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Why Christians Shouldn’t Support Roy Moore

I’m sorry to post about something so local, but some of you outside of Alabama might find this interesting anyway. Because Jeff Sessions was one of our Senators prior to being appointed to US Attorney General, our state is in the process of holding a special election to replace him. The Democratic nominee, Doug Jones, won his nomination outright, but the Republicans are holding a runoff election tomorrow between Luther Strange, who’s currently serving as interim-Senator after being appointed by our now-deposed Governor Robert Bentley, and Roy Moore, who came to fame in 2003 for refusing to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the Alabama Supreme Court building. He was removed from office. Sadly, he ran for Chief Justice again in 2012 and won. Hard to believe, perhaps, but welcome to Alabama. In 2015, he was removed from office yet again for refusing to recognize the Supreme Court’s decision on same-sex marriage.

But here we are again. Our state will decide tomorrow on whether or not Moore will be the Republican nominee for the US Senate. I wrote an op-ed piece over the weekend for our local news site, AL.com. So far, I haven’t heard back, and since the election is tomorrow, I doubt it will be published. So I’ve decided to post it here, in case anyone’s interested in my take. Instead of writing as just an atheist who would obviously be aligned against someone like Moore anyway, I decided to argue why he’s the wrong choice, even from a Christian perspective. As always, feel free to comment.


It’s no secret that Roy Moore has made his Christianity a defining aspect of his campaign for Senate, as well as his entire political career. But this religious grandstanding is precisely one of the reasons why Christians should not vote for him on Tuesday.

Traditionally, Republicans have run on the rule of law and respect for the Constitution. Yet Moore has built his career around ignoring and violating clear laws of the land. It’s fine for Moore to believe that God’s laws are superior to man’s, but when he works as a representative of our government, he’s obligated to uphold our government’s laws, not his perception of God’s. And if he had a better understanding of the Bible, he’d realize that his own Christian beliefs should lead him to this very conclusion.

In John 18:36, Jesus very clearly states “My kingdom is not of this world.” In Matthew 22, Mark 12, and Luke 20, Jesus rebuffed the Pharisees’ attempt to get him in trouble with the Roman authorities by telling them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”

The first 7 verses of Romans 13 are even clearer when they state that we should all be subject to the government, because the government is instituted by God. And we should remember that this was written during a time in which the governing power, the Roman Empire, was completely pagan. How much more should such a statement apply today?

Furthermore, our country was founded with the ideal of religious freedom, which has benefited Christianity greatly. Just imagine if Puritanism had become the state religion and was enforced as the only true and acceptable form of Christianity today. How many Christians, Moore included, attend churches that would match up with Puritanism?

When an individual like Moore is given power and authority, the rest of us are subject to his whims. That only works out for us when his personal beliefs happen to align with our own. But what happens if he suddenly changes his personal beliefs? There are many Christians in this state who believe the Ten Commandments are important parts of Judeo-Christian history, but are in no way binding today, as taught in books like Galatians and Hebrews. Moore’s decision to violate the Supreme Court by keeping the Ten Commandments monument in the courthouse only meshed with his own version of Christianity — it did not align with the views of all Christians in this state.

And that’s what’s so frightening about individuals like Roy Moore. He is not someone who is striving to uphold the laws of our country — he is only trying to enforce his own personal beliefs about God. In this way, he’s no different than Islamic extremists. Not content to allow people to come to their own conclusions about God, he insists on forcing his own beliefs on the rest of us.

I happen to be writing this on a day that some Christians believed would be the date of the Rapture, or the end of the world. And of course, it’s not. What happens when we elect someone to a position of authority who can be swayed by things like that? If Roy Moore’s source of authority is not our Constitution, but his own interpretation of the Bible, who’s to say where that might lead him — and by extension, us?

Perhaps Roy Moore should be a preacher, or a paid speaker, or conservative commentator. He could still have a lot of influence in those arenas. But please Alabama, do not put him in public office again. The stakes are simply too high.

59 thoughts on “Why Christians Shouldn’t Support Roy Moore”

  1. Great Post Nate ! You are spot on. Seems as though Alabama has had its share of leaders who have ignored the constitution. Let’s not forget Governor George Wallace, “I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny, and I say segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.”
    Let’s hope Alabama doesn’t make another mistake tomorrow.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Thanks, Nate. I watch this from a distance (near Chicago). I agree with you, that it is to the benefit of Christians, to avoid the entanglement of religion and government. Unfortunately, many Christians do not understand that.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Nicely stated. This is certainly complex when looking at the bigger picture. The Dems, including those in Alabama, hope Moore wins. The Republican leaders hope Moore loses.

    “If Mr. Moore wins the runoff on Tuesday, Republican leaders fear he will further widen the split in the party between populists and the establishment. That could embolden more lawmakers to defy the party leadership and encourage other insurgents to challenge Republican incumbents, no matter Mr. Trump’s preference.
    [snip]”
    What’s more, House Republicans, who are already facing a growing number of populist challengers, could face an even bigger wave of them. And Mr. Moore’s success could prompt wealthy conservative donor families like the Mercers “to invest more” in the insurgency, said Scott Reed, the top political strategist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
    More immediately, the congressional wing of the party would be saddled with an often inflammatory Senate candidate who could invite a surge of Democratic money into Alabama and set off a host of questions about his provocative views on social issues that few Republican officials want to litigate.”

    and

    “The Senate Democratic campaign arm has lined up a pollster to test Mr. Jones’s strengths and Mr. Moore’s vulnerabilities. And Alabama Democrats are openly rooting for the former judge.
    “We want Roy Moore to win that primary,” said Patricia Todd, a Democratic state representative from Birmingham. “He gives us a better shot in the general election.”

    and

    “But for Republican elites, this contest has grown into something far larger than just a battle for a single Senate seat. To groups like the McConnell-backed Senate Leadership Fund, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Rifle Association, which are sending mailers and airing television ads in the closing days of the race, Alabama is their chance to halt a rebellion.”

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  4. I have a good friend who’s in deep with the state party (I’m a member, but not heavily connected yet), and he made a similar statement to me. I told him I completely disagreed. So many of us thought that a Trump nomination almost guaranteed the election for Hillary, and look where that got us. Never overestimate the Alabama electorate. 😦

    No matter how crazy Moore is, having that “R” next to his name will be more than enough for many in this state. And honestly, it’s his brand of hyper-partisanship that’s causing so many problems in our country. I identify more closely with Democrats, but I really just want pragmatic, halfway-objective people in our government. Dean Heller, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, even John McCain — I don’t agree with them on everything, but they’re at least reasonable people. We need more folks like that. And I would take them over any hyper-partisan Democrats, too.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I don’t think GOP voters have any reasonable choice in this election. Strange has actively broadcast how willing he is to do whatever the White House tells him to do. He’s abdicating his duties as a Senator for Alabama even before he’s got the job.

    Regardless, the R next to the winner’s name will make it almost a definite possibility that person will become a Senator. Having a better chance against someone doesn’t mean your candidate will win, and it certainly doesn’t explain why anyone should vote for an alternative candidate. Doug Jones needs to explain to Alabamians why he’s a good candidate, not why people should vote against the other candidate.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Don’t you have an integrity clause somewhere in your laws that a person who has been removed from office for abuse of office shouldn’t be allowed to stand for public office? There is something utterly wrong with Moore and I don’t live in Alabama

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Nicely and neatly argued with quoted scripture but I’m sure you know almost any point can be made by suitable use of scripture.
    ‘We are against principalities and power’s ‘ Paul later declares but these are put there by divine right surely we should obey them?
    Of course they are all at it and we all have free access to scripture which leads down a multitude of roads.
    I read through Wiki on Roy Moore, it was fascinating to try to figure out just what makes him tick; apparently at one time he was an expert kick boxer that made me smile. Being English I noted a certain Nigel Farage was going to support his cause. Mr Farage is anti-foreigner what ever that may mean. Christianity is changing for the better we now have women ministers and gay marriage and evolution is becoming accepted in the mainstream. Fundamentalism is kicking its heels along with Islam but inner changes will slowly come.

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  8. Good point, Kersten. It’s true that you can make almost any argument you want from scripture… I was just doing my best! 🙂

    The main point that I probably should have made is that, from a Christian perspective, the theocracy thing doesn’t really fly. The ancient kingdom of Israel was a theocracy / monarchy, until it was swallowed up by various empires. Even then, when Jews were able to have some local control, they were perfectly happy to enforce religious dogma from on high. But the New Testament writings really do create a paradigm shift. It’s much more a message of don’t rock the boat, politically. And that people can’t be forced into Christianity or morality — they must choose those things for themselves. The best that such a religion could hope for is a free society where people can worship as they see fit — the exact system that we have in the US and other developed countries. But people like Moore misunderstand the very religion they’re trying to shove down everyone’s throats. It’s so ironic it would be hilarious, if it weren’t so sad and serious.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I had to vote in that run-off today, and I really felt sick by the choices I had. During the 2016 presidential election, I wrote in a candidate’s name rather than vote between two, equally morally problematic candidates (IMO), but this time I didn’t have that option.

    I totally agree with your assessment of Moore. I’ve never understood why others have embraced his version of Christianity, nor why he’d ever be considered electable after the Chief Justice debacle. But I had an equal sense of revulsion toward Strange, based on his ideas about the necessity of the wall, etc. It was one of those situations where I felt so torn. I ended up voting for Moore. (Yuck.) But when that general election comes, I will happily vote for Jones.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Hey Laura,

    Thanks for chiming in! It’s been a while!

    I’m encouraged by your feelings on this, and I hope there are many more Christians who feel the same way you do. I’ve been wondering for a while why most Christians identify more with the Republicans than with the Dems, especially here in the South. Do you have any thoughts about that you’d be willing to share? No arguments — I promise. It’s just something I’ve had a hard time understanding, and I’d be interested in your perspective.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. There is an “Upside” to Moore winning Nate. It was “Headliners” like Moore, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell etc. who further confirmed I was headed in the right direction to de-convert. 🙂 Let’s hope he has the same influence on others.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I’ve been wondering for a while why most Christians identify more with the Republicans than with the Dems, especially here in the South.

    Sorry to say, but it is because the Republicans have embraced racism and white supremacy.

    The Trump presidency has been an eye opener as to the depth of this racism.

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  13. I remember when the Citizens of Alabama elected a Democrat, George Wallace as Governor who proudly proclaimed, “I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny, and I say segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.”
    Georgia citizens were just as enthusiastic when they elected a Democratic Restaurant Owner Lester Maddox to be their Governor. He became famous for refusing to serve Blacks in his restaurant.

    And yet, this does not indict all Democrats of being racists or segregationists. At least I hope not ! 🙂

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  14. And yet, this does not indict all Democrats of being racists or segregationists.

    You are missing something.

    Back then, Democrats — or, at least, southern Democrats (i.e. Dixiecrats) mostly were racist.

    Then came the civil rights legislation of the 1960s. Many Dixiecrats moved to the Republican party. The Democrats became the party that opposed racism. And the Republicans, with their “Southern Strategy” became the party that was embracing racism.

    But at least, back at that time, the Republicans were embarrassed by their embrace of racism. So they did it all with dog whistles and tried to avoid making openly racist statements.

    Now, under Trump, they are openly and boldly embracing racism and white supremacy. And many who call themselves “Christian” are attracted to that.

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  15. That’s a complex question, Nate, and not one I really feel qualified to answer!

    For some, it’s the abortion issue; they’re pro-life, therefore they must vote for the “pro-life” candidate, even if that candidate is exploiting that issue to gain votes & doesn’t truly believe abortion should be limited or outlawed. Anyone who votes for a “pro-choice” candidate is automatically assumed to be “pro-abortion”, which is not necessarily the same thing. They become one-issue voters, deciding based on one issue.

    I think racism may play a role in this, but I’m uncertain how that played out historically. I do know that many, many Christians (in my circles offline and online) were (and are) disturbed by Trump’s racist remarks. It would be a mistake to look at all white Christian evangelicals and believe that all believe what some white evangelicals believe. Unfortunately, that “some” is vocal and powerful.

    As far as the South’s embrace of Republicans, my best guess is that Republicans have used the religion card more effectively. And what passes as “true Christianity” for many Christians is a distorted interpretation. It’s one that champions the same things that Republicans champion while ignoring the whole of Scripture. Their version lets them, especially white Christians, justify retaining their status and individual rights, telling the central government to butt out of their business, and generally maintaining their Southern “culture” without examining whether that culture is based on human tradition or God’s words.

    I hate that.

    Again, these are my best guesses. I don’t have enough solid data to make any logical arguments; I could be entirely wrong!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. No, that’s helpful — thanks for taking the time to answer!

    Do you think there’s any possibility of convincing some that even if they’re driven only by the abortion issue, the best way to combat abortion may not be through legislation but through better education, access to birth control, anti-poverty measures, etc? Do they realize that women who get abortions would have preferred to not be pregnant in the first place?

    Trump’s election showed me that we have to do something to help people stop reacting so strongly to the letter next to a person’s name, and actually look at the candidate as a whole.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. The only problem is that our government isn’t really set up to function with a 3rd party. In parliamentary-style governments, a 3rd party could help form a coalition government and thereby create some momentum, have an actual voice, get a little power, etc. But here, if you can’t get the majority, you don’t have much hope. 3rd parties stay fringe; and therefore, never really get the traction they would need.

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