Your Disgust for Roy Moore’s Evangelicals May Say More about You than the Actual Data

Occam's razor, hermeneutics, and what the research really says

The accusations against Roy Moore are credible and Moore should step down. If he continues to maintain his innocence, he should still step down so he can fight to clear his name, for the good of his state, for the success of his party, and to end the embarrassment he is causing evangelicals.

Now, what Moore is credibly accused of is horrific. Christians need to avoid even the appearance of ambivalence towards sexual assault and child molestation. The world is watching and the gospel demands us take a stand against such sin and to stand with the victims.

That should be, and has been for me and many others, our primary focus.

Yet, in addition, as an evangelical and a researcher, that damage to evangelical reputation also needs some fair-minded discussion.

The Backdrop

Just this past Sunday, Kayla Moore, wife of U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore, shared a letter on her Facebook page signed by 53 Alabama pastors wishing to pledge their support for his candidacy. In the letter, the signees told of their confidence in Moore’s character—namely, his love of God’s word, care for others, and defender of just causes.

Last night, Sojourners shared an article entitled “More Than 50 Pastors Sign Letter of Support for Roy Moore” and alongside it, they simply tweeted “Forgive us, Lord.”

But why? Why does Sojourners want us to repent?

The Narrative

Since the release of this letter, countless news outlets have jumped at the chance to cast criticism on these pastors. These critiques worsened after a recent Alabama state poll asked evangelicals in Alabama how the recent allegations affect their willingness to vote for Moore in the upcoming election; 37% of evangelicals said they were more likely to support him. ...

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