Faith-based leaders have come to the defense of Roy Moore, the Republican Senate candidate who has mounting sexual misconduct allegations against him.
According to AL.com, about 50 pastors in Alabama have signed a letter indicating their support for him. He has been accused of sexually assaulting and harassing various women over the years, as well as initiating sexual encounters with teenage girls, one whom was only 14 at the time. Moore has denied these allegations, claiming it was “fake news” created by Democrats and the Republican establishment.
“This attack on Judge Moore is an attempt by the Democrats to sway voters in Alabama," Pastor David Floyd of Marvyn Parkway Baptist Church told AL.com. “I don't believe those women. In this country you are innocent until proven guilty.”
Others suggested these allegations—along with those in Hollywood—were part of a much larger problem: “a war on men.”
“More women are sexual predators than men,” Pastor Franklin Raddish of the Capitol Hill Independent Baptist Ministries said. “Women are chasing young boys up and down the road, but we don't hear about that because it's not PC.”
The letter, which is posted on the Facebook belonging to Moore’s wife, Kayla, refers to the politician as a "warrior for the unborn child, defender of the sanctity of marriage, and a champion for religious liberty." It also states he is a “uniquely qualified” candidate that will “restore integrity and honor to our nation's Capitol.”
It then lists the names of more than 50 pastors and the respective churches; however, it appears this letter was a recycled endorsement that was written and signed prior to the sexual misconduct allegations. The original letter is posted on Moore’s official website.
Tijuanna Adetunji told AL.com said she and her husband, Bishop Fred Adetunji, were not contacted about the letter, which seems to imply their support for Moore in wake of the sex scandal. She said they did not give their permission for their names to be used on this version.
Pastor Thad Endicott has also asked for his name to be removed.
“The list that has recently circulated was evidently copied and pasted from the August endorsements without checking to see if I still endorsed Moore,” he said.
It’s reassuring to know that there is a large group of Alabama religious leaders who have publicly denounced Moore. AL.com points to a letter signed by 59 progressive Christian ministers.
“Even before the recent allegations of sexual abuse, Roy Moore demonstrated that he was not fit for office, and that his extremist values and actions are not consistent with traditional Christian values or good Christian character,” the letter reads in part. “He and politicians like him have cynically used Christianity for their own goals. But Roy Moore does not speak for Christianity, and he acts in ways that are contrary to our faith.”