As we have seen, many evangelical Christians have closed ranks behind Roy Moore’s candidacy for the US senate despite the many credible reports that he repeatedly hit on teenage girls when he was an assistant county district attorney in his thirties and his creepy behavior was so well known that some girls at the local mall set up an informal alert system to warn others when he was on the prowl and his presence was monitored by security. There was even a security watch to see that he did not harass high school cheerleaders.
So how do religious people, even pastors, overcome their scruples and not only vote for such a person but even publicly endorse him? Some have even said that what we are seeing is a ‘war on men’ and that women are the real predators who are getting away with it because of (you guessed it) political correctness.
Pastor Franklin Raddish of the Capitol Hill Independent Baptist Ministries, a nationwide church, told AL.com from his South Carolina home that the spate of accusations against men in politics, Hollywood and elsewhere was a “war on men.”
“More women are sexual predators than men,” said Raddish. “Women are chasing young boys up and down the road, but we don’t hear about that because it’s not PC.”
According to Yonat Shimron, this apparent disconnect with reality is because is evangelicals practice what is called presuppositionalism. What is that, you ask?
It holds that evangelicals should examine other people’s underlying suppositions before debating them. If those people or groups don’t adhere to the right worldview — one that accepts the Bible as the inerrant word of God — they should not be trusted.
The argument, said Worthen, goes like this: “When secular liberals say that the public square can be this neutral space, fair to all metaphysical beliefs, that’s a lie, because folded into that it is a secular humanist worldview, a set of anti-Christian presuppositions that are now being foisted onto our public square. You, as conservative evangelicals, need to fight that, and you need to be savvy when they try to pull one over on you.”
All that seems to be just a fancy rationalization for saying that evangelicals shut their ears to anyone who is not seen as one of their tribe. Here is one woman explaining why she will still vote for Moore.
The voter, Martha Shiver, attended a “Women for Moore” rally Friday in the state Capitol in Montgomery, and she spoke briefly to MSNBC reporter Vaughn Hillyard.
“Well, I want to let him know that we’re 100 percent behind him, we believe in him and we just don’t really believe in all the slander that’s going on, and we want him to know that we’re 100 percent behind him,” Shiver said.
But that is not all. The subculture of Alabama takes pride in the fact that they are ‘different’, even if that difference stems from ignoring reality. Part of that difference is, as one person said, “It’s not a southern problem, it’s a fundamentalist problem. Girls who are 14 are seen as potential relationship material.”
According to is Shimron,
“Alabamians are very prideful and very defiant about their being different from anyone else,” said Roberts, who grew up in Falkville, Ala. “They’re not ashamed of being different. They’re not ashamed of being made fun of.”
For that reason, Roberts said, blowback from Washington political leaders such as Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who said Moore should “step aside,” is unlikely to affect the campaign.
But that does not mean that they will all come out to vote for Moore. The cognitive dissonance of their standard bearer violating their stated norms may dampen the enthusiasm of some, even if it does not change their minds.
[S]ome evangelicals will sit out the election. There’s no other consequential issue on the ballot, so it may be easier for some to stay home, said Roberts.
Those evangelicals who do go to the polls will likely vote for Moore.
“When (people) face really tough choices, the tie-breaker will be partisanship,” said John C. Green, political science professor and director of the Bliss Institute of Applied Politics at the University of Akron.
“Sometimes that’s just instinctive. It can also be cognitive. They’ll say, ‘Jones is a better candidate, but he’ll go to Washington and caucus with the liberals,’ or ‘Moore may be a flawed human being but he’ll be a Republican vote….Their religious values and their political views are strongly linked.”
There are some pastors who have disavowed Moore though it is not clear how many of them, if any, are evangelicals.
Meanwhile Donald Trump, after laying low for a while, has come out in favor of Moore. Sexual abusers stick together, especially if they share the same voter base.
I am really curious to see what the exit polls will reveal about voter attitudes after the December 12 election.