All Eyes On Alabama: The Outcome Will Decide if Christianity is Bankrupt

The marriage of religion and politics, long in the making, has possibly corrupted beyond redemption the most visible faces of Christianity. Effectively Christianity is bankrupt.

I suspect the church needs to go back underground again, back to the catacombs.

Christianity is bankrupt. We have have to find the hidden leaven againAccording to the latest news report, The President of the United States has, on his Twitter account, fully endorsed credibly accused pedophile and sexual predator Roy Moore for the next Senator from the state of Alabama. The election is December 12.

Now, this endorsement alone is no surprise. With all the charges against Trump for his own sexually-predatory behavior (and do please read this piece by Billy Bush in the New York Times), any admission by him that Moore is morally unacceptable for high office would make Trump vulnerable as well. He can’t do that.

Christian leaders support Moore

But what about Christian leaders, those who stand firmly on the side of biblical truth and morality? Here’s what Franklin Graham told a reporter at the Charlotte Observer:

Q. Some pundits lately have criticized you and other conservative Christian leaders for giving a pass to Roy Moore and Donald Trump for unChristian behavior. They say it’s no different from when feminists stood up for Bill Clinton because they liked his policies and his politics.

A. First of all, whoever is without sin, let them throw the first stone. We have seen a number of Democrats that, all of a sudden, this boomerang has come back and hit them. Nobody is perfect. No one. And I’m more interested in who a person is today than what they were 40 years ago. I don’t want somebody to judge me today for who I was 40 years ago. But we need to look at Roy Moore and make the decision: Where is he today? And do we believe what he stands for? You have to take his side of the story, too. (He later added, “That doesn’t mean someone’s past is irrelevant. But I believe that we are all on a journey through life and hopefully all of us learn from the mistakes in our past.”)

Q. You believe the women who have come forward?

A. I don’t know. I don’t know these women. All I know is he’s been (in) public service all of these years – 40 years – and a month before the election these women (have come forward). And I talked to Roy Moore, I asked him. He said ‘I don’t even know them.’ So, I don’t know.

Could it be that Franklin Graham is hiding his own past sexually predatory behavior?

And then we have James Dobson, of Focus on the Family Fame. According to the Roy Moore campaign site, Dobson has fully endorsed Moore.

I’ve known Judge Moore for over 25 years and I know him to be a man of proven character and integrity. I often ask God to raise up men and women of faith who will govern the nation with biblical wisdom. I believe Judge Moore to be such a man for this time.

Does Dobson have a history of sexual indiscretions he needs to keep buried?

A deeper reason Christianity is bankrupt

Or is there something deeper here that Franklin, Dobson and many others have tapped into?

Now, don’t get me wrong, Many, many Christian leaders (and a few GOP politicians who are now probably regretting it) have come out strongly against Moore. They say, “I believe the women.” Nice of them, I suppose. But polls suggest the majority of this heavily churched (Alabama has the highest rate of church attendance in the US) state do not “believe the women” and will vote Moore into office.

Alabama is the most religious state in the US

However, in effect, this election is less a referendum on whether a Republican gets to keep the Senate seat than it is on the reputation of Christianity as a credible and viable religion. At this point, I’m going to say “it is no longer viable.”

Christianity has an unresolved woman problem

A few days ago, Peggy Noonan, a long time columnist for the Wall Street Journal, waxed eloquently about a 1995 letter that Pope John II had written to women to call for better treatment of them. The missive itself was full of lovely sentiments about how important women are and how people (men? not sure since the Pope wrote to women, not men) should be more respectful.

I nearly retched when I read the letter, despite my agreement with the sentiments. The Roman’s Catholic’s church primary message to women has been: “Get pregnant, stay pregnant no matter what the health consequences to you, and produce lots of babies, grow the males into altar boys so the priests will have free sexual access to them, and keep the next generation of girls perpetually pregnant so we can baptize all those babies and claim the church is growing. Oh, by the way, your role model is the Virgin who has a child so you can’t possibly measure up anyway since you can’t stay a virgin and fulfill your role of having babies. And one other thing: your voice will never, ever, be heard at the top decision-making levels of the church. So quit trying, shut up and have another baby.”

With the Roy Moore situation, one of the groups of Christians that have come out in favor of his actions of pursuing teenaged girls are those who preach and practice a purity culture for girls (do a search for “purity culture” and read some of the articles–we are talking child marriages here).

The Quiverful movement (from which sex–addict former family-values spokesman Josh Duggar springs) is a prime example. These folks insist that once a girl has had sex, she is like a used piece of chewing gum and, gosh, what guy wants to chew on her then? The best solution? Marry them young to make sure they haven’t become impure somehow. The girls have few choices here.

Now, much of progressive Christianity has worked hard to remedy these many injustices against women, but progressive Christians make up only a small minority of worldwide Christianity.

Right now, the public face of Christianity remains anti-female, anti-gay and quietly or overtly racist. It is no wonder the most religious, i.e., Christian, state in the nation does not “believe the women” and will likely be happy with a man who has (allegedly) egregiously misused his male power.

It may be time to consign this religious movement to the dustbin. As a rule, Christians, especially those from the “I am certain I know the absolute truth about God” camp rarely practice deep self-examination, a necessary practice to stay in love with God and to consistently love our neighbors. Outsiders rightly see Christians as hypocritical, hateful and blind to our own multiple transgressions.

Speaking of absolute truths, here is mine: The marriage of religion to power and politics has always been toxic–and I’m not only speaking of Christianity here.

The specific marriage in the US of Christianity and politics, long in the making, has indeed bankrupted and possibly corrupted beyond redemption the message of the Gospel.

Christianity is bankrupt: we will have to return to the catacombsI suspect the church needs to go back underground again, back to the catacombs. It will have to leave behind riches, and massive buildings and celebrity pastors and private jets and first class seats at banquets.

At its best, the church is the leaven, unseen and floating in the air, that ultimately makes the bread rise. Then it fills our spiritual tummies with the nutrients we need to stand courageously against oppression and injustice. At its worst, the church . . . .well we are seeing it now.

Photo Credits:
Map created by Ilya Gerner.
Roman Catacombs: By Dnalor 01 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,
Risen bread: Photo by Visual Hunt, CC BY-NC-SA

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  • CroneEver

    Roy Moore and his supporters may win the battle; but they are losing the war. There are a generation or two of people who will never open a Bible or enter a church, thanks to the arguments they’ve made as to why they’re going to vote for him.

    • rika888

      Yes, and that’s very sad…as a Christian who lives among evangelicals ( cult Christians), I despair that the message of love and righteousness Jesus gave is becoming lost. I left the established church is my area long ago when the gospel of the abundant life became popular. Join us and get blessed…by power and riches. Anyone who does not think exactly as we do is shunned. Getting became more important than giving and BEING WEALTHY became a sign of God’s BLESSING no matter how corrupt you might be…( for all have sinned..).But Jesus also said to put away your sin, give up your riches and follow Him. They forget that part, don’t they?

  • Robin Warchol

    While you may have like what St. John Paul II wrote about women, all you did was launch into mis-characterizations, myths and platitudes about the Catholic Church. Sorry, but that isn’t very “thoughtful” (like the title of your column). I do not see Catholic priests or bishops lining up to support Judge Moore but there definitely are a lot of “evangelical” family values people that have been. If a 35 year old man came around to my home to date my teenage daughter, I think he wouldn’t even get in the door. I’m not sure where the parents of these teenage girls were during all of this but in some parts of the south back 40+ years ago, that wasn’t suspicious behavior and why all of the sudden is it coming up now when this guy has been in public office as a judge for a long time. If you consider him unqualified for a senator, shouldn’t all of this disqualified him as a judge? It is very creepy that a 35 year old tries to date teenage girls, but is that any different than Hugh Hefner going after young women and telling one of his main past girlfriends that he “doesn’t date anyone over 24 either”. Yet, he get eulogies as being an innovator. Hypocrisy runs on the left and right here but you have launched into your article myths, lies and platitudes about the Catholic Church that has nothing to do with Judge Moore which undercuts your own credibility and thoughtfulness.

    • gimpi1

      It came to the fore because he went from being a (twice removed) judge in a state largely sympathetic to his views to running for national office. A paper (which generally ignores regional news in favor of national) started researching him as he came on the national stage. Then, the various rumors and fairly well substantiated information (generally, mall-guards and security staff at high-school stadiums aren’t alerted about someone showing inappropriate interest in teenage girls over just rumors) came to national attention. Apparently, it was an open secret in Mr. Moore’s town of residence at the time.

      Also, there appears to be a greater regional comfort with mature men “dating” young girls in Alabama, or at least many women have come forward describing such relationships. Now, I find it creepy in the extreme. I’m especially bothered by several Alabama men (including Mr. Moore) who have defended the practice by claiming they, “always ask the young lady’s mother” if it’s OK to ask them out. Here’s a tip from an outsider; If you are an adult, and you have to ask the parent of someone you want to date if they have permission to go out, you shouldn’t be dating them. Adult relationships are not play-dates. If someone needs a note from mom or dad, they aren’t old or mature enough for any other adult to be seeing romantically.

      • Robin Warchol

        I basically agree with everything you said. I think that this was more of a cultural norm in the deep south back in that day. That does not justify older men dating teenagers at all. The asking the parents to date is also from that period and actually promoted in some Christian circles as “courtship”. So, it curious why any parent would say “yes” to a 30+ year old man trying to date a teenage girl. Isn’t it kinda obvious? Show how the whole system was pretty sick.

  • James DeBord

    Comparing the allegations made against Roy Moore to the allegations made against Bill Clinton is laughable…really, don’t go there. Any liberal/progressive whose blowing darts at a conservative because of inappropriate sexual advances better duck fast, because the wind of hypocrisy will blow them back their way.

    • So, here is a pedophile (Moore) as being compared to Clinton’s romps with consenting adults and you call that not hypocrisy…Yes, they are both wrong, but take a seat Jamie…for you’re comparing oranges to watermelons…ya hypocrite…

      • Jonathan Marcoulides

        I guess RAPE is considered a “romp” if it happens to someone who is outside of your political spectrum. Im sure Paula Jones and Kathleen Willie wouldn’t say they gave their consent. Now if Moore did what he is accused of with the 14 year old than he is as bad as Clinton or worse, but please take the rose colored liberal glasses off for a second.

    • Dhammarato

      and there you are huffing and puffing, but you religion sucks no matter how hard you blow.

  • Jonathan Marcoulides

    Let me preface by saying I can’t stand Roy Moore or Trump, but with that being said are you outside your mind???? The Bible clearly discusses homosexuality as being wrong and yet we made gay marriage legal, which I have no problem with, yet it says nothing about the age differences in men and women dating. Other than the 14 year old the rest of the women were of legal age. My point is your blog is exactly what will be the downfall of Christianity, the HYPOCRISY!!! It is you “Thoughtful Pastor” who puts politics before God. You disregard what the Bible says when convenient and you become judge and jury when convenient also. Christians supporting Trump and Moore are no different than the ones who turned a blind eye to the word of God in regard to gay marriage and abortion. I call it Convenient Christianity. You’re a Christian when its convenient for your political argument!

    • No, Jonathan, not the Bible, but the Old Testament does…name one instance Jesus denounces homosexuality in the New Testament. In fact, Jesus in the Roman general and boy servant story of Matthew and Luke alludes to the fact that Jesus did not judge homosexuality. And if ya want to stick to the Old Testament, then quit cherry picking…for it also says to stone to death a disobedient son ( Deuteronomy 21:18-21), to stone to death a daughter who is considered not a virgin during her honeymoon (Deuteronomy 22:21), or do ya actually believe in witches and if so, then execute them as it says in Exodus 22:18…You are the hypocrisy…

      • Jonathan Marcoulides

        You got me all wrong. I don’t have a problem with homosexuality and I believe people are born gay that’s not what I am saying. My point is what Moore did isn’t in the Bible and regardless of it being the Old Testament its still referenced in the Bible. The fact is it is you that wants to pick and choose ad for this author to claim that people voting for Moore are going against Christianity and gay marriage isn’t is pure unadulterated hypocrisy! BTW Jesus never judged the age of who a man was dating either. It doesnt mean that it wasn’t pleasing to him either. I believe we should love each other with our differences, but the article is a pure political hit piece that show no love for the other side.

        • So, let me get this straight this time Jonathan…are you actually saying if a Christian who has a choice to vote for a pedophile, or, for the other one when Moore was chasing teenagers…two were teenagers by the way…Jones was prosecuting the KKK for killing 4 female black children and they choose Moore over Jones that they are true Christians…they’re as big a phony hypocrite as they come.

          Anyway, you’re not showing much Christian love here either in making an argument against the LGBTQ to justify Moore’s decrepit actions…

          • Jonathan Marcoulides

            No what I am doing is pointing out the hypocrisy in this blog and it’s pure politics and not Christian advice. The fat is no matter what you say is the Bible condemns homosexuality and says nothing about dating younger than you. You can say whatever you want but that is the facts. The Bible even says don’t kill, which I am sure God included abortion in there, yet most of the political hacks supporting this article support abortion. So tell me which do you think God dislikes most? Abortion, homosexuality or dating younger girls? With that said I am not and would not vote for Moore and I sure didn’t vote for Trump!

          • OK more than Jonathan…you are the one bent on slanted Christian views and I don’t care if ya “don’t care” you are cherry picking which is an hypocrisy of its own accord. Cherry picking the Jewish god’s commands of gaydom as an abomination in the Old Testament, while ignoring his commands of executing a disobedient child, or a female newly accused of not being a virgin, or a person deemed to be a witch, or even for haughtiness, in which this current president so explicitly portrays, then yepper sports fan…you are the hypocrite with your blind self-denying self…

            Yeah…you scream bloody murder for the fetus, but once that fetus is born unfortunately to parents that are poor…good luck with that; right? Besides in the Old Testament god himself was the original abortionist in directly or indirectly allowing or commanding fetuses to be destroyed…

            Ya know Jonathan, in your twisted interpretation of Christianity, which by the way has nothing to do with being a true follower of Jesus, be ever so careful…for when ya make the deal with the devil in supporting someone like Roy Moore, Satan then owns your soul…

    • Dhammarato

      “The Bible clearly discusses homosexuality as being wrong”. you need a better religion with a better book.

      • Jonathan Marcoulides

        My friend so does nature and biology, so what! Do we need better biology or laws of nature? My “religion” is found in my relationship with Jesus not in a doctrine or book. Those are just tools on your journey.

      • Jonathan Marcoulides

        What religion is that? The believe in nothing came from nothing? Go back to your bong and meditate some more

    • gimpi1

      I frankly don’t much care about what the Bible says. We live in a nation of laws. Mr. Moore’s actions may or may not be of marginal legality, but they are pretty far from reasonable. I said this up-thread, do you disagree:

      …I find it creepy in the extreme. I’m especially bothered by several Alabama men (including Mr. Moore) who have defended the practice by claiming they, “always ask the young lady’s mother” if it’s OK to ask them out. Here’s a tip from an outsider; If you are an adult, and you have to ask the parent of someone you want to date if they have permission to go out, you shouldn’t be dating them. Adult relationships are not play-dates. If someone needs a note from mom or dad, they aren’t old or mature enough for any other adult to be seeing romantically.

      • Jonathan Marcoulides

        I agree totally. My point is the author like most on this site come after conservative Christians while disregarding the text in the Bible for their own political motives.

  • Alma Mercer

    I think this will be left up to the people of Alabama, and I also think its a call to morality as well as ethics , do these matter any more ? do past make the character of a person ? just because a person slaps on a label, does that in fact make them who they are ? I think this nation needs a whole lot of soul searching.

    • Alma, all I can say to you is who we once were is who we now are…

  • billwald

    Long time ago, Gandhi was quoted as saying,”Christianity sounds like a wonderful religion. To bad no one has tried it.” I have been a baptized Christian for 77 years and have worshiped with with many Christian denominations. The denomination which comes closest to Matthew’s Sermon On The Mount is the Plymouth Bretheren who done even claim to be a denomination, at least didn’t before the revolution. Pragmatically, in my personal and not humble opinion, the least Christian are those who make a big deal out of being “evangelical.” Reconstructionist OPC’s the worst of the lot. Yes, I have read at least 10,000 pages of their published authors.

  • They have joined hands with Satan to fight for (they think) the Lord. The church in Jesus’ day was similar. Legalistic, condemning, and hateful. They murdered Jesus and persecuted and murdered his followers. This is the direction these type of Christians are heading. When they get full power, they will persecute gays and anyone else who disagrees with their idea of righteousness. They will pass Sunday laws. I believe the Sabbath is still on Saturday. They will persecute me. I believe they will become the persecuting power written about in Revelation 13. Those who join with them will receive the mark of the beast. Apostate Christianity is the second beast. The first beast was the church who persecuted those in the dark ages who did not believe their doctrines.

    • Ulf Turkewitsch

      Belle. I am wholeheartedly with you on most of your excellent points. I have only one observation, that about your use of the term “dark ages”,. I hope you know that most historians now dont use that term as it is a derogatory term. During those years in European history much was learned about machines, medicine ,astronomy, history, agriculture , architecture and the Christian religion. Monasteries with their hospital wings, and universities were established. It was an exciting time with many wars and people migration going on . I suppose the term “dark ages” might be applied to the roman catholic church, which at that time strengthened its power over Europe . It got too much power and mixed it with politics, to the destruction of many people, and the hindering of the advancement of knowledge.

      • I didn’t know that term was no longer used. Thanks for letting me know. I was trying to be nice in not naming the Catholic Church. I know there are many thousands of true believers in that church.

  • Dave Again

    I am not religious at all (I’m one of the majority of Australians who are officially listed as ‘no religion’) but well done Christy for telling it like it is. If I was religious I’d say, ‘God bless you’.

  • Disciple of the Pink Unicorn

    “First of all, whoever is without sin, let them throw the first stone”
    Funny how they seem to forget this line when it comes to LGBT+ people, Muslims, or other groups they don’t like

  • Gregory Sullivan

    As a follower of Christ, and Shepherd of a small flock of His children, I am perplexed at this author’s comments about the Christian Church in Alabama. For any Christian, for any true believer in the Love and Grace of God, there is no question that Roy Moore’s opponent, Doug Jones, holds views, or rather beliefs, that are antithetical to the Commandments of the Father, and to the Gospel, the teaching of the Son. Abortion is the murder of a defenseless and innocent human being, a creation and gift of God to not only the parents of the child, but to all humanity. No loving kind compassionate human being can think that the violent and tortuous ripping apart, in the mother’s womb, of a living being, let alone a “human” being, can ever be justified by any selfish, self centered and cowardly act of “choice.” Any choice to end human life, by murder, war, capital punishment, through conscience intent, through unintended accident or by means of narcissistic self gratification is outside of the Will of God, contrary to His commandment, and ignorant of meaning of the incarnate Christ-child and His message of Love. If the allegations against Roy Moore are true, as disgusting as they may now appear, as sinful they will be if proven, his acts of alleged lechery pale beside the murder of one human being. As a one time scientist, I can only ask this, which of you exist without conception? Without the presence of the Holy Spirit at conception? Without suffusion by God’s Grace of the human soul, and animation of the flesh? It is a simple fact, that no one who supports abortion is a follower of Christ or a disciple of His “Social Gospel.” I can not say that Doug Jones, and all humans who approve of Abortion, are lost souls, for God’s mercy is great, and His love of each of those who participate or support in Abortion is equal to his love of me, but I will say that those who condemn Roy Moore, without forgiveness for his sins, and willingly suborn the murder of innocents for political purposes, have have like Pilate, the need to wash innocent blood from their hands.

    • Misty Corrales

      basically…. you put it ALL on the Abortion don’t you.

      And guess what, you lot don’t give half of a damn about protecting those kids once they are born — this is MORE than evident by your actions and words.

      Your Anti-Abortion Activism is not about CHILDREN, it’s actually Anti-Woman. Your position on abortion is not Biblical (I could cite verses for you, but you are not interested in learning that the priests used to perform ritual abortions).

      Your focus is on abortion. You pretend to be a kind, compassionate human being while supporting someone who actually attempted to rape someone (that’s not, btw, a non violent crime). You support rape culture — which is an attack on women.

      No sir, your position on ONE ISSUE is damning the entire country. You, who claim to be a follower of Christ, would not know him if you met him on the street today.

      • Reese

        “Me thinks she doth protest too much…”

    • Jon Dixon

      So will you equally condemn Judge Moore for his support of capital punishment? If you hold that equal to abortion (which your post implies), then you need to equally condemn all of those politicians who support keeping capital punishment legal (pretty much gutting the Republican party).

  • John Purssey

    While this is OK as far as it goes, like many American writings, it is so parochial. Why is it that Americans write and presumably think that the US is the whole world? It is fun hearing about some “cute” US customs, and makes us hope that although we may have some similar tendencies, we have yet to go overboard in the same way.

  • Dan

    I have noticed that your posts are growing increasingly hostile, bitter, and vituperative toward those with whom you disagree. It pains me to say that you are neither thoughtful or pastoral in these postings. You fall into what I term the progressive Pharisees contingent. Look at how you judge and have no mercy for those with whom you disagree. Did you have the same scorn and derision for Hillary and Bill that you have for our current president? He is definitely crude and vulgar in his behavior, but no one has credibly accused him of rape yet, as for as I know, and his wife has not tried to publicly destroy the reputations of women who accused him of sexual assault. Do you pray as much for God’s grace and Holy Spirit to work within the current president as you did for his predecessor? Take some time to reflect on your inclination for retribution as opposed to seeking justice and truth tempered by mercy. The world is evil, we are all mired in the total depravity of sin, and if we cannot surrender to the grace of God freely given to imbue us with faith, we will turn ever more bitter and cynical and miss out on the good works which our sovereign God has prepared for us.

  • Reese

    Now, this is why the idea of separation of church and state: so we don’t get bogged down in the weeds of a plethora of interpretations of what is God’s Will on details of operating a civilization here on earth. Who knows what really happened 38 years ago? There’s lots of talk and claims, but no hard proof and, anyway, people like me are much more concerned with what happens over the NEXT 38 months than what might or might not have happened 38 years ago. Heck, liberals got over Senator Byrd’s history in the KKK in West Virginia before he became the lauded liberal leader in DC! So, we can get over unproven accusations, which were not made before now, to have a senator who will support Make America Great Again: building the wall, building the military, protecting America, building our economy through capitalist fundamentals, not wrecking it with socialist ideals. Here and now, for America, not 38 years ago “for Heaven’s sake”…

  • Reese

    UPDATE: “Bombshell: Roy Moore Accuser Beverly Nelson Admits She …
    Breitbart News
    1 hour ago Dec 08, 2017 · Beverly Nelson admits she forged a portion of the infamous high school yearbook used as proof of her accusations against Roy Moore…”
    Well, of course we all condemn what Roy Moore did, but now there is the first proof that we just have not been told the whole truth about what he did. “You can’t always trust these gals to tell the truth,” said Adam when asked about Eve… How many more fibbers are there in Alabama?

    • popeye47

      She only added the date so she would remember
      Stop lying for breitbart