If I were a resident of the state of Alabama, and given what we currently know about the accusations and denials concerning Roy Moore, I would vote for him in the upcoming special election for the U.S. Senate. Here are some of the reasons.
I take it as a given that if he is guilty of the criminal act alleged, then he is not qualified to serve in the Senate—not only for the crime back then, but for lying about it now. If he is guilty, and he is not elected, then he should make a full confession and retire from public life to reflect on the mercies of God. If he is guilty, and he is elected nonetheless, then after being sworn in he should make a full confession, and resign his newly acquired office.
NB: The previous paragraph is included because there are a handful of people, whose condemnation is just (Rom. 3:8), who like to maintain that I consistently take the side of perpetrators over victims. Some people like to molest little kids. Others molest the truth, while yet another class does both. All of them have the same problem, which is hatred of God’s law.
If guilty, and if elected, a well-timed resignation would enable the next special election to be one that presents the voters of Alabama with an opportunity to choose someone who actually represents their convictions—so they wouldn’t be maneuvered into deciding between a molester and a pro-abort shill. Keep in mind that what Jones publicly affirms and is proud of is far worse than what Moore denies. Remember that Jones stands for the continued legal dismemberment of children in the womb.
All that said, here are some scattershot thoughts, a loose thread of observations to help you understand why I would vote for Moore, as things now stand.
Roy Moore denies any sexual misconduct whatever. He flat denies it. When you have a high stakes he said/she said situation, as we have here, the presumption of innocence certainly needs to be maintained, even though the story is not unfolding in a formal court setting. Our culture has become so hyper-partisan that we think that to grant the presumption of innocence is tantamount to accusing the accusers of lying. But that is not the way it is at all—if we were to accuse them of slander, say, then they would need to have the presumption of innocence also. That is as it should be. What the presumption of innocence does is reserve judgment, leaving the accused in the same judicial category he was in to begin with, that category being innocent. And when you reserve judgment, you do not do this by laying down penalties in the meantime. The demand that conservative voters abandon Moore as a matter of conscience is just such a penalty.
If a significant number of people change their voting plans on account of these accusations, then what they are actually voting for is even dirtier tricks next time. Whatever else they think they are doing, if this attack works, that fact will reinforce what is most despicable about modern electoral politics.
The allegations had a transparently partisan motive. They were made when it was too late to replace Moore on the ballot, and when there was inadequate time to investigate the accusations thoroughly. And the cries from all over the GOP for Moore to step down were instantaneous and pretty obviously choreographed. Whatever else it might have been, this was at the very least a partisan hit. This should make us all a tad suspicious.
Speaking of a tad suspicious, there are two stories going on here. One is the question of whether Moore is guilty, the presumption of innocence, etc. That is not a minor concern. But the other story—invisible to most of the people who are driving it— is just how detested the hypocritical establishment is by red state voters. Moore might be elected because a number of people concluded he really should be treated as innocent, but he might also be elected because the media establishment is so loathed and despised. Or it may be a combination. In either case, I would encourage people to start preparing themselves for the possibility that Moore will still win this election handily. This is not an impossibility. Allegations aside, I think that this latter reality is going to be the main story.
At the same time, even though there has not been a lot of time to examine them, the allegations are not holding together as tightly as some accusers might have hoped. The yearbook has not yet been released for independent examination. If Moore’s signature there is forged, as now seems likely, the credibility of all the accusations takes a hit. For another example, Leigh Corfman, who accused Moore of molesting her when she was 14, told the Post that this set her on a course of self-destructive behavior. But court records show that she had lots of problems of that nature before the alleged incident. This does not make the allegations automatically false, but it does say that some of the contradictory details are starting to invite non-partisan cross-examination. Again, here is the verse. “The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.” (Prov. 18:17, ESV). For those who have stated flatly that these accusations are credible on their face (seems right), the question is this: Are the charges credible because the truth resonates there, or are they credible because some who are credulously partisan are stuck in the first half of that verse?
And then, in a divine sense of humor thing, the allegations against Moore came right at a time when a flurry of other allegations of a similar nature, and of much more recent provenance, have been falling on the heads of many of our other poohbahs. One of Moore’s accusers said that he grabbed her butt in 1991. If he is elected, and the Senate decides to make “a thing” out of whether to seat him, one of the men sitting in judgment on Roy Moore will be Al Franken. So then. We have a photo of Franken doing his thing, and Moore denies doing anything like that, and no photos. If the sanctimonious solons of Washington think they have the raw material here for a successful show trial, I have some sad news for them. Various dignitaries often have an opportunity to throw the first pitch. Al Franken should most certainly be given the honor of casting the first stone.
It is likely that we are at the very beginning of a cascade of allegations. This helps explain why there will be a fierce battle to prevent the first accused politician from resigning his office over it. If one resigns, and 25 similar cases then bubble up, then we have set a precedent, have we not?
I am not playing around with whataboutism. The standard should be the same for everybody. Franken should step down because we have that photo and because he acknowledged his guilt, kind of. And to the extent that he didn’t acknowledge real guilt, he should step down over the lameness of his apology. Certain women failed to infer from his butt-grabbing that he is just a “huggy” kind of person, and for their denseness and misunderstanding of him Franken is deeply apologetic. But Conyers denies wrongdoing, and so it is that he should get the same presumption of innocence that Moore should get. It shouldn’t matter if you are on the right or on the left. When the accused pleads not guilty, there should be a process, and it should be followed for everyone.
The president, who supported Moore’s opponent in the primary, has been coming out in pretty strong support for Moore, and it is obvious that he has only been able to do this because of the massive amounts of squid ink in the water. And by squid ink, it should be clear I intend to mix my metaphors. I am referring to what is being called the “sexual harassment apocalypse,” or more recently, the “pervnado.” In another era, this hit on Moore would have been far more effective, but he has been saved (thus far) by a context dominated by leftist lusts.
Speaking of leftist lusts, by my rough estimate, while this kind of trouble is manifest in both parties (remember Dennis Hastert), the ratio of accusations does appear to be running about 80/20. But if we are committed to due process, this shouldn’t ultimately matter, right? The division should not be left/right, or Democrat/Republican, or my guy/your guy, but rather guilty/not guilty.
We should not fail to notice that we are well into the second act of a high farce. Trump said during the campaign that his Access Hollywood conversation was just “locker room conversation,” which I don’t believe for a minute. I put that in the same evidentiary category as the FrankenFoto. And yet, Trump was elected despite that, and is now in the cheap seats, heckling Franken and throwing popcorn.
The issue in all this is not what the president is doing, or what Nancy Pelosi is doing, or what the RNC is doing, or what the DNC is going, or what the media establishment is doing. My amazement is over what God is doing.
Earlier I dealt with the hypothetical that concerns Moore being guilty and surviving this. But what if he is innocent and he survives it? I have a hard time imagining that possibility without also anticipating that he will be fully vindicated. Now if he is publicly vindicated, if the story told by his accusers comes completely apart, what effect will that have? This leads to the next point.
In the production of this high farce, there has been one group that has been striving mightily to maintain a moral purity of principle, despite the surrounding mayhem. This group has been made up of the #NeverTrump conservatives (e.g. David French, Jonah Goldberg), and they have been trying to demonstrate their consistency by being as hard on malefactors of the right as they have been on the left. Unfortunately, this has resulted in them jumping the gun, injudiciously condemning someone who was not their kind of conservative. The credibility of Moore’s accusers was a function of their defensiveness on behalf of their center/right secularism, which they saw threatened by Moore. But the fact that you don’t like Moore’s views on religious tests and church/state relations does not mean that he tried to feel up a teen decades ago.
And so this is what happens when God takes a proud empire, sets us up before the watching world, and then proceeds with an operation of divine pantsing. Nobody in our public life is virtuous. Nobody has a right to be proud. Nobody is clean. We are all complicit. We should be grateful for the treatment—God set Pharaoh up in order to destroy him. “And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to shew in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth” (Ex. 9:16). In our case, God has set us up in order to make fun of us.
In short, if we take a quick glance at those Ten Commandments that Roy Moore refused to remove from his courthouse, we will quickly discover that no one is righteous, not even one. And I will end it there, lest this turn into a sermon.