The false allegations against Judge Roy Moore, aiming to derail his challenge to the establishment, are also revealing the fault lines between the genuine and the superficial throughout the conservative movement.
Then Erick Erickson banned me on Saturday from The Resurgent while he was acting as the arbiter of Christian values. But my analysis here is not about one man. We are seeing this phenomenon unfolding throughout the conservative movement, of which this is only a symbol.
I posted a comment that a Christian must observe the commandment “Thou shalt not bear false witness.” Immediately The Resurgent sent me a “Ban Notification.” I reminded readers that if Christians were supposed to just believe every allegation anyone hurls, why would God waste one of the Ten Commandments on “Thou shalt not bear false witness?” Proverbs 18:17 warns us “The first to plead his case seems right, until another comes and examines him.” The Bible teaches us that we can form no opinion without listening to both sides.
The entire conservative movement is embroiled in discussing morality and Christian / conservative values about Roy Moore without addressing the most fundamental value of all: Did it happen? If you do not base your chest-thumping on truth, what kind of morality is that? Many skip past the only question that counts: What is the actual truth?
I asked in my comment what still needs to be addressed. Erickson wrote “The problem is that many of the accusers tell plausible stories.” This is about story-telling ability? Christians want to visit harm on people based only on who tells a good story? A “plausible” story is not a fact nor evidence. Of course, the stories are not actually plausible. They are sharply contradicted by all the evidence. But it is disturbing the values and standards being crowed by those claiming the mantle of conservative or Christian values, while attacking a man with 40 years of fighting for God.
St. Augustine, the profound Christian scholar, lived 20 years as a sinful child of hell. How can we study St. Augustine’s teachings about Christianity knowing that for 20 years before his conversion he was a sinner and reprobate? Modern Pharisees want to hang Roy Moore but revere the writings of St. Augustine who admits 20 years of sin.
Roy Moore has lived the last 40 years as a devoted, sincere, Christian, sold out for God, laying it on the line, and risking his own career and reputation to stand up for God. Although allegations from 38 years ago are contradicted by known evidence, even if they were true Roy Moore’s 40 years as a devout Christian would matter in a Christian world view. George Will, Bill Kristol, Erick Erickson, and other moralizers have never risked their careers for Jesus.
Never-Trumper Erick Erickson came out as a Christian only about two or three years ago and apologized (almost) for his past abusive and nasty rhetoric over the years, up to and including calling retiring Supreme Court Justice David Souter “a goat f#*king child molester.” Curiously, there is no more evidence that Justice Souter spent time with goats than there is of the accusations against Roy Moore. As commented by a witness in the Economist, “when Erick Erickson writes about liberals, he tends to violate the old Red State bans on obscenities and insults.” Those community standards apply only when it advances an agenda.In 2011, he also banned me from Red State when I objected to the profanity-laden misogyny of Erick Erickson and his gang of thugs against Christine O’Donnell, Michele Bachman, Sarah Palin, and Sharron Angle. Erickson didn’t object to his team calling conservative candidates the c*#t word or discussing their anatomy in locker room rudeness or hurling provably false allegations against conservative women like Christine. But when I posted the actual facts proving his band of thugs wrong, Erickson banned me from Red State. Nothing has changed.
It is absurd to say “I believe the women.” Based on what? We have no way of knowing 38 years ago what did or did not happen with Roy Moore. Yet people are willing to line up and offer meaningless opinions based on no facts whatsoever. And this is a principle I have addressed for many years, no matter who is being accused. Truth is truth. Anything less than truth is not. How is that a Christian value?
With curiously convenient timing (God will use any way to teach us), this pure democracy is illustrated in the seventh episode “Majority Rule” of the new science fiction comedy “The Orville.” The starship visits a world where people are guilty of a crime if they get 1 million “down votes” by the public on a Facebook-like system outweighing their “upvotes.” The votes are based purely on feelings: “Grayson: What if people try to corroborate all this information? Lysella: Don’t worry. They won’t.”
This does not mean insisting that something did not happen. I have female friends and women close to me whom I know have suffered sexual attacks. Some told me decades ago, yet they still keep silent while trying to ignore certain prominent men. If they came forward and pointed the finger decades later I would not discredit or disrespect their experiences. However, that is very different from harming someone who is accused based on nothing more than I like hearing someone’s story. Sympathy is one thing. Harming an accused person without proof is quite another.
And yes, there are gigantic stakes here to motivate false accusations: The future of the U.S. Supreme Court, trillions of dollars of crony capitalism, the entire cultural civil war, what kind of country we will be, the future of the Republican Party, and on and on. Mitch McConnell’s actions in Thad Cochran’s Mississippi race against Chris McDaniel proves that there are no limits to the dishonest tricks that the establishment will undertake.
Locally, Roy Moore irritated the powers that be politically and legally as early as 1979 and in the bruising 1983 campaign for District Attorney. Moore made a lot of enemies. Any woman with a negative story to tell would have a lot of powerful friends on her side and would have been celebrated and rewarded. Roy Moore was not a powerful man in Gadsden to be feared but a gadfly making enemies with all the powerful men who could protect or reward an accuser in the 1980s.