Evangelical Leaders Divided in Response to Allegations against Roy Moore
As Judge Roy Moore faces increasing pressure to drop out of the special election for Alabama’s open Senate seat, a number of evangelical leaders continue to stand by him. Franklin Graham evoked outrage over the weekend when he tweeted criticism of those calling for Moore’s resignation. “The hypocrisy of Washington has no bounds. So many denouncing Roy Moore when they are guilty of doing much worse than what he has been accused of supposedly doing. Shame on those hypocrites.”
Russell Moore, President of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, expressed his bewilderment at Christians who ignored or minimized the allegations against the candidate for the seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. He said, “Christian, if you cannot say definitively, no matter what, that adults creeping on teenage girls is wrong, do not tell me how you stand against moral relativism.” Moore then linked our response to these allegation to our responsibility to care for victims of abuse. “There are girls and women in our churches, right now, wondering where they can turn as they are molested by predators. I know Jesus’ answer. What about that of the church?”
Southern Evangelical Seminary President and former ERLC President Richard Land issued a call for Judge Moore to take a lie detector test in an open letter at The Christian Post. Land noted the double standard media elites apply to evangelicals facing allegations but then argues that followers of Jesus should hold themselves to a higher standard than the rest of the culture.
Land continued: “I hope and pray that these allegations against you are false and I know in the American justice system you are “innocent until proven guilty.” However, this is not the legal system, but the court of public opinion.
Judge Moore, as a brother in Christ, I implore you, for the sake of your family and your supporters, but even more importantly, for the sake of our Savior and His reputation, to arrange as quickly as possible to take a polygraph test concerning these accusations. I know the results of such a test are not admissible in court, but this is the court of public judgment. I can only tell you if I were in your position and I were innocent of these allegations, I would insist on having a polygraph test administered as soon as possible.
Passing such a test would cause this metastasizing cancer on your candidacy and the damage it is doing to the Christian witness to evaporate instantaneously. There is no defense quite as effective as the truth, especially when it is accompanied by the demonstrable proof of the type a successful polygraph test would irrefutably provide.”
In the past few weeks, eight women have come forward to accuse Moore of various types of sexual misconduct towards them when they were teenagers and he was an Assistant District Attorney in Etowah County. The two accusers who attracted the most attention were a woman who claimed that Moore groped her when she was 14 and another woman who alleged that Moore tried to sexually assault her in a car when she was 16.
Even as sitting United States Senators have called on him to withdraw from the race and others have discussed expelling him from the seat should he be elected, Moore has remained resolute in his refusal to step down. Recent polls showed Moore trailing his Democratic challenger in the December 12th contest.
Photo courtesy: Religion News Service
Publication date: November 21, 2017