If you’re still struggling to understand the mentality of a voting base that launched an admitted sexual predator to the presidency, look no further than the hordes of pro-Trump conservatives openly defending Roy Moore‘s alleged penchant for sexually grooming 14-year-old girls.
This Thursday, The Washington Post broke a story revealing disturbing allegations of Moore’s sexual history. One allegation that stands out is that of Leigh Corfman, who says that when she was 14-years-old, Moore tried to coax her into a sexual relationship. Petrified of what the accusations mean for Moore’s Senate seat, conservatives are doing all they can to divert attention from the story. Not since the surfacing of Trump’s Access Hollywood tape have we seen such blatant apologist rhetoric, only this time they’re trying to rationalize pedophilia.
One example of this new wave of pedophilia apologists comes from Alabama State Auditor Jim Ziegler, who told the Washington Examiner, “The allegations are that a man in his early 30s dated teenage girls. Even the Washington Post report says that he never had sexual intercourse with any of the girls and never attempted sexual intercourse.”
In other words, even if the allegations are true, at least he never really had sex with her.
According to Zeigler, Moore’s marriage is somehow worthy of consideration in light of the fact that he used to sexually pursue teenagers when he was an adult.
“He dated [his current wife]. He married her, and they’ve been married about 35 years,” Zeigler said. “They’re blessed with a wonderful marriage and his wife Kayla is 14 years younger than Moore.”
Then, he used the bible to defend Moore’s alleged actions.
“Take the Bible. Zachariah and Elizabeth for instance. Zachariah was extremely old to marry Elizabeth and they became the parents of John the Baptist. Also take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus.”
“There’s just nothing immoral or illegal here,” Ziegler concluded. “Maybe just a little bit unusual.”
As The Washington Post points out, multiple evangelical leaders slammed Ziegler’s comments.
“Bringing Joseph and Mary into a modern-day molestation accusation, where a 32-year-old prosecutor is accused of molesting a 14-year-old girl, is simultaneously ridiculous and blasphemous,” said Ed Stetzer, a pastor and church consultant who chairs the Billy Graham Center of Church, Mission and Evangelism at Wheaton College. “Even those who followed ancient marriage customs, which we would not follow today, knew the difference between molesting and marriage.”
“Women were chattel back then, they were traded — of course they married men who were much older and had multiple wives,” said the Rev. Amy Butler, senior minister of the Riverside Church, a historical and prominent interdenominational church in New York City.
“It’s completely ludicrous to equate the sex assault of a minor with an ancient culture. It’s ludicrous … It makes me want to rip the church back from these people.”
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