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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Roy Moore and the Christian Right

As a Christian and a former Alabama Republican, I feel compelled to weigh in on the accusations of sexual misconduct against Republican senatorial candidate Roy Moore. For many, the question seems to be:  Who is more believable? Do you believe Moore or his accusers?

The reasoning goes something like this:  Since the accusations against Moore have the potential for ruining his reputation and political career, he must be given the benefit of the doubt (or, at the very least, the statements of his accusers must be regarded with extreme skepticism). In other words, the stakes are simply too high to just accept the testimony of these witnesses.

After listening to some of the Christian Right's commentary on this affair, it occurs to me that they are not following the directives given in their own scriptures. What is the Biblical standard? What is the Biblical standard of guilt?

In Deuteronomy 19:15, we read: "One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established."

Christ also instructed his disciples to make sure that two or three witnesses would be present to establish exactly what was said. (Matthew 18:16) Paul told the Corinthians that his third visit to them would satisfy the requirement that "In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established." (II Corinthians 13:1)

Six women have accused Roy Moore of inappropriate sexual conduct.

Roy Moore has said that he first noticed his present wife when she was a teenager.

According to the Christian Bible, is the matter established?


  1. Two things to note:

    (1) I think the Bible presumes that the witnesses are truthful. By that, I mean they must actually have WITNESSED it. For these women to be witnesses, it has to be shown that they were there. If a woman is fabricating some meeting, then she isn't a witness. Her word should not be accepted until it is certain that she was a witness.

    (2) what is at issue is an event. Did he do it or didn't he? If a woman says he did, then there has to have been a second witness to that same event, not to some other similar event.

  2. I think that we normally presume that victims are innocent of any wrongdoing. And, although we are talking about different events, they are talking about the same kind of behavior. Shouldn't that also serve to corroborate these individual accounts?