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”
A 3rd party doesn’t get traction, even if they make more sense than the primary two, only because people believe a 3rd party has no chance. They’ve been convinced we’re only stuck with the same 2 evils, so they then vote for 1 of the worse 2 choices, fulfilling the doomed prophecy of the same 2 parties, validating their own idea that nothing will change the current 2 party system, while failing to realize their lack of faith and courage keeps it the way it is.
Onto abortion, maybe some could be persuaded to vote for a pro-choice candidate if it can be shown that their policies actually stop more abortions than the pro-life candidate. But to show that the mother never really wanted one anyways? No, I don’t think that will help – I think the pro-life people will say, “sure, I didn’t want my kids either, but I raise them anyways,” and “so, you intentionally participated in something that you knew could result in the creation of another life, but because you didn’t want to exercise some self control, you want to terminate that life, that you were complicit in creating?”
It would be like have two candidates running on multiple things like economy, education, military spending, but one was for racial equality and the other was fine with discrimination – for many, they’d vote for the one with racial equality, even if that candidate was clearly worse on everything else – I think that’s how a lot on the right view abortion (and some on the left view other issues) – abortion, to them, isn’t a choice, it’s not telling a woman what to do with her body, it’s the preservation of life, it’s the advocacy for a human life that cannot be an advocate for itself – so, to them, it’s so big in the the ethical or principle area, that they cannot see beyond it – so it’s a big hurdle to overcome, and I think the most effective argument would to be show the numbers, to prove with pie charts and bar graphs, that sex ed does more to reduce and limit abortions than legislation.
… but in order for a 3rd party to get a foothold, I think it would have to win a presidential election. Winning a congressional seat has happened and doesn’t do much. I think it works like TV prisons – where no one lasts long alone… a 3rd party candidate is forced to choose a side, whether to go left or to go right, in order to get a few small things of their own accomplished – which just makes them fall into a party line, essentially a lukewarm Rep or Dem. If they don’t choose a side, both sides block them from accomplishing anything.
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Neil, I tend to side with KC on the racist thing. I don’t think it’s fare or accurate (sure not helpful) at all to suggest that the majority of republican Christians have embraced racism. I think this fallacy is also part of what led to Trump getting elected – these Republican Christians were too busy being annoyed at being unfairly labeled “racist,” that they failed to take a better look at Trump – all they saw was someone willing and unafraid to say, “FU, I’m not racist because I’m a Republican.” some are, sure, but I really do not think it’s the majority.
I was just listening to NPR at lunch and someone on there commented that many on the Tea Party who thought that too much entitlement programs were being spend on people who weren’t worthy of them, and much of those they felt unworthy were minorities – this suggests, whether intentionally or unintentionally, that whoever felt like entitlements needed to be dialed back, didn’t like minorities – when in truth, I think most Tea Partiers didn’t want money being given to anyone who they felt like didn’t try hard enough to work on their own, with no thought to color at all – they’re just frugal jerks, in other words, but not racist.
And once we’ve fallen into “you’re a racist,” / “No I’m not” argument, we miss the opportunity to look deeper into poverty, and the correlation with race, and the root causes of it, or the strong tide left by slavery and segregation, to ever really address and begin to fix the problem.
It’s similar to what is going on some now, how some seem to be suggesting that unless you fully support taking a knee during the national anthem, that you don’t care about racial disparity or discrimination. People hear that suggestion, get angry, too angry to see much else, and spend their time defending themselves, and the cycle continues…
I think many republicans vote republican because of 3 primary reasons 1) fiscal conservatism 2) abortion (what they see as Human protection and right of life) and 3) religion (if you don’t love Jesus, then you don’t know real love, since God/Jesus is love – or don’t know true wisdom, since god gives wisdom) – they may be dumb reasons, but being dumb doesn’t automatically suggest being a racist.
I have no doubt that some people didn’t vote for Obama because he was black, just like some did vote for him because he was black, just like some didn’t vote for Hillary because she was a woman, just like some did vote for her just because she was a woman, etc, etc. – but to most, they don’t vote for a democrat, because Republicans don’t vote for democrats, and vise versa.
Just have to throw this in here, william, related to your last paragraph. I didn’t vote for tRUmp because he’s a Class A Jerk. Had nothing to do with political affiliation, gender, or heritage. 🙂
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Nan, sure. Just like not all Republicans are racists, and not all democrats are communists
I didnt vote for Trump either, because he’s a jerk, a fool, and because I think his his record shows that he’ll do anything and everything he can to further himself at the expense of anyone and everything else. I am actually not convinced he’s a racist, I think he’s a jerk and a douche to everyone regardless of skin color or ethnicity.
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Nan, I can’t help but be curious – do your votes typically get cast toward one particular party?
Right now, I’m trying to think the same for myself… I think if anything, i tend to let my bias lead me to vote 3rd party more times than not, simply because I feel like each major party choice is a choice between two bad ideas – like selecting between stomach cancer or rectal cancer… I’d just rather not have either,… and find it hard to view one as better or less worse than the other…
Thank you William for explaining my position far better than I could Thumbs up !
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thanks, Kc – but dont worry, someone will come along and show us the holes…
Yes, I tend to vote my party’s candidate, but if the third party candidate fills in enough of the blanks for me, I’ll cast my vote in that direction.
Quite frankly, william, I HATE voting at all. I do it because I support the principle behind it … although it seems with the electoral college (as illustrated in the recent election), we don’t always get the person we want. 😦
the electoral college is interesting to me.
Trump won per the rules, so I don’t mind too much. I’d feel differently if the electoral college voted differently than what their states indicated.
It revolves around state rights, so the election is not a collective of the nation, but more like each state declaring who they choose as a state.
the problems I have with it is that it’s still unfair in most states. A lot of states give 100% of their electoral votes to the candidate that wins, even if they only win by a 51/49 split. If bigger state gets more votes based on population, but awards those votes disproportionately, that seems to defeat the purpose of having more votes… at least to me.
You could fix this making all states award electoral votes proportionately. or by all states only being allowed 1 vote (making all states equals, regardless of size), or simply by doing away with the electoral college and going solely off of popular vote – but then the states lose some autonomy in a way, and I dont really know how I feel about that…
I kinda like the 1 vote per state and in the event of a tie, we default to popular vote – if there’s a tie there, the supreme court can decide since they decide everything else and don’t have to worry about getting reelected and if there’s a tie there – coin flip.
Your analysis supports my overall distaste for voting. It just seems there could/should be a better way. Perhaps I feel this way because of the most recent election? Anyway, guess for the time being we’re stuck with the current clown. At least until Mueller’s investigation reveals what many of us suspect it will.
Trump is his own worst enemy. If he’d stay quiet he would save himself from at least half his troubles.
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But you just said that it revolves around states rights. And each state has the right to decide how to use electoral college votes.
Can you at least make up your mind one way or the other?
No, Neil, I cannot “at least” make up my mind. I’m brainstorming, sir.
This may surprise everyone here, but I’m not running for office or composing any policy change that I intend to pitch to congress.
And right, each state can decide what they do with their own votes – and have. Since I like state rights and some semblance of state autonomy, I can abide with it as it is – except I have to hear everyone complain when it doesn’t work out the way they’d like – so, I think about other ways that a state could keep a semblance of autonomy while becoming more fair – so I tossed out a few ideas – including one that doesn’t care about state autonomy (because i’m benevolent).
You could likely, very easily, make up your own mind about how it should work, and I could do the same, but unless you or I assume the position of dictator, taking the nation under our wing and care, whatever you or I make up in our own minds will likely still be debated by everyone else, and be subject to change.
Also, since I am aware that I am not the great and power oz, or even the 2nd wisest man there is, I am content to toss out a few ideas for discussion, while also entertaining different ideas from others.
Thanks again for the thoughtful comment and contribution. It added a lot.
First of all, there was a time when we could have viewed the parties pretty evenly and complained about their respective flaws, but for the last decade or two, the Republicans have run so hard right they’ve gone plaid. It’s really no contest right now.
Who is there on the left that’s unreasonable and impossible to work with? I can think of a few, maybe. But on the right? Cruz, McConnell, the entire Freedom Caucus, etc, etc, etc. The reasonable ones are few and far between, and they constantly have to worry about people running against them on the right. You hear constituents complain about “RINOs” and castigate people like Graham and McCain as though they’re flaming liberals. It’s gotten so insane that Donald Trump — DONALD EFFING TRUMP — became their nominee, and they still voted for him!
So I don’t have much sympathy for the “both sides are horrible” stuff. Sorry, but the Dems are the only thing we’ve got right now. They may not be perfect, but there’s simply nothing left.
Third parties have come up in the past when at least one party has been in disarray — like the Republicans taking the place of the Whigs. And that’s typically what happens — a third party supplants one of the other two, and we wind up with 2 main parties again. That’s just how our system happens to work.
So let’s say a third party candidate became President. What then? It would have been after an election in which the Democrats and Republicans both put up candidates who somehow lost. Neither party would likely be very excited to work with a 3rd party President, so how likely would he or she be to get anything done?
I’m not saying it’s impossible, but it’s extremely unlikely. Majority wins in this country, so a third party presents too much of a risk for enough people to switch.
So when it comes to voting, I do feel some frustration with those who voted 3rd party in November, especially if they lived in close states. There was simply no contest between Trump and Hillary. None at all. Even for those who didn’t like her, she’s at least sane and capable.
But no, Republicans won. So now we have an idiot in charge of the launch codes, a climate change denier in charge of the EPA, a skeleton crew at the State Dept, an Attorney General who wants to move backwards, efforts to gut healthcare with absolutely no plans to put in its place, insane behavior and decisions with the Paris Accords and the G20 Summit, reckless actions with Iran and North Korea, a stolen Supreme Court Justice, etc, etc. And we just gotta live with it for years. It’s painful, and it makes no sense. We can do better.
I understand why some are frustrated at the 2-party system and how they wish that other people would vote enough to make a 3rd party viable, but they just don’t. Instead, I think it would be more productive to be realistic about the odds and make sure the wrong people don’t keep winding up in office.
I get your view, nate, which also explains why you’re a democrat. But to a lot of republicans, the democrats and left lean too far away from things they put a lot of stock in. You probably dont care too much about how the 2nd amendment is applied, except you likely would be for greater control and more restriction, where as they tend to see it as another check and balance to the government, nearly equal with the executive, legislative and judicial branches – we may disagree with that view, but many have it.
And again, many of them view the democrat position on abortion to be contradictory and more akin to a violation of human rights, so they cant seem to side themselves with it.
And then other issues, like economics and entitlements and taxation, where the democrats tend to have very different and unbending views, turn the republicans and others off.
Not to mention the Democrats tendency to label anyone a racist who wants immigration or entitlement reform reform. Or to say that they didn’t vote for Obama because they were racists, etc. I really think this tactic backfired on the democrats and encouraged a lot of these “ignorant hayseeds” to come out and vote for. Somehow, through these people’s aggravation, they let themselves see Trump as a great businessman and as a guy who voiced the big “eff you!” that they were thinking.
I didn’t vote for Trump, and I don’t like him. I was shocked when he won – but I think I see how it happened.
I can agree that overall the Republican (at least the last several years) have been the bigger jerks, but the choice is between a bad idea and a less bad idea, because the Dems have their issues.
Each side tends to think that they have the better, smarter way, and are unable to sympathize with the other view, which to me, is part of the problem. Two sides thinking they know best for everyone, thinking the other is dumber.
And really, what would be different with Hillary? The republicans and democrats would still be stonewalling each other in congress and the Republicans would have only double-downed on their tomfoolery had she been elected. North Korea would still be building nukes and launching missiles. Race relations didn’t improve with Obama, so I see no evidence that they’d have improved with Hillary, who virtually half the nation didnt want Hillary either – no matter who won, half the nation was going to be disappointed.
But, when I ask, a lot of people tend to say that they liked a 3rd party guy best, but didn’t vote for him because he didn’t have a chance. This means that a lot of people are voting for someone that hate less, rather than voting for the one they liked best – this doesn’t sit well with me. Why don’t we select the best candidate? Who cares if it’s unlikely or hard? Don’t be sacred, don’t be afraid to try something hard, especially if it’s the best option. And maybe if a 3rd party guy won, both sides would finally wake up out of their little corners that they’ve marked off for themselves and realize that most Americans don’t like them and that they need to change. But I’m cynical and don’t think highly of people, so I do not have high hopes that this will ever happen. I just plan on voting for the candidate that I think is best, whether it’s an uphill battle or a sure thing.
I dont have much sympathy for people who are still upset that Trump is the president and wish Hillary were there. Sure, Hillary would be better than Trump, but that’s not saying much since a sock puppet without a hand in it would be better than Trump.
It may be easy for me, because I dont have a side. And I dont think that’s bad – I think the founding fathers actually didnt want the country to fracture in parts, but it just happened. and each part has it’s own sub parts – but I feel like that makes it like a religion.
and also, we have enough built in checks and balances that the wrong person can only do so much harm – it’s also why the right person can only do so much good, too, but…
The country wont burn down. And really, the tax reform, if it passes, may be beneficial – so somethings may work out a little. Fortunately, they were unable to repeal the ACA, so maybe now they’ll try to improve what we have instead of blowing it away.
And that’s exactly why I think it was the wrong time to go with 3rd party candidates.
If Hillary had won, yes, there would still be a lot of division in the country. But there are different scenarios for how it could have played out, depending on how large her margin of victory was. The chance of Trump winning was about the same as Hillary’s chance of winning in a landslide. And if that had happened, maybe the Republicans would have finally made a turn back toward the center and leave the insane wing of the party behind.
Even if that hadn’t happened, Hillary has always had high approval numbers when she’s in office. Yes, she’s always been viscerally hated by a segment of the population, and that wouldn’t have changed. But she’s worked well with Republicans in the past, she understands the government very well, and she’s extremely smart. Yes, she has flaws, and she’s never been a cheer-leader style candidate. But she knows her stuff, and she works hard.
Republicans used to stand for fiscal responsibility, and I admire that. But they don’t stand for that anymore. They complain about the deficit until they actually have a chance to do something about it, and then they just want to slash taxes without really reducing spending, and the deficit soars. At least Dems typically try to pay for their spending.
Republicans are more likely to have harsh sentencing while reducing funding to public schools, which leads to overcrowded prisons, more reliance on social safety nets, etc. Good investment in schools, infrastructure, and after school programs can help reduce crime, teen pregnancy, and abortions, while also spurring economic growth and creating better-paying jobs. The bottom-up approach works, but you only get that with Dems.
When it comes to things like the 2nd Amendment, public opinion is in much closer agreement than the NRA would have us all believe. An incredibly high percentage of Americans (I think it’s 80 or 90%) agree on common-sense legislation that keeps guns out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them, while maintaining access for everyone else. You should watch Jordan Klepper Solves Guns — it’s just a single episode, and it does a good job of exploring the issue.
There may come a time when things shift and the Democrats go way too far to the left, and Republicans shift toward the middle and become the moderate party. But that’s not the world we live in right now. Yes, there are people on the left who scream and overreact, etc, but that’s not the party as a whole. And we have to look at what kinds of policies the parties are actually trying to implement, not just the rhetoric from their extremes. When we do that, I just think there’s no comparison. Surely I’m not the only one who sees that?
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I dont completely diagree, I just see things slightly differently, but only slightly.
I do think Hillary would better, but I saw someone at the time that I actually liked more – I knew he didnt have a shot, but he doesnt have a shot because of people’s beliefs, not because he wasnt actually better, and I just didnt want to play that game.
and I feel the need to say that I appreciate the Space Balls reference
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With Donald Trump as our president, I am ashamed to call myself an American. When I go abroad and am asked where I am from, my answer is, “I’m a Californian”.
In the past it was America to whom the democratic world looked for moral leadership, now I believe another country has taken over that role: Germany. Modern Germany and her chancellor are now the face of global democratic principles and moral behavior.
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no one who speaks German can be bad
I gotta hand it to you, William, that was pretty funny. 🙂
But yeah Gary, I know what you mean. I hope that whoever’s President next can undo much of the damage Trump is doing to our reputation.
lol, it was from a Simpsons Episode.
and it is funny
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I’m not falling apart with grief over Trump, but I am still just shocked that he made in through the primaries and even more so that he actually won it all… insane…
I feel like I don’t know anything anymore and can only hope that it doesn’t happen again, but I’ve lost a lot of faith in our countryman. Don’t forget, as embarrassing as Trump is, the embarrassment doesn’t end with him since like half the country voted for him…
I’ve thought about other countries – like what place would be better than here, what language do I need to learn, but still – I so far I think I’d prefer to be here… just maybe on my own secluded 10,000 acres, here, but here… for now, at least.
With global worming, there may be some nice beach front lots opening up in Antarctica, so there’s that to consider.