Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Roy Moore Needs to Go Away

Back in September I covered "Ten Commandments Judge" Roy Moore's return to Alabama politics. At the time he was favored to win the Republican primary against sitting senator Luther Strange. Moore did win the primary, and was heavily favored to win the election - that is, until allegations of sexual abuse from his past came to light. He may yet win because Alabama is such a conservative state, but many Republicans are now calling on him to withdraw from the race in light of these allegations.

The thing is, though, that as I've pointed out here on Augoeides and as this Slate article explains, Moore was always unfit for public office. He's been removed from office twice for refusing to abide by decisions of the courts, believes that the Bible should be the rule and guide to law, and that Muslims - or really, anybody who isn't Christian - should not be allowed to hold public office. He's the same sort of religious extremist that he accuses fundamentalist Muslims of being, and to be clear, I would be just as opposed to a Muslim who believed that the Koran trumped the Constitution as I am to Moore.

Indeed, Moore has campaigned for this Senate seat on the theory that the Bible overrides federal law: “The Judeo-Christian God reigned over both the church and the state in this country, and … both owed allegiance to that God,” he has said. He thinks that “Christianity should be favored by the state” in America and that Muslims who are democratically elected to office should not be allowed to serve. He has called Islam a “false religion” and asserts that the “rule of law” demands that NFL players stand for the national anthem.

James Dobson, an emblematic Moore supporter on the Christian right, describes the disgraced justice as “a tireless champion of religious liberty, standing down those who want nothing less than to rid our nation of its Judeo-Christian foundations.” Today, that “tireless champion” of family values stands accused of, among other horrific acts, offering a 14-year-old girl alcohol and asking her to touch his penis. That it took this alleged breach for the Republican Party to maybe lose faith in him speaks to its broken constitutional values.

As Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin put it, even before Moore’s accusers came forward, his and Arpaio’s place in the Republican Party firmament risked “making contempt for courts into a mainstay of the GOP ideology.”

One of the oddities that has emerged from the allegations against Moore is an aspect of fundamentalist Christian culture that I was previously unaware of. Apparently, not only do they home-school their kids to keep them away from the "godlessness" of the modern world, they encourage their young teenage daughters to "court" much older men. That's apparently what Moore was doing when he was "dating" teenage girls when he was a district attorney in his thirties. Frankly, I find that creepy as hell, even regardless of the abuse allegations. People did marry at fifteen or sixteen in Biblical times, but that was back when the average life expectancy was only forty years or so.

It should be obvious that it's a lot different today with people routinely living into their eighties, and wives and daughters no longer considered the property of their father and then their husband. I can't really fathom why it would be remotely reasonable to roll the clock back on that, but apparently it makes sense to these folks because from their perspective it's "God's law." Suffice it to say that the customs of a civilization from thousands of years ago are not a good fit for the modern world, nor should they be.

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Unknown said...

This would explain how he can justify sexual activity with minors by saying he got their mother's permission to date them.
Just disgusting.

Scott Stenwick said...

Yeah, the whole thing is seriously messed up. It reminds me of some of the stories I have heard out of the FLDS church. The media frames the problem as plural marriage in general, when the bigger issue is that young teen girls are often married off to much older church elders. Again, because people got married that young in Biblical times.

But the world has changed, a lot. Fundamentalists who do this need to get with the times and quit treating their daughters like property.