Roy Moore and the Christian Witness

               Sometimes as I get older, the world appears to have tilted off of its access. We live with hypocrisy at the highest levels. I have started an article on Roy Moore on three separate occasions, and on each, the news shifted, or the piece didn’t seem right. Back in November, I feared that the Republicans, who typically have refused to protect or defend party members against whom there is substantial evidence of wrong doing, would change that policy in the Trump era, as so much of his behavior was excused during the election. Moore may be proving me right. Both political parties, of course, have had their fair share of those engaging in sexually abusive behavior; both parties have also had members accused of molesting congressional pages. The thing about monsters is they camodlage themselves, they are good at appearing to be safe and righteous. If we back away from the political opportunism of the moment, the question is never which party some particular bad apple is a member of, it is how they handle evidence of crimes and misbehavior.

Scripture tells us, in the mouth of two or three witnesses, let every word be established. This is a principle of Old Testament jurisprudence, but it is also one that the New Testament expands into an epistemic virtue, and we find it particularly used by Paul. We annul it at our peril. In the case of Roy Moore, we have numerous witnesses who have claimed that they were sexually assaulted by these two men, at this point; it is epistemically unjustifiable, it is madness and perhaps intentional folly to argue that this is some type of conspiracy against judge Moore, when there is no evidence of a conspiracy. Conspiracy theories are the last refuge of intellectual desperation. Yes, I understand why the timing seems suspicious with Moore, but that isn’t very good evidence they are all lying–and to maintain Moore is innocent, that is what must be believed. At this point, unless Moore has some means of impeaching these witnesses, then we should not be supporting him, not only because he damages the Republican party, but because he damages so much more the cause of Christ. Moore came into the public spotlight by positioning himself as a defender of the faith, if we maintain him now when he appears guilty of serious hypocrisy, then it is the faith that will be tarnished with him. It is time we remove our hands from him.

           There were, last November, many arguments about the comparative moral compasses of candidate Clinton and then presidential candidate Trump, but when the comparison between the two major parties is between the one who has the moral compass of Hugh Hefner and Bill Clinton, versus a candidate who resembles Warren Harding and Richard Nixon, something is truly amiss in the first place, and it is difficult to argue either major party has any moral high ground. Many Christians cited the abortion issue, and I have a certain affinity with that argument; anyone who is pro-abortion, in my mind is morally unqualified to hold office, voting for a pro-abortion candidate is like voting for Mao or Stalin, and this is not an exaggeration for effect. Abortion in this country has caused the death of millions of innocent children, it is a horror show, but there comes a point where the lesser of two evils is still evil enough that abstaining seems to be a proper measure. Many others will argue if the progressive agenda moves on unchecked, the country itself may not survive. This is not a political blog, but I am conservative and I do understand the value of this line of reasoning, but if the best we could offer last time around was Trump V Hillary, and if it truly takes voting for Moore to save the country, perhaps we are past saving, or at least past deserving such a lifeline. And perhaps, the United States is not failing because of poor decisions in the halls of congress, perhaps those poor decisions are themselves judgments of God on the nation.

             Do we think our hope is found in politics? Have we forgotten that we are not to put our faith in men? Do we really think God needs us to behave as if we are blind?  My hope ultimately isn’t found in Republicans, it is founded in Jesup work on the cross and it”s impact on the church and on my life.

          In a sense, with someone that Christians have trusted such as Moore, one is rightfully troubled, but we also have an understanding of the situation the world doesn’t have; we are warned that Satan would send wolves into the sheep, and the church has always been plagued by those who knew how to play the part with ulterior motives. Unfortunately, while we are on the “man is basically evil” side of the philosophical fence, we often forget our principles for a naieve, “it couldn’t happen in the church,” when real world human evil comes to the surface. But now we know, and history will judge us for what we do. Do we really need to stock Washington with Republican versions of the Clinton ethic? Do we need our children to think that this is the way Christians should treat women? Does the church of Christ need to overcome yet another case of sexual misconduct we are unwilling to step forward and deal with? I will when I get time discuss these matters in light of society, but we must remove the log in our own eye first. In 1992, we stated that someone with Clinton’s ethics was not fit for office, we were right then, we would therefore be wise to remain right, today.