TOM DAVIES: The Verdict — Missing In Action

The evangelical leadership is MIA — missing in action — when it comes to Roy Moore of Alabama. A former state prosecutor, he was twice elected to the Alabama Supreme Court and twice removed for bad behavior. He is now a candidate for the United States Senate for Alabama … and facing serious questions about his past behavior with young girls.

According to news reports, Moore was banned from a shopping center many moons ago because he was making young girls uncomfortable. Four adult women have publicly accused him of sexual assault when they were between 14 and 18 years of age. They have provided details, complete with supporting witnesses, to professional journalists investigating the long-circulating rumors back in Alabama. A fifth woman has now come forward and publicly disclosed what she claims Moore did to her when she was 16. He was he was in his 30s.

All of these women have identified witnesses whom they told about their experiences with Moore, most at the time of occurrence and some years later — but all long before his current political campaign.

When Moore first announced his run for the Senate, 53 evangelical ministers wrote a detailed letter of support. That was long before any of the current allegations were made public. Then the dirty tricks came into play. Moore’s wife has republished their letter again now, after the new information has come to light, with the same 53 signatures included but the current date — all without the signers’ knowledge or consent.

Kayla Moore’s letter was specifically intended to claim continuing religious support of her husband, even after the women have come forward. It is false.

Moore was, and largely still is, the favorite of evangelicals because of his belief in the supremacy of the Christian God over the U.S. Constitution.

The problem with this senator-wannabe is that he violated his judicial oath to uphold the Constitution of Alabama when he was ordered to remove the Ten Commandments from his courthouse by the United States Supreme Court but refused to do so.

If elected to the U.S. Senate, Moore would be required to take an oath to uphold the federal laws of our country. Just as he did in Alabama, he might very well take the oath but then ignore it.

People question why these ladies have forward only now. Well, why have other women been coming forward in the entertainment industry? In this male-dominated culture, there has always been a tendency to look the other way when it comes to sexual assault.

Sure, when it involves a beating and physical brute force too severe and obvious to be hidden, the men may be prosecuted. But remember the tape of President 45 bragging that because of his position as a wealthy celebrity he could do anything to women, and they’d like it? Even after that videotape was broadcast, 45 was elected president. One has to wonder: Just what must the male of the species do to cause him to pay the price for his bad sexual related behavior?

The answer to that is both simple and complicated. The simple part is that, at least for now — and hopefully forever — women have a voice. The male of the species is listening right now and quaking in his boots.

The Good Old Boys Club still claim that every time a female complains about improper sexual conduct, it’s politically motivated … or it just can’t be true because otherwise she’d have complained when it happened.

Consider yourself a 14-year-old young lady. A well-know 33-year-old prosecutor, Roy Moore, offers to give you a ride home, you accept. He then attempts to assault you. You resist and are thrown out of the car. He was trying to make you have oral sex, and you thought after that he would rape you.

After he warned you not to tell anyone, you go home, shaken and at your wits’ end. That happened to a 14-year-old, and she kept her secret shame to herself until recently. She has nothing to gain personally by telling it now. And what happens? She is attacked by Moore and his supporters as a liar.

Put yourself in the shoes of a young lady under those circumstances (or much worse). You feel ashamed and terrified, and you sincerely don’t believe that anyone would believe you if you talked. In some cases, you confide in close friends but not your parents. You are feeling shame for something you yourself did not do.

Finally, that problem is now being addressed as never before. We’re long past the time where we should begin to take these complaints seriously and stop the “slut shaming.”

In their original letter supporting Moore, the Alabama pastors said, “We are ready to join the fight and send a bold message to Washington: Dishonesty, fear of man and immorality are an affront to our convictions and our Savior, and we won’t put up with it any longer.”

The quote I just inserted is, in fact, a good message as stated. It is a call to arms to believe, honor and protect women — and men also, as men have been sexually assaulted, and this applies to them equally.

It is easy to fault people when you have not walked in their shoes. I personally consider the women who are speaking out to be freeing themselves from what they long thought was their personal shame. They are placing the blame where it belongs, on the perpetrator.

I cannot imagine how an assault victim feels when she thinks she has to keep what happened to her from the world. To attack her when she comes forward now because of the delay is part of the very problem itself. It must stop.

True, we should not prejudge nor automatically condemn individuals. But what we can do is listen, show compassion, control our prejudices and look for truth. This is not a problem that women created. It is a situation that man foisted upon them. and it must stop.

When I posted some views on Facebook that were specifically limited to the Roy Moore situation, sure as grass is green, some people brought the Catholic Church and pedophilia into the conversation. That only displays their own bias, prejudgment and ignorance.

I’d like to think most people who believe in a creator believe in justice. Recent events in this country sometimes seem to have proven me wrong. But there is hope, and there is your vote. Do not lose either — ever. Amen.

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