In at least 40 states, Roy Moore’s bid to enter the Senate would be in a death spiral at this point. There is mounting evidence that he molested and harassed several women in the 1970s and 1980s, and also pursued girls young enough to be his daughter.
Moreover, his defense for these allegations amounts to little more then screaming “FAKE NEWS!” and claiming his opponents are out to get him because he’s an open and unashamed Christian conservative. His only two substantive attempts to respond to the charges have fallen flat. He was caught lying about court documents related to his involvement in one accuser’s divorce. His campaign dismissed The Washington Post’s attempt to verify its claims that another accuser lied about her address as coming from a “worthless piece of crap.”
But he’s running in Alabama, one of the most fundified states in the nation. Moore has been playing this to the hilt. He’s spent most of his time attacking his Democratic opponent, Doug Jones, for his stance on abortion.
But apparently there may be another factor at play. Apparently Moore’s diehard fundie supporters are trying to convince Alabamians that Moore’s opponents are driven by demons.
Two weeks ago, a host of religious right activists, led by rabid forced-birther Janet Porter–best known as the woman behind the “heartbeat bill”–descended on Birmingham to support Moore. As you might expect from such a gathering, there was a lot of red meat flying around. Speaker after speaker slammed the “lynch mob media,” “communist Democrats,” “anti-God Republicans,” and other perceived foes of the good judge from Gadsden.
Among them were Rusty Thomas, leader of Operation Save America–the original Operation Rescue–and former Navy chaplain-turned-activist Gordon Klingenschmitt. After the festivities ended, Klingenschmitt interviewed Thomas for his podcast, “Pray in Jesus’ Name News.” Thomas used that interview to deliver a dire warning to those opposing Moore–they’re being played by the devil. Watch here.
Thomas came to Birmingham because he wanted to stand with Moore and keep his supporters from being “robbed of their election.” He wanted the people of Alabama to send “a strong message” that they weren’t willing to “kiss the ring” of the establishment.
Later, Klingenschmitt mused that there was “a spiritual battle” playing out in the special election. Thomas agreed, and believed there were a lot of believers in the audience who were “waffling” and “trying to play it safe” by backing away from Moore. But in Thomas’ view, “this is not the time to play it safe.” He believed a demonic spirit had “set its sights” on Moore and was doing all it could to derail him. Apparently this spirit knows that Moore “represents a danger to the status quo that has been running this nation into the ground.”
From where Thomas was sitting, a good chunk of that status quo was driven by the devil himself.
“And yes–part of this is demonic! We are dealing with lies, we are dealing with fraud, we are dealing with the accusation against the brethren. And Christians, this is not time to protect your little political hides and your so-called reputations. Jesus made himself no reputation. He laid it down to save us. And we have to lay down our reputations to save others. And so it’s very, very important to understand this truth. This is a time for courage. And if we have to bear the reproach, if we have to bear the shame to do what it right before God, so be it!”
We’ve heard this before. For the better part of a year, the nation’s moral guardians have warned us against opposing Trump. Their explanation? The opposition to Trump is supposedly driven by witchcraft, demons, and the devil himself.
At least Thomas was being honest. He doesn’t care about hitching his wagon to a man whom no fewer than nine women have said molested or improperly pursued them. He doesn’t care about the many witnesses who have corroborated their story. He doesn’t care that most of Moore’s “defense” consists of screaming “FAKE NEWS!” And he doesn’t care that Moore’s only substantive attempts to address these allegations have only made him look foolish.
But none of that matters to Thomas and the other so-called moral guardians who showed up in Birmingham. The only things that matter to them are rolling back abortion and marriage equality. And if sexual assault victims get thrown under the bus, who cares. They’re making America great again!
It says a lot about this country that a guy can even talk about running for Senate even in the face of mounting evidence that he is a depraved and debauched jerk. It says even more that there are so-called leaders willing to throw away their morals and their basic standards of decency to prop him up such a person–all for the sake of power.
Well, here’s a news flash, Rusty. Regardless of how this race turns out, we will not forget this. And we will make sure that Moore is tied around you and every other religious right figure supporting him like an anchor–and that said anchor drags you all down.
(featured image courtesy Operation Save America’s Facebook)