What began with Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein has turned into a daily report of the latest sexual harasser: Roy Moore (I’ll come back to him further down in this post); Al Franken; Charlie Rose; a New York Times reporter I don’t know; indications of a $17 million slush fund to bail out congressmen who are accused of sexual improprieties.
That last one is the news I woke up to today. Democrat Congressman John Conyers of Michigan, who has been in the House for 50 years (you read that correctly) has habitually used his office to press women for sexual favors. Color me not surprised.
People who get into positions of power often try to use that power for their own personal desires. That’s as old as the entire history of mankind. It’s called sin.
As a Christian, while I’m grieved that so many are being exposed as abusers of their power, I’m also gratified that they are now being called to account for what they have done. The politicians among them, though, may not suffer as much as those in the private sector who are being snared. Will Al Franken and John Conyers really have to resign, or will their Democrat colleagues circle the wagons to protect them?
In my view, all politicians who are caught in any kind of wrongdoing should step down and let someone else take their place. Of course, I’ve said that all along, as it should have happened nearly twenty years ago with a sitting president:
Now, when it no longer counts, some Democrats are speaking openly about how Clinton should have resigned. What’s the reason for this newfound courage? Could it be that Clinton, Inc. is no longer the power base it once was? It’s safer now to critique the Clinton brand after Hillary’s latest humiliating loss.
Let’s be honest: Bill Clinton was and is a man who has never said no to his sexual appetite. And while the country has been fixated on a different Southerner, there has been a case of historical amnesia about the former Southern president.
Now I must talk about Roy Moore, the Republican candidate for the Senate from Alabama. I’ve been silent in this blog about the allegations swirling around him, waiting for the dust to settle and to give him whatever benefit of the doubt I can.
In the nine years that I’ve written this blog, I don’t believe I’ve ever mentioned Moore. He made a name for himself as a staunch defender of the Ten Commandments being displayed in his courtroom and as a judge who said Alabama doesn’t have to abide by the Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage.
As a result, he became a champion of Christian conservatives. Many Christian leaders in the conservative movement have counted him as a friend. All of these reasons are why I’ve been hesitant to write about the allegations.
Yet while I certainly am not the final word on Roy Moore’s guilt or innocence, I’ve followed the story closely and feel compelled to say that the accusers are credible and Moore’s defense, such as it is, has been less than stellar.
Even in an atmosphere where the questions were not from the mainstream press—how can anyone in the Trump tradition find a more friendly interrogator than Sean Hannity?—Moore couldn’t come right out and say that he never dated teenagers when he was a man in his thirties.
His entire defense is simply a misdirection: it’s all a vast conspiracy by the Democrats and their media allies; ignore all the evidence backing up the accusations; they’re just out to get me.
That sounds pretty Clintonesque to me, shades of Hillary’s “vast right-wing conspiracy” back in 1998-1999.
Well, says Moore, I never dated anyone that young without asking permission of their mothers first. How about not dating anyone who is underage? Did that ever occur to him?
Frankly, I find it nearly impossible to believe his protestations. Two of his accusers say they voted for Trump; others who know them attest that they have told their stories over the years but were afraid to stand up publicly against Moore because of his high position in government; many others in the community where he lives are now going public with his old habit of cruising the mall and restaurants, looking for teens to date.
The Republican party, cognizant that he is a drag on the image of the party, has largely abandoned him, and I don’t blame the leadership at all for doing so.
What pains me the most is the cavalcade of Christians who stand by Moore for no other reason than they are more attracted to the conspiracy theory he’s spinning than the actual facts that are coming out about his past.
Well, I’m told, we all have things in our past. He’s changed. My response? First, one of the accusers, who was not one of the teens targeted, notes that her bad experience with him was in 1991, after Moore was married. Further, if he’s truly a new man in Christ, why not come clean and simply say that was his former self? No, he just sticks to the conspiracy story.
My biggest concern in this Moore controversy is that Christians come out of it with their integrity intact. I feel the same way about what is happening now as I did with Christians boarding the Trump train.
How much are we willing to put up with before we realize we are supposed to stand for righteousness?