A far-right minister defended former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore this Monday, rationalizing allegations that he sexually molested girls as young as 14.
As it stands, Roy Moore doesn’t have an honorable track record.
Moore was elected as the Alabama Supreme Court’s chief justice twice — once in 2001 and again in 2013. Both times, he was removed from office after ignoring federal court orders.
Moore, whose judicial inadequacy doesn’t even begin to illustrate his backwards ideology, equates to little more than President Trump in court dress.
An extreme nationalist funded by the alt-right, Moore is a plague on our justice system. He outspokenly supported the birther movement, embezzled millions through a self-started charity, and has repeatedly held that Christian values should drive public policy.
But Moore’s self-touted image as a God-fearing man is crumbling. Two weeks ago, The Washington Post detailed allegations from a woman claiming the disgraced former judge sexually assaulted her in 1979 when she was just 14 years old.
At the time, Moore was 32.
In the days that followed, two more women publicly accused Moore of sexual assault — one of whom says she was 15 at the time. Numerous other community members outed him for sexually inappropriate behavior.
“Even people at the courthouse know it was a well-known secret,” said Etowah County resident Sheryl Porter, according to an AL.com report. “It’s just sad how these girls … are getting hammered and called liars.”
Moore denied allegations of sexual assault, but was less dismissive of accusations that he serially pursued teenage girls in his 30s.
“You know, I’m not going to dispute anything, but I don’t remember anything like that,” he said. “I don’t remember ever dating any girl without the permission of her mother.”
Arguably, “I don’t remember” is a Jeff Sessions-level qualifier for blatant misconduct. But if Moore routinely asked mothers’ permissions to date their daughters, they were clearly too young to begin with.
What’s Happening Now:
In a rare convergence of sanity from both sides of the aisle, Republicans and Democrats have united in their condemnation of Moore.
GOP Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Mike Lee (R-UT), and Steve Daines (R-MT) all withdrew their endorsements. Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Mitt Romney (R-MA) called on Moore to drop out of the race.
Even House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell urged the former judge to abandon his campaign.
“I believe the women,” McConnell said last week. “I think he should step aside.”
President Trump — the lone dissenting voice — offered his continued support for Moore, once again placing politics before humanity.
“We don’t need a liberal person in [the Alabama court], a Democrat,” Trump told reporters last week. “[Moore] totally denies it. He says it didn’t happen. You have to listen to him also.”
Trump’s comments certainly don’t aid the case for his own predatory behavior. They pale in comparison, however, to remarks from an evangelical minister who defended Moore’s alleged misconduct.
Pastor Flip Benham — a longtime opponent of abortion, LGBT rights, and non-Christian religious freedom — stood behind Moore’s alleged crimes in a radio interview Monday.
“The lady that he’s married to now, Ms. Kayla, is a younger woman,” Benham said. “There is something about a purity of a young woman, there is something that is good, that’s true, that’s straight and he looked for that.”
Hearing that statement made my blood boil. Bigoted behavior is one thing, but defending child molestation throws any remaining semblance of moral character out the window.
Purity is relative, Mr. Benham, and it disappears when adult men exploit underage girls for their own sexual escapades. Objectifying the nature of young women to justify sexual assault is beyond reprehensible.
“Many of the ladies that he possibly could have married were not available then, they were already married, maybe, somewhere,” Benham said. “So, he looked in a different direction.”
That’s a less-than-eloquent way of saying he robbed the cradle. And somehow, you think that’s okay.
Flip Benham, you do not deserve the title of pastor, just as Roy Moore doesn’t deserve the title of chief justice. Both of you are poison and exemplify an abundantly clear danger to society.
H/T: The Hill