becomes a part of the national insanity.

  137. @ Beakerj:
    As am I.

    In addition… Sexual predation is part of that person’s life, as well as highly sexualized comments about one of his daughters from infancy forward.

  138. ION: Music

    My daughter is practicing for grade 3 violin the noo, so I’ve been providing piano accompaniment. She’s sounding quite good now.

    IHTIH

  139. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    My daughter is practicing for grade 3 violin the noo, so I’ve been providing piano accompaniment. She’s sounding quite good now.

    Life is so much more civilized in Scotland than America.

  140. ___

    “2017 #MeToo Sexual Abuse Tsunami Awareness Campaign?” (1)

    hmmm…

    Women are coming out of the American woodwork…publicizing previous experiences demonstrating the widespread nature of misogynistic behavior!

    huh?

    #MeToo (What?)

    “The New York Times’ October 5th bombshell on Harvey Weinstein’s myriad sexually predatory offenses set off a cultural chain reaction that feels truly important or scary or both, depending on who you ask. Women in Hollywood stood up and shared their stories of sexual misconduct. And then women in the media did, women in the art world did, women in politics did, women in comedy did, and so on…”(1)

    Senate candidate Roy Moore allegedly sexually assaulted a 14-year-old girl when he was a 32-year-old assistant district attorney in Alabama, according to an explosive new report by the Washington Post. (2)

    Every woman who has ever been presented with a career/sex quid pro quo, or been sexually harassed/assaulted in an 501(c)3 corporate climate should also come forward and simply say, “Me, too!”

    Sure. it’s about time…

    …had a bad date with a spermizoid zombie?

    Don’t wait… come forward today…

    “…Sends the Right Kind of Message.”

    SKreeeeeeeeeeeetch!

    …it’s like the prize patrol from US society sexual abuse clearing house just rang America’s doorbell?

    Ding Dong…

    ATB

    Sòpy
    __
    (1) https://amp.thedailybeast.com/after-al-franken-and-roy-moore-we-are-dangerously-close-to-botching-the-metoo-moment

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Me_Too_(hashtag)

    (2) http://www.weeklystandard.com/washington-post-drops-bombshell-allegations-against-roy-moore/article/2010409

    😉

    – –

  141. dee wrote:

    I do not have trouble with the politics connection. When someone is jumping up and down in the public eye, screaming about his Christian virtue, he is bound to have some people come forward to say “He ain’t a saint.”

    “Screaming about his Christian Virtue” is just the Christianese form of Virtue Signalling.

    And the More Virtue Signalling, the greater the Corruption.

  142. Bobo wrote:

    1. Roy Moore is not a pedophile. There is no indication that any of these teenage girls were prepubescent at the time of their encounters. I think it is tacky and odd for a grown man to go after teenage girls, but only one of them was under the age of consent in Alabama (16), and there is nothing to indicate the 14 year old was prepubescent.

    At which point, he would be an “ehebephile”, i.e. going after post-pubescent but legally-underage “jail bait”. And the cruising the mall is not only tacky, but “To Catch a Predator” CREEPY.

  143. Max wrote:

    Is Roy Moore a changed man? Has the “old man” passed away? Are Christian character and integrity demonstrated in his walk? Is the life he lives now above reproach?

    Last year, didn’t God’s mouthpiece James Dobson answer the same questions re Donald Trump with a resounding “YES!”? (And we’re supposed to trust Dobson’s judgment?)

  144. A.Tumbleweed wrote:

    And Christians, of all people, should be known for protecting children.

    No question at all about that. This is going to sound very concern-trollish, but this case, IMO, is not the best one to work that out because the Well of Meaningful Discussion has been poisoned in just about every way possible. That is the reason why I did not specify which parts of both the judge’s account and the women’s accounts that I see as problematic. At this point, the whole thing has become larger that that, regrettably.

    The way this has unfolded is, IMO, very bad for genuine victims of abuse, including any genuine victims in this case (I am not assuming one way or the other.) The reason is that if one or more is *proved* to be lying by evidence, it casts doubts on the others, and they may be true victims. It also introduces doubt into the genuine victim space for future genuine victims. This is not a trivial concern, especially if this becomes a commonly used tactic. The Rules have been set, and I think some innocent people are going to be hurt by the Law of Unintended Consequences which will create different kinds of victims, including possibly some women. And I think that some people might also blame other people for defensive things they do as a result of the new Rules.

    The time for Christians to have acted would have been in the late 1970’s in the judge’s church. Or at the mall if they thought he was acting inappropriately. If they did not, then it is a huge failure of the Christians in Gadsden who knew something. I’m saying that as someone who *did* see something and say something. It bought me a whole boatload of grief for it, and I was not believed because the victim denied it until another victim turned up later with evidence in living, breathing, undeniable form, and his behavior of many, many years was finally exposed.

  145. Gram3 wrote:

    Let the firing commence.

    Ammo I have none, for all twas spent half a fort night ago preventing a great massacre on Piper ridge. Your courage I admire.

  146. @ Gram3:
    I agree… but, in general, the american church has typically not been “moral leader”… sometimes a “ moral tag along”, but not usially out front….

  147. Max wrote:

    But when a man courts the Christian vote claiming to stand on moral ground, he comes under such test by Christian voters, right or wrong.

    I don’t see it that way. His opponents (political) put him under a religious test (which is a moral test and not a legal test) and then push the results of the test in the faces of the Christian voters and imply that if they vote for him they would be hypocrites or thought of as not good Christians.

    And the test can always be changed to fit the circumstances at the time. I think Christians can be naive and believe such legalistic nonsense similar to what happened to the Galatians.

  148. dee wrote:

    Max wrote:
    But when a man courts the Christian vote claiming to stand on moral ground, he comes under such test by Christian voters, right or wrong. Moore is President-Emeritus of the Foundation for Moral Law
    I agree. If you shout about your Christian life in public, you must be prepared to have it examined.

    More ( no pun ) then examined, absolutely autopsied. Generating votes because of Christian virtue, morals, behavior must reflect the source of belief, Jesus.

    Moore is probably guilty.He’s always given me the creeps. There is something I don’t trust about anyone who harp on morals, day and night, as if they are possessed, with it. Makes me think they are doing ” battle” in their own life. Still, I wish these accusations had come out way before the primary. As it is, it does smell like politics afoot, which gives Moore a defense.

  149. Ken G wrote:

    Max wrote:

    But when a man courts the Christian vote claiming to stand on moral ground, he comes under such test by Christian voters, right or wrong.

    I don’t see it that way. His opponents (political) put him under a religious test (which is a moral test and not a legal test) and then push the results of the test in the faces of the Christian voters and imply that if they vote for him they would be hypocrites or thought of as not good Christians.

    And the test can always be changed to fit the circumstances at the time. I think Christians can be naive and believe such legalistic nonsense similar to what happened to the Galatians.

    If Moore is guilty of the charges he is responsible not his political opponents and BTW you do not think if the shoe was on the other foot the Republicans would not be doing this and they would not care how close it was to the election.

    The mixing of politics and religion has ruined the SBC IMO. I know because I am still just barely apart of the SBC world after 43 years of being a member.

  150. Ken G wrote:

    I don’t see it that way. His opponents (political) put him under a religious test (which is a moral test and not a legal test) and then push the results of the test in the faces of the Christian voters and imply that if they vote for him they would be hypocrites or thought of as not good Christians.

    Moore has put himself under the Christian test by what he has stated over his lifetime.

  151. Bridget wrote:

    Ken G wrote:

    I don’t see it that way. His opponents (political) put him under a religious test (which is a moral test and not a legal test) and then push the results of the test in the faces of the Christian voters and imply that if they vote for him they would be hypocrites or thought of as not good Christians.

    Moore has put himself under the Christian test by what he has stated over his lifetime.

    Bridget: Think about how much he has railed at other people about not living a Holy life and yet it appears he did not practice what he preached.

  152. mot wrote:

    If Moore is guilty of the charges he is responsible not his political opponents and BTW you do not think if the shoe was on the other foot the Republicans would not be doing this and they would not care how close it was to the election.

    Thanks. Of course no political party has a monopoly. It’s simply a tactic his opponents are using to shame voters into changing their vote.

    Here is another example of this tactic. I’m aware of a candidate who ran for office in a large, but rather rural agricultural community. It was brought out that he starred in some adult pornographic movies when he was younger, some 30+ years ago. Nothing illegal was ever alleged, but the implication was that if you voted for him you supported pornography. Thus, a religious test (moral test) was developed to fit the circumstances.

  153. Mae wrote:

    There is something I don’t trust about anyone who harp on morals, day and night, as if they are possessed, with it. Makes me think they are doing ” battle” in their own life.

    The list of failed ministers is evidence of that. Many of them preached aggressively against the very sins they were ensnared by … sort of a cover, I suppose. Remember Ted Haggard?

    On the other hand, the church can’t allow the world to set moral standards for us. Every pulpit needs to remind the pew that in the Kingdom of God we are to live differently. Sermons need to be occasionally sprinkled with reproof, correction, and training in righteousness. If we are to pursue holiness, believers need to let the Word to steer them that way – the world has nothing to offer about holy living.

  154. dee wrote:

    Sadly, it is the Christian courting culture who has tried for years to make us believe that young girls marrying older men is normal. (Joseph did it, fight?) Not only is it crappy theology but it is naive to imagine that such a relationship is on equal footing.

    I find Bobo’s 3rd question and your answer revealing, the necessity for a beastly motive may be unwarranted. Recent research on human mating habits indicates men are typically a lot less selective on who they pursue than females are. In the evolutionary scheme of things the picky nature of females finding an acceptable mate may well be one of the major reasons for the advancement of the human species. Too much of our current thinking has been corrupted by he post-modernist constant use of power and oppression to explain every relationship, instead there is much to be explained by basic human nature.

    A long time has passed since I was concerned with dating but I do recall the stark terror regarding the opposite sex. With a typical young male, the greater the interest the greater the fear. Many a story exists of tongue tied young men around young women they were interested in. I don’t know Moore now nor then so I can’t speak to his motivation specifically but more than a few reacted to their fear of rejection by plying in easier waters.

  155. emily honey wrote:

    futurist Brad’s website

    Thank you for your kind compliment, emily. Like many of us who are spiritual abuse survivors, we’ve committed to do something toward helping change the awareness and accountability in the Church so that what happened to us will happen less frequently to others.

    My main role in that has been in research and resource writing. I’ve tried to write mostly based on processing experiences I’ve had and the questions they raised, and I know that people’s abuse situations differ even when some underlying patterns are similar. So, it’s heartening to hear that some of it has been helpful.

    One of my long-term goals has been to synthesize materials from my blog to reduce repetition, and make them more accessible and applicable. I’m hoping to get this done by 2020, as that is when I expect to retire. So, I’m working as fast as I can to produce a systematic series of books, training materials, and final blog posts for survivors, advocates, and activists; and for leaders of churches, non-profits, and social enterprises who hold much responsibility for creating safe work, learning, or worship environments.

    This has been a 10-year-long mega-project already, and much of that time I’ve been part of the TWW community. Though I’ve not been participating here as much while focusing on finishing the writings, I’m always grateful for what I learn from Dee and Deb and commenters, and the supportiveness we all received as survivors.

  156. Gram3 wrote:

    Christians must vote against the “Bad Guy” to prove they are Courageous Defenders of Victims or else that proves they do not care about victims of child predators.

    It is interesting that the topic of Moore was initially introduced with the term “Virtue Signaling” in the title. Is this something new? Humans are tribal and run in herds but I don’t recall needing to take as much care in the past to properly “virtue signal” to a local tribe before making a contrary statement. Maybe I’m just getting old but I am getting quite tired of seeing someone need to explain they are not a horrible person simply because they have a different point of view. It has come to the point where instead of defending an opposing opinion we need to first defend our right to even hold the opinion. There is way too much binary thinking going on in our culture and living near a public university is a front row seat to the degradation in discourse and lack of diversity in opinion.

    Your comment that we need to be a sane and moral center is spot on. To follow-up on my contention that women may be the choosy ones picking a mate, it is evident that Gramp3 was the one that chose well.

  157. Thersites wrote:

    Recent research on human mating habits indicates men are typically a lot less selective on who they pursue than females are. In the evolutionary scheme of things the picky nature of females finding an acceptable mate may well be one of the major reasons for the advancement of the human species. T

    Recent? Research? This is what we were told in school, at home and in my case at a church camp sex-ed class way back when. Which gender kids about putting a sack over somebody’s head…? That would be while one shares the joy of christmas without discriminating. And which gender has a saying that the best thing you can ever do for your kids is to choose their father wisely?

    In school biology they talked about some other species who do the same sort of thing. Just watch the birds in spring. He, frequently brightly plumed and handsome, breaks himself up establishing territory and trying to attract a female, apparently any female. She, usually more drab than he and smaller, takes her time and has her pick-apparently.

    How much money did the gov pay for this research?

  158. “Roy Moore’s brother claimed that Roy believes (as does his brother) that he is being persecuted just like Jesus Christ was. I think if I hear this excuse for bad behavior one more time, I shall enroll in primal scream therapy. Evangelicals have a penchant for using this statement to absolve themselves of any responsibility for their indefensible behavior which is being pointed out to them.”

    I know I’ve pointed out the flaws in the novel “Piercing the Darkness” by Frank E. Peretti, before on this blog, but I feel the need to repeat myself as Dee’s quote reminds me of it. As Dee rightly notes, there is a unhealthy habit in Christianity that automatically assumes that any accusations against a Christian are false and the result of evil seductresses, lying children, demons, Satan, Dungeons and Dragons, Harry Potter, etc.

    In Peretti’s novel, the main character (super morality figure and head-of-the-householder Tom Harris) runs into trouble when a single mother brings charges against him of child abuse because he uses a wooden paddle to discipline children (if I recall correctly, he also performs an exorcism on a little girl without parental consent). However, the novel explains that the accusations are false; they are the result of a plot by Satan to destroy the Church and the Town. Also, Harris’ kids get taken away by social services, where we learn that his kids were never allowed to watch TV, and are also perfect in every way (unrealistically so).

    What bothers me about the novel even more so is when two women who attend the same church have a phone conversation in which one of them confesses that they don’t feel their children should attend the Christian school where Harris works because of the terrible things they’ve heard -regarding the allegations against him. This phone call is masterminded by the demon known as “Gossip”. As many on this blog can testify, “gossip” is a codeword in Christian culture for “making allegations of abuse or misconduct, discussing legitimate concerns with fellow church members and reporting on false doctrines/scams”.

    Overall, (in my own humble opinion), the novel reads like a textbook on how to scare victims -especially women and children- into silence. (For example -and much like Roy Moore!- anyone who brings accusations against a “Godly Man” must surely be in league with the devil!) In addition, it also shames Christians into not discussing their concerns over leadership, doctrine, allegations etc. with each other. Instead, the novel explains quite clearly that the duty of other Christians is to stand with each other no matter what, and never, never, EVER, question or report on the behavior of a Christian authority figure. No matter how many people have been hurt or how many lives are at stake.

  159. Max wrote:

    On the other hand, the church can’t allow the world to set moral standards for us. Every pulpit needs to remind the pew that in the Kingdom of God we are to live differently. Sermons need to be occasionally sprinkled with reproof, correction, and training in righteousness. If we are to pursue holiness, believers need to let the Word to steer them that way – the world has nothing to offer about holy living.

    Preach it, brother! In the meantime people have to desensitize themselves to being called fundy and fanatic and legalistic pharisee and probable abuser and cultish, because even having a church clothes closet for the poor can get called ‘works’ and compassion can look ‘manipulative’ and bible study is obviously ‘indoctrination’ and establishing boundaries is obviously either ‘legalism’ or ‘clannishness’ or both.

    So that only leaves ‘love’ as defined by the culture, not the scripture, and which means and only means total affirmation of every idea and every behavior regardless.

    I don’t know, Max, maybe you are being too idealistic? Maybe the day for any pursuit of any biblical idea of virtue is long gone.

  160. K.D. wrote:

    Several of the faculty finally convinced the administrators not to let any student take a call except from a guardian/parent. And it did some doing….People don’t understand what power certain people have in smaller cities/ towns.

    We had some of that in our schools also. What makes this Moore thing even so much worse is that any school however, would get a kid out of class if it was the ADA calling. Or if it was a police officer calling. Maybe some would notify the parents though.

  161. Joy wrote:

    I saw Roy Moore weeks ago flashing a gun around I knew he was trouble.

    He’s the guy that had the AR15 free as a prize to supporters in a lottery or something!

  162. Hey Dee- sorry but my recent comment about phone call getting kids out of class at school and how a school would do that because it was the ADA calling- I put the wrong email a dry on it when I posted, sorry, not very wakey yet lol

  163. Thersites wrote:

    Your comment that we need to be a sane and moral center is spot on.

    Thank you. Now I’m going to say what I think a lot of Christians are thinking but won’t say out loud but which *may* also influence how they perceive his position (because I don’t think any of us know him or the women.) Roy Moore is embarrassing. He does not match the self-perception of many Christians who crave respectability in the eyes of the world. Yes, yes we do! OK, maybe one or two of you don’t. This current Situation was created for the purpose of putting Christians in a Scandalized Box with instantaneous condemnation is demanded or else We Think It Is OK For Creepy Old Men To Assault Girls. See, I don’t always talk about money as a motivator. Sometimes I talk about other ways of manipulation and persuasion. So, we as Christians need to make sure we are not blown around by rumors and manipulations of anyone with an agenda, and just about everyone has an agenda.

    There was a time in the South when instantaneous judgment was demanded on the basis of mere allegation and then meted out. By people who called themselves Christians. That time was not a good time.

  164. Sam wrote:

    Instead, the novel explains quite clearly that the duty of other Christians is to stand with each other no matter what, and never, never, EVER, question or report on the behavior of a Christian authority figure. No matter how many people have been hurt or how many lives are at stake.

    Wow Sam, I never felt like reading that book before and the other day I saw a copy for a $ at thrift store and pondered buying it. Thanks for saving me a dollar! I hate reading what looks like an interesting book just to find out its a sensational book designed to keep sheep quiet and in line!

  165. sandy c wrote:

    Wow Sam, I never felt like reading that book before and the other day I saw a copy for a $ at thrift store and pondered buying it. Thanks for saving me a dollar! I hate reading what looks like an interesting book just to find out its a sensational book designed to keep sheep quiet and in line!

    Happy to oblige.

  166. So I remembered what I wanted to write yesterday or before. Muslin wrote that someone had been doxxing the women who spoke up. That is totally unacceptable, WRONG, and the kind of thing that Christians, including especially Judge Moore’s advocates, should be speaking loudly against (Hannity???). That is exactly the kind of behavior that silences victims, and makes my blood boil, and is the mark of a non-believer, IMO.

  167. okrapod wrote:

    How much money did the gov pay for this research?

    Hehe, it is one of the joys of political correctness to re-discover the obvious. A lot of this information is now coming from evolutionary biologists who are reviled by both the religious fundamentalists and left that has its own form of ideological fundamentalism. There is a lot invested in the idea people are a blank slate and there are no inborn tendencies. Whether you believe we evolved, were created, or created by evolution, there is definitely a human nature. The old saw, what do you call someone who thinks there is no difference between girls and boys … childless.

  168. okrapod wrote:

    So that only leaves ‘love’ as defined by the culture, not the scripture, and which means and only means total affirmation of every idea and every behavior regardless.

    I don’t know, Max, maybe you are being too idealistic? Maybe the day for any pursuit of any biblical idea of virtue is long gone.

    The blowback from secular people watching hypocritical pastors and churches has been huge and many don’t want to hear a single thing about God or church or moral behaviour. I remember having a guy call me ‘one of those stupid fundamentalists’ but thank God I didn’t know what that meant! I have seen hungry, starving even, masses of secular people that are listening to the gospel and reading bible scriptures when they are approached with the preaching that is all about Jesus according to the bible. The first door opener is having to get through their walls of anger over the hypocrisy of people that have proselytized them previously or the scars of abuse they have suffered at the hands of people that claimed to be Christians. A really well received door opener lately has been ‘when Jesus fed the multitudes he didn’t drug test them first or ask if any were in adultery, He just fed them’ and ‘Jesus healed many people that didn’t go on to follow Him, because he had compassion for them’
    The morals clause? Its like this- The Holy Spirit convinces the world of sin. When talking with people that are living in fornication I have said ‘I have been there, done that! But its much more than just not sleeping around, Jesus said that even to look on someone with lust is sin so we need Him to change us totally, to forgive us, cleanse us and fill us with the Holy Spirit and He is willing to do it!’ When I say that with a smile on my face and no condemnation in my heart it really is good news! And people receive that! My experiences have shown me that a lot of people want Jesus and do want to be set free from their sins but want nothing to do with church. A heroin addict set free by Jesus is the best christian advertising I have seen! Its so awesome!

  169. Gram3 wrote:

    So, we as Christians need to make sure we are not blown around by rumors and manipulations of anyone with an agenda, and just about everyone has an agenda.

    There was a time in the South when instantaneous judgment was demanded on the basis of mere allegation and then meted out. By people who called themselves Christians. That time was not a good time.

    Amen I pray for that wisdom and discernment and the ability to be quick to hear and slow to speak for me. Thanks Gram3

  170. Pastor Franklyn Raddish claims there is a war on men and that women are by far more predatory then men, “chasing young boys up and down The street”.

  171. okrapod wrote:

    I don’t know, Max, maybe you are being too idealistic? Maybe the day for any pursuit of any biblical idea of virtue is long gone.

    I suppose fuddy-duddies like me have been accused of being too spiritual, etc. in every generation for the last 2,000 years. I’m too old to learn new tricks now.

  172. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    The Pope has spoken: https://twitter.com/albertmohler/status/931657743114661894?s=17

    Mohler and the rest of the Gospel Glitterati issued a similar document regarding Driscoll’s teaching on sexual behavior, too, so he and the guys signing it are being totally consistent.

    /sarc

    Real leadership would look like a serious proposal to protect the rights of the women making the allegations *and* the rights of Judge Moore *and* the rights of Alabama voters to have an election free from this kind of 11th hour interference. If Russell Moore (no relation) and Al Mohler want to be players, then step up and do something other than be a clanging cymbal on Twitter saying Look At Me!!! I just don’t think that they are really interested in being Leaders but are more interested in playing them at conferences and on the internet. Being real leaders means taking hard stands and taking real hits and getting crucified.

  173. Max wrote:

    Mae wrote:
    There is something I don’t trust about anyone who harp on morals, day and night, as if they are possessed, with it. Makes me think they are doing ” battle” in their own life.
    The list of failed ministers is evidence of that. Many of them preached aggressively against the very sins they were ensnared by … sort of a cover, I suppose. Remember Ted Haggard?
    On the other hand, the church can’t allow the world to set moral standards for us. Every pulpit needs to remind the pew that in the Kingdom of God we are to live differently. Sermons need to be occasionally sprinkled with reproof, correction, and training in righteousness. If we are to pursue holiness, believers need to let the Word to steer them that way – the world has nothing to offer about holy living.

    True enough.
    Unfortunately the Ray Moore’s and other exposed phony Christians, suck out all the air from the room.

  174. @ sandy c:
    You know there is so much about this that makes me sad and angry and brings back sadness and anger from long ago, especially the story of the 14 YO which is most similar to the girl for which I was a witness, though she denied it at the time. I wish that the 14 YO had told her story to friends and parents at the time or close to the time and it could have come out in the community with people who knew everyone and could get things figured out without confounding issues and pressures. I wish, for example, the people at the mall who are now expressing their concerns back in the 70’s and 80’s had written a letter to the District Attorney or made an appointment and had a face-to-face meeting and laid out the facts. That is what I did because that is what responsible people do if they are concerned about a child. They don’t say something to a reporter 40 years later. I really do not understand why someone who thinks a guy is a predator would not at least call the District Attorney’s office. It boggles my mind. In the whole complex of this story, I don’t blame the two girls who have alleged abuse, but I see all kinds of failure on the part of responsible adults.

    That’s why I have not said I believe or disbelieve anyone. I do not know because I see inconsistencies on both “sides” and don’t know any of them. This will not go down as one of the better moments in history.

  175. @ Gram3:
    You know…. i knew girls who were preyed on in just this manner when i was 14, 15, 16… by faculty and staff @ my HS. They often were having sex with more than one girl while grooming other potential victims.

    While the full import of it all didn’t hit me until i was an adult, i *can* tell you one thing for certain – if any of us had reported these people, we would NOT have been believed. We would have been accused of trying to ruin reputations, making it all up, “acting out” – you name it. And I’m more than 100 % certain that there would have bern reprisals.

    We knew that none of the adults believed kids – at least, none who were in a position to actually DO anything about it, without getting fired themselves. It was pointless to try and speak up… at least, that’s what i thought at the time. Note: none of these individuals preyed on me, thank God, but i had 2 encounters with men who did try. One was a respectable-looking man who came on to me when i was waiting for someone to come and pick me up (i had just gotten off an airport limo and was in the lobby of a large motel, near the front desk). The other time was… In a huge shopping mall. Iirc, i was all of 15-16. (And i was walking in Quebec City one evening with a male friend – we were on a school trip – and a guy tried to pick up the two of us. Again, 15-16 years old.)

    This was in the early 70s, but i doubt things have changed, on the whole. A lot of boarding school molestation cases date back to the 70s. Per a recent NY Times article, there are attorneys now who specialize in such cases, as there are so.many.of.them.

    Roy Moore is one of who knows how many out there. :shivers:

  176. Gram3 wrote:

    Thersites wrote:
    Your comment that we need to be a sane and moral center is spot on.
    Thank you. Now I’m going to say what I think a lot of Christians are thinking but won’t say out loud but which *may* also influence how they perceive his position (because I don’t think any of us know him or the women.) Roy Moore is embarrassing. He does not match the self-perception of many Christians who crave respectability in the eyes of the world. Yes, yes we do! OK, maybe one or two of you don’t. This current Situation was created for the purpose of putting Christians in a Scandalized Box with instantaneous condemnation is demanded or else We Think It Is OK For Creepy Old Men To Assault Girls. See, I don’t always talk about money as a motivator. Sometimes I talk about other ways of manipulation and persuasion. So, we as Christians need to make sure we are not blown around by rumors and manipulations of anyone with an agenda, and just about everyone has an agenda.
    There was a time in the South when instantaneous judgment was demanded on the basis of mere allegation and then meted out. By people who called themselves Christians. That time was not a good time.

    Superb comments all the way through, Gram3! Thank you for having thinking critically and having a level head. Instantaneous judgment in the South back then meant literal lynch mobs. Now we have lynch mobs all over social media licking their chops as one more accused person bites the dust. I don’t know how or if we can reign this in as a society any longer. We lack the self-control that is necessary.

  177. @ sandy c:

    “Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”

    — Dietrich Bonhoeffer

    I think far too often otherwise well-meaning and gentle people get bullied by their political and spiritual “betters” into silence, because they are told not to be “divisive spirits” and all those other juicy misquotations.

    The spiritual elite have always viewed their sheep as stupid and unthinking, and always will. If you make everyone believe their voice doesn’t matter, any bully can come to power.

    The problem is, most of those famous bullies get to that point because they have redeeming qualities or are better than the alternative.

  178. Niteowlalways wrote:

    Pastor Franklyn Raddish claims there is a war on men and that women are by far more predatory then men, “chasing young boys up and down The street”.

    And what’s his (oops, I mean GAWD’s) solution?
    The burqa, the locked and guarded harem, and honor killings?

  179. Max wrote:

    okrapod wrote:

    I don’t know, Max, maybe you are being too idealistic? Maybe the day for any pursuit of any biblical idea of virtue is long gone.

    I suppose fuddy-duddies like me have been accused of being too spiritual, etc. in every generation for the last 2,000 years. I’m too old to learn new tricks now.

    Max, you’re skirting the ragged edge of a passive-aggressive Virtue-Signalling Jesus Juke.

  180. Pre-Christian (“Pagan” in Christianese) Mediterranean culture was one big go-round of Male Supremacy and the Strong and Powerful Preying Sexually on the Weak.

    All Moore and these other MenaGAWD are doing is going back to that while making long prayers in justification. “LORD, LOOORD, LOOOOOORD…”

  181. sandy c wrote:

    Joy wrote:

    I saw Roy Moore weeks ago flashing a gun around I knew he was trouble.

    He’s the guy that had the AR15 free as a prize to supporters in a lottery or something!

    If he wasn’t dressed in crimson speedos, hooker boots, pornstache and ponytail while he was doing this, he wasn’t even trying.

    “FOR ZARDOZ YOUR GOD GAVE YOU THE GIFT OF THE GUN!
    THE GUN IS GOOD!”

  182. Gram3 wrote:

    So I remembered what I wanted to write yesterday or before. Muslin wrote that someone had been doxxing the women who spoke up.

    i.e. Target Identification for “Let Bubba Do It”.

  183. Sam wrote:

    I know I’ve pointed out the flaws in the novel “Piercing the Darkness” by Frank E. Peretti, before on this blog, but I feel the need to repeat myself as Dee’s quote reminds me of it. As Dee rightly notes, there is a unhealthy habit in Christianity that automatically assumes that any accusations against a Christian are false and the result of evil seductresses, lying children, demons, Satan, Dungeons and Dragons, Harry Potter, etc.

    In Peretti’s novel, the main character (super morality figure and head-of-the-householder Tom Harris) runs into trouble when a single mother brings charges against him of child abuse because he uses a wooden paddle to discipline children (if I recall correctly, he also performs an exorcism on a little girl without parental consent). However, the novel explains that the accusations are false; they are the result of a plot by Satan to destroy the Church and the Town.

    Literally cooked up by DEMON-possesed Heathens in a smoke-free room, DEMONS riding them dictating their every thought and word like Loa mounting their horses and riding.

    And each of the horses these Loa ride are obvious; when I skimmed that scene, I literally went “THAT’s Madelyn Murry O’Hair, THAT’s Carl Sagan, THAT’s Shirley MacLaine, THAT’s Steven Jay Gould, THAT’s Dr. Ruth Westheimer, THAT’s Ike Bonewitz…”

    The only thing I can say in Peretti’s defense is that this was one of his first published novel, he was the type of writer who NEEDS a strong editor, and he didn’t have one until much later in his career. Oh, and he hadthe “One Fanboy Too Many Experience” with those to whom every word of his Spiritual Warfare novels were Inspired SCRIPTURE.

  184. Sam wrote:

    “Roy Moore’s brother claimed that Roy believes (as does his brother) that he is being persecuted just like Jesus Christ was. I think if I hear this excuse for bad behavior one more time, I shall enroll in primal scream therapy. Evangelicals have a penchant for using this statement to absolve themselves of any responsibility for their indefensible behavior which is being pointed out to them.”

    “BLESSED ARE YE WHO ARE PERSECUTED FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS’ SAKE!”
    “THE WORLD SHALL HATE YE AS THEY HATED ME!”
    — SCRIPTURE! SCRIPTURE! SCRIPTURE!

  185. Sam wrote:

    Instead, the novel explains quite clearly that the duty of other Christians is to stand with each other no matter what, and never, never, EVER, question or report on the behavior of a Christian authority figure. No matter how many people have been hurt or how many lives are at stake.

    Because of all the DEMONS DEMONS DEMONS Everywhere just waiting for an opening.

  186. Thersites wrote:

    It is interesting that the topic of Moore was initially introduced with the term “Virtue Signaling” in the title. Is this something new? Humans are tribal and run in herds but I don’t recall needing to take as much care in the past to properly “virtue signal” to a local tribe before making a contrary statement.

    The More Virtue Signalling, the Greater the Corruption.

  187. dee wrote:

    Sadly, it is the Christian courting culture who has tried for years to make us believe that young girls marrying older men is normal. (Joseph did it, fight?)

    So did Mohammed.

    Ever notice that everything “Christian courting culture” does, Islam does more so?
    Straight On-the-Rocks instead of watered down.

    Why don’t these guys just head for the most extremist Mosque they can, recite the Shahada, and be done with it?

  188. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    “BLESSED ARE YE WHO ARE PERSECUTED FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS’ SAKE!”
    “THE WORLD SHALL HATE YE AS THEY HATED ME!”
    — SCRIPTURE! SCRIPTURE! SCRIPTURE!

    I think there is a general assumption in Evangelical circles that if anybody disagrees with you, or calls out rough or abusive behavior, it is automatically persecution and oppression.

    Similar to how there is a general assumption in many politically active circles that if anybody disagrees with you, or calls out unfair or abusive behavior, it is automatically persecution and oppression.

    In both cases, the motto is, “I’m right because everybody hates me.”

  189. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    The only thing I can say in Peretti’s defense is that this was one of his first published novel, he was the type of writer who NEEDS a strong editor, and he didn’t have one until much later in his career. Oh, and he hadthe “One Fanboy Too Many Experience” with those to whom every word of his Spiritual Warfare novels were Inspired SCRIPTURE.

    A man at my church actually took that book as “divinely inspired”.

  190. numo wrote:

    We knew that none of the adults believed kids – at least, none who were in a position to actually DO anything about it, without getting fired themselves. It was pointless to try and speak up… at least, that’s what i thought at the time.

    Oh, yes, I *do* know exactly what you mean. The authorities I faced when I was a witness who was not believed were treading lightly due to something similar to what we might call political correctness today. I am being purposely vague. Why was Rotherham covered up? Think of it that way. Do not misunderstand me. Protecting young people is very important to me. Important enough that I and others paid a significant personal price, OK? I’m not talking about a tweet but face-to-face meetings which were not pleasant. There was no internet in those days.

    However, IMO, in the interest of justice it is also important to recognize that these allegations are, in fact, nearly 40 years old. They may well be true. They may well be false. Some people believe them, and some people do not believe them. Private judgment is private judgment, and everyone reasons differently. It is unreasonable for someone who has been accused of something to just accept condemnation merely on the basis of the accusation, and that is what many are demanding that Moore immediately do. If I were accused of child molestation which happened 40 years ago, I would not just go along with it.

  191. The Man Who Wasn’t Thursday wrote:

    I think there is a general assumption in Evangelical circles that if anybody disagrees with you, or calls out rough or abusive behavior, it is automatically persecution and oppression.

    You’ve heard the joke definition of “Persecution”, haven’t you?

    “Persecution(TM): Not being allowed to Persecute everyone else.”

  192. Sam wrote:

    “Roy Moore’s brother claimed that Roy believes (as does his brother) that he is being persecuted just like Jesus Christ was.

    Since when did Roy Moore become the Second Person of the Trinity?
    “Fourth Person of the Trinity” got too crowded with contenders?

  193. Gram3 wrote:

    It is unreasonable for someone who has been accused of something to just accept condemnation merely on the basis of the accusation, and that is what many are demanding that Moore immediately do. If I were accused of child molestation which happened 40 years ago, I would not just go along with it.

    It seems what the world needs now is a miniature body cam that records both audio and video which children would be required to wear. Then there should be no question concerning the facts.

  194. Ken G wrote:

    It seems what the world needs now is a miniature body cam that records both audio and video which children would be required to wear.

    It would be nicer if abuse of all kinds just stopped. Adult self governance would be a way to start. Unfortunately, we still also have children harming children.

  195. Bridget wrote:

    Ken G wrote:

    It seems what the world needs now is a miniature body cam that records both audio and video which children would be required to wear.

    It would be nicer if abuse of all kinds just stopped. Adult self governance would be a way to start. Unfortunately, we still also have children harming children.

    Adult self-governance would be great. Adult enculturation of children with self-respect and with respect for others would also be great. Regrettably, our culture has been debased in just about every way possible with respect to respect. Pun intended for emphasis. Is honor honored by anyone? Really? Hollywood is Shocked!! by sexual misbehavior of all kinds. Suddenly. To no one’s surprise. Really. Yet they have been producing what for decades of consumption. Music(?) videos glorifying what? Respect? human beings are fungible. One, among many of the problems, is that families are a mess. Everybody knows it, but no one dares talk about why, because…everyone knows the problems are too big or too politically toxic.

    Basically governance will come from one of two places: Inside/Self or Outside/Other. Outside is for the immature or ungovernable. Inside is for the mature or self-governable. Our culture decided, for all practical purposes that it wanted to be “free” but it also wanted to be “safe” at the same time. Well, you cannot be “safe” while everyone else is totally “free” without cultural norms that are something like Judeo-Christian Enlightenment values which the greatest majority chooses to observe and enforce. Those are no longer fashionable, and we have moved on from those values.

  196. Gram3 wrote:

    Our culture decided, for all practical purposes that it wanted to be “free” but it also wanted to be “safe” at the same time.

    I don’t think I see this. Our culture is not free or completely safe. There are many limits on what people can legally do. There are also those who want to do what they want and they usually pay for it. This has been the way of cultures forever as far as I can tell. It seems to me that we are in a better place as a culture than we ever have been. What was done to humankind from Barbarian’s, through the Greeks and Romans, through the Dark Ages, Religious wars, and on to the times of Slavery and the World Wars is not the goals of most of our cultures today. A few cultures do still aspire to the ways of some of these cultures, but many don’t.

  197. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    “Roy Moore’s brother claimed that Roy believes (as does his brother) that he is being persecuted just like Jesus Christ was. I think if I hear this excuse for bad behavior one more time, I shall enroll in primal scream therapy. Evangelicals have a penchant for using this statement to absolve themselves of any responsibility for their indefensible behavior which is being pointed out to them.”

    Quick note. I didn’t write that, Dee did, in her post.

  198. When asked by reporters about republican silence of Roy Moore accusations Kelly Ann Conway replied ‘we need his support on the tax bill’ So this means apparently that Roy Moore has agreed to vote yes on the republican tax proposal bill that hasnt even been written yet in exchange for their support in senatorial race where he is accused of having sex with a 14yr old girl and there isnt time to look into that. Quid Pro Quo without even batting an eye. Also there is report that Republicans want moore to get elected then get rid of him thru senate ethics board so they can appoint a republican to his vacant seat instead of maybe losing in an election with a different candidate. Sooooo if the allegations are true its apparently ok to denigrade ridicule and shame abuse victims if it gets a senate seat???

  199. Gram3 wrote:

    However, IMO, in the interest of justice it is also important to recognize that these allegations are, in fact, nearly 40 years old. They may well be true. They may well be false. Some people believe them, and some people do not believe them. Private judgment is private judgment, and everyone reasons differently. It is unreasonable for someone who has been accused of something to just accept condemnation merely on the basis of the accusation, and that is what many are demanding that Moore immediately do. If I were accused of child molestation which happened 40 years ago, I would not just go along with it.

    I hear ya, Gram3. Who knows what to believe when the media on both sides is scrambling to defend their positions because they don’t like the guy, or they do like the guy and think he is innocent no matter what. I don’t know if Roy Moore is guilty or innocent of the accusations from his accusers. I don’t know if his accusers are speaking the truth, enlarging upon the truth, or plain out lying. Some could be telling the truth, and others not. This whole Moore thing has become sensationalized and I’m not certain that the truth will ever be known. As it stands now, I just can’t say I believe either side.

  200. Darlene wrote:

    Who knows what to believe when the media on both sides is scrambling to defend their positions…

    Are there really two sides of the media? Both “sides” seem more interested in promoting their brands and not so much interested in digging for and reporting the truth. In this sense, there is really only one side to the media.

  201. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    Darlene wrote:
    Who knows what to believe when the media on both sides is scrambling to defend their positions…
    Are there really two sides of the media? Both “sides” seem more interested in promoting their brands and not so much interested in digging for and reporting the truth. In this sense, there is really only one side to the media.

    Well, my point was that there is media on one side that is pro-Moore, and there is media on the other side that is anti-Moore. And I would agree that truth is not so much the goal as promoting their viewpoint because of their particular biases.

  202. Darlene wrote:

    Well, my point was that there is media on one side that is pro-Moore, and there is media on the other side that is anti-Moore.

    I wish the media and politicians would be more on the side of truth. Right now both political parties and each “side” of the mainstream media are not for us.

  203. @ sandy c:
    That was perfectly acceptable in the late 90s and early 2000s. Those who disagreed were labeled much as alt right is today but “right wing conspirators”. My guess is that many commenting here actually went and voted for a person who not only enabled predation but intimidated the victim’s using taxpayer resources. I don’t think there’s any moral superiority in any of this. We are here today because of what we accepted in the 90s in government.

  204. Bridget wrote:

    I don’t think I see this. Our culture is not free or completely safe. There are many limits on what people can legally do. There are also those who want to do what they want and they usually pay for it. This has been the way of cultures forever as far as I can tell.

    Freedom as we Americans have known it has not existed before that I am aware, and safety always depends upon either the goodwill of other people toward us or the ability and will of ourselves or others to defend against any lack of goodwill toward us. That’s what I meant about inner and outer controls. I do not agree that America is a CHRISTIAN nation. But I do believe that our foundation is Judeo-Christian and Enlightenment (an odd pairing, some might say), and I also think that the Postmodern drift away from that bedrock is the reason for the social chaos that exists but which must not be named because to name it necessitates invoking the idea of Laws which are higher than Personal Freedom Unaccountable to God.

  205. Darlene wrote:

    I’m not certain that the truth will ever be known.

    I pray that it will, but I am not hopeful that it will, because I do not believe that the point of this was to reveal the truth. If Moore is defeated, I predict that the issue will disappear because the purpose will have been served which is to suppress the Christian vote by triggering moral outrage. On the one hand, it is good that Christians can still be morally stirred. On the other hand, the opposition choice for Christians is one that would lend support to abortion up to the moment of birth, and, to me that is outrageous on the order of Molech. The idea is to provoke a reaction rather than rational thought. Christians should be praying like crazy for truth and mercy for little innocent ones.

    There are so many takeaways for Christians other than the circus of outrage that is about nothing more than power. Pay attention to children and what they are saying and how they are acting because many times words are not how they can express their pain. They give clues to all kinds of different abuse by their behavior. If you see something, say something, and don’t give up. Be a bulldog and a pain in the patootie for the kids’ sake. Leave your fear, or better yet, share it with some trusted others.

  206. Sam wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
    The only thing I can say in Peretti’s defense is that this was one of his first published novel, he was the type of writer who NEEDS a strong editor, and he didn’t have one until much later in his career. Oh, and he had the “One Fanboy Too Many Experience” with those to whom every word of his Spiritual Warfare novels were Inspired SCRIPTURE.

    A man at my church actually took that book as “divinely inspired”.

    Remember what I said above about “One Fanboy Too Many Experience”?
    That’s a big part of it.
    There are a scary number of True Believers out there.

    Long ago, I remember reading a reference to some sort of Chinese theater with two stages, one above the other. On the upper stage are the Immortals, on the lower the mortals. Both influence and play off the other, but the mortals on the lower stage are unaware of the Immortals on the upper. What Peretti did was to add the style and tropes of an intrigue Thriller to this idea and came up with a fresh combination.

  207. Moore is a scumbag; that’s pretty obvious.

    Yet a lot of Christians seem to have taken his Mark on their foreheads and right hands, with all the accompanying side effects familiar from Bad Christian Apocalyptic. Probably related to the Christianese craziness around the 2016 Trump campaign, where support among Born-Agains was right at the percentage where Groupthink locks in for The One True Way.

    Or… Given Moore’s specific type of scumbaggery, maybe he’s just acting so much like a CELEBRITY Lead Megapastor/Head Apostle (such as have been scrutinized on this and other blogs), Christians take that scumbaggery as God’s Election/Anointing.

  208. @ Gram3:
    I am having a hard time understanding people who think a 14 year old is mature enough to make the decision to undergo sex change hormone therapy as supposedly normal and even to be celebrated but then outraged at this 14 year old who initially claimed to like the attention?

    Wouldn’t both be wrong?

  209. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Probably related to the Christianese craziness around the 2016 Trump campaign, where support among Born-Agains was right at the percentage where Groupthink locks in for The One True Way.

    I think it was much more complicated than that. Both parties somehow ended up with deeply flawed candidates. I suspect most people voted against one of the candidates rather than for one. The fact that most “evangelicals” supported one rather than the other probably does not have much to do with the quality of the candidates, but more to do with them voting for a party.

  210. @ Ken F (aka Tweed):
    Menendez said God saved him by mistrial. Pelosi has been trotting out Jesus a lot, activist judges claiming Jesus a refugee, Hillary sent out devotions from her pastor during campaign. (Which he put into book form and then it was reported that most of it was plagiarized). It’s just that it’s ok when they do it. It’s barely reported by MSM. One has to actually look for it.

  211. @ Ken F (aka Tweed):
    If they voted for the other candidate then they voted for a Predator enabler who used taxpayer resources to intimidate and try to ruin victims victims. Such were the choices

  212. @ drstevej:
    Lydia wrote:

    If they voted for the other candidate then they voted for a Predator enabler who used taxpayer resources to intimidate and try to ruin victims victims.

    This is finally starting to get some attention. Both major parties have failed us, but the MSM has failed us even worse. If they had done their job in the 80s and 90s maybe we would not be having so much of this problem now.

  213. @ Ken F (aka Tweed):
    It’s getting mentioned because they don’t need them anymore. It’s very cynical/PC. We could not even get letters to the editor printed in late 90’s mentioning the victims. Tried everything. It was totally one sided.

  214. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    I think it was much more complicated than that. Both parties somehow ended up with deeply flawed candidates. I suspect most people voted against one of the candidates rather than for one. The fact that most “evangelicals” supported one rather than the other probably does not have much to do with the quality of the candidates, but more to do with them voting for a party.

    Exactly.

  215. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    Both major parties have failed us, but the MSM has failed us even worse. If they had done their job in the 80s and 90s maybe we would not be having so much of this problem now.

    Even on the story of Moore there continues to be more information released both for and against. The problem is the WaPo only prints one side and we have to go elsewhere to find the other side, this is why I give them little credibility.

    Much of the media are behaving more as prosecutors or defense attorneys than as investigators and their stance usually depends on the politics of the subject. When they take the position of a prosecutor, they usually lose sight of all contrary evidence.

    It is troubling when a prosecutor is corrupted to the point their interest is only getting a conviction regardless of innocence, but at least that is only a perversion of their job as a prosecutor. What can be said for news organizations that announce their job is to inform and instead are prosecutors who provide little balance and become mere instruments of indoctrination or propaganda.

    I guess I should take comfort the press has rarely had a good reputation, even Mark Twain said of them “If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you’re mis-informed.”

  216. Thersites wrote:

    Maybe I’m just getting old but I am getting quite tired of seeing someone need to explain they are not a horrible person simply because they have a different point of view. It

    Thank you.

  217. okrapod wrote:

    So that only leaves ‘love’ as defined by the culture, not the scripture, and which means and only means total affirmation of every idea and every behavior regardless.

    This is so profound! I will be pondering this for a while.

  218. Gram3 wrote:

    Roy Moore is embarrassing. He does not match the self-perception of many Christians who crave respectability in the eyes of the world. Yes, yes we do!

    Very true! I think he’s very embarrassing. But, As I am now much older and can look back and see that every time I sought what I thought were not embarrassing Christians…. There were other deeper deceptive problems or arrogance on steroids or they eventually became embarrassing, too.

    But it couldn’t possibly be me. (wink) the result of all of that has been I am much more Live and Let Live Now. But I do despise blindsided political hits that can’t be proven. Been a victim of that myself. By Christians.

    The worst about all this insanity is future victims.

  219. Gram3 wrote:

    There are so many takeaways for Christians other than the circus of outrage that is about nothing more than power. Pay attention to children and what they are saying and how they are acting because many times words are not how they can express their pain. They give clues to all kinds of different abuse by their behavior. If you see something, say something, and don’t give up. Be a bulldog and a pain in the patootie for the kids’ sake. Leave your fear, or better yet, share it with some trusted others.

    Yes!

  220. Moore accuser writes letter to him.

    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/moore-accuser-fires-back-emotional-letter-telling-truth/story?id=51446395&cid=social_fb_abcn

    “In her letter, Corfman says that though Moore and his representatives have repeatedly denied the accusations, she only decided to respond Tuesday “when you personally denounced me last night and called me slanderous names.”

    “I decided that I am done being silent,” she writes. “What you did to me when I was 14-years old should be revolting to every person of good morals. But now you are attacking my honesty and integrity. Where does your immorality end?”
    She reiterated that she is not being paid to speak up. “I am not getting rewarded from your political opponents,” Corfman writes. “What I am getting is stronger by refusing to blame myself and speaking the truth out loud.”

    The letter concludes: “I am telling the truth, and you should have the decency to admit it and apologize.”

  221. @ sandy c:

    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/moore-accuser-fires-back-emotional-letter-telling-truth/story?id=51446395&cid=social_fb_abcnLeigh

    “Corfman, who was 14 years old when she says Moore, then 32, initiated a sexual encounter with her, accused the 70-year-old Alabama Senate candidate of preying on her and said she stands by “every word” of her account, first published in The Washington Post earlier this month.”
    “I demand that you stop calling me a liar and attacking my character,” Corfman writes.”

  222. Thersites wrote:

    The problem is the WaPo only prints one side and we have to go elsewhere to find the other side, this is why I give them little credibility.

    Much of the media are behaving more as prosecutors or defense attorneys than as investigators and their stance usually depends on the politics of the subject. When they take the position of a prosecutor, they usually lose sight of all contrary evidence.

    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/washington-post-uncovered-fake-allegations-alabama-senate-candidate/story?id=51432322&cid=social_fb_abcn

    “In a series of interviews with the Post, the woman claimed that she had had a sexual relationship with Moore in 1992 at the age of 15 that resulted in her pregnancy and a subsequent abortion, the paper reported.

    After uncovering numerous inconsistencies in her story, the Post decided not to publish a story on her allegations and instead presented the woman, identified by the paper as Jaime T. Phillips, with information that appeared to show she was working as a conservative activist to expose bias in major news organizations, the paper reported.
    That information included a GoFundMe page, discovered by a Post researcher from May 2017, written by a person named Jaime Phillips that read, “I’ve accepted a job to work in the conservative media movement to combat the lies and deceit of the liberal MSM [mainstream media]. “

  223. sandy c wrote:

    After uncovering numerous inconsistencies in her story, the Post decided not to publish a story on her allegations and instead presented the woman, identified by the paper as Jaime T. Phillips, with information that appeared to show she was working as a conservative activist to expose bias in major news organizations, the paper reported.

    I sat on a non-profit board when an activist of the opposite persuasion tried using a deceptive story with staff in an attempt to trap the organization in an embarrassing situation. Thankfully the staff had been trained well and their policies precluded them acting in an unethical manner.

    These sting operations seem to be part of the reality now and if you are ethical you will likely not fall prey. While I don’t agree with such deceptive tactics, the organization of which you speak has exposed ethical lapses in other organizations but they sure got boomeranged on this one.

  224. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    I think it was much more complicated than that. Both parties somehow ended up with deeply flawed candidates. I suspect most people voted against one of the candidates rather than for one.

    Between the primary and the general, I observed that both parties had nominated not only “deeply flawed”, but the WORST possible candidates out of their primary contenders.

    With the negative ratings of both, Trump was the only Republican who could lose to Hillary and Hillary was the only Democrat who could lose to Trump. Anyone else on either side and it would have been a landslide victory.

    Reminds me of 1996 when Dole locked up the GOP primaries early on and went on to lose the general to Clinton.

  225. Latest development reported this morning is Trump has endorsed Moore. (On Twitter?)

    I’m waiting for the Christian Amen Chorus to chime in, like Dobson did during the last general election or Franklin Graham when Romney cinched the nomination in 2012. Moore’s opponent has already been called “Satan”.

    That’s how crazy things have gotten these days.

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