Using Biblical morality to suggest that his accusers are “liars and whores,” child molester Roy Moore is winning the senate race in Alabama.
Alabama is a deeply conservative, deeply Christian state, and Roy Moore is relying upon Biblical notions of what it is to be a woman to discredit and attack his accusers.
Writing for The Daily Beast, author and theologian Candida Moss explains how Moore and his supporters are using the Bible to try and discredit the women Moore sexually harassed and abused when they were only teenagers.
Explicating “The Biblical Basis for Roy Moore’s Attacks on His Accusers” Moss discusses “the women are not to be trusted” argument in the “context of Christianity,” writing:
The problem isn’t just that the women of the Bible are largely presented as temptresses, whores, and chattel; it is that they are also depicted as liars. The biblical seductress Delilah embodies this understanding of women when she leads astray and emasculates the heroic Samson. Delilah is both a whore, as she is paid by the Philistines to discover the secret of Samson’s power, and a liar, as she pretends to care for Samson in order to extract his secret and render him impotent. The upshot of the story, which is entrenched in ancient near eastern mythology in general, in that beautiful women cannot be believed, especially when it comes to the bedroom.
In another, often overlooked passage from the Bible, the daughters of Lot seduce their own father. After surviving the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and realizing that they now have no possibility of marriage and offspring, Lot’s unnamed virgin daughters get their father drunk and become pregnant by him. In the modern world this is rape, in the biblical one it is coded as seduction. If the women are evaluated negatively here it is not for sexual assault it is for deceit and seduction: they misled him. (Side bar: it seems only fair to note that several chapters before this Lot was eager to turn his daughters over to an angry mob to be gang raped to protect the angels he was keeping in his house).
In the biblical chronology this idea goes all the way back to the first humans: in the Garden of Eden, after being expressly told not to eat from the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, Eve is persuaded by the serpent to take the fruit and offer it to Adam. She does and the rest, as they say, is primordial history…
Moss, author of Bible Nation: The United States of Hobby Lobby, is spot on in diagnosing the particular and peculiar way Christian dogma in general, and Biblical morality in particular, works to silence and discredit women, while giving cover to and protecting sexual predators like Roy Moore.
Perhaps even more alarming, for many evangelical Christians, the idea of a 30-year-old man sexually pursuing a 14-year-old girl is perfectly acceptable. Recently leading Christian pastor Flip Benham, long time friend and supporter of Roy Moore, justified Moore’s pursuit of a 14-year-old girl by claiming “there is something about the purity of a young woman.”Note, unlike Moore and many of his defenders, Benham is not denying that Moore was trying to date young teen girls. Instead, he is trying to justify the behavior of a child molester, by claiming that the child molester happens to be a godly man in search of the “purity” that only a teenage girl can possess.
Unlike Benham, Christian thought leader and Focus on the Family founder James Dobson assumes the women are lying about being sexually harassed and assaulted by Moore when they were teens.
In a recently released statement supporting Moore, Dobson dismissed the stories of abuse and harassment from the women as attacks “by the Washington establishment” while praising the child molester as “a man of proven character and integrity.”
And the Biblically based attack on the victims is working. FiveThirtyEight reports Moore is now ahead in the Alabama senate race:
Republican Roy Moore appears to have pulled back into a lead in Alabama’s special Senate election. Moore had lost ground in the polls after allegations of child molestation and sexual misconduct were leveled against him starting on Nov. 9. But three new polls out this week — from Change Research, Emerson College and JMC Analytics — have Moore leading Democrat Doug Jones by 5 to 6 percentage points.
Bottom line: By using Biblical morality to suggest that his accusers are “liars and whores,” child molester Roy Moore is winning in Alabama.