I’ve been writing about Roy Moore for almost fifteen years.
Roy Moore has a 35-year record of political activity and belief that disqualifies him from public office in America.
This has very little to do with his taste for teenage females. And, contrary to what some breathless headlines say, Roy Moore is not a pedophile.
Pedophiles are sexually attracted to PRE-pubescent males and/or females. Every expert in this complex field agrees that a large percentage of pedophiles (probably half or more) NEVER touch a single child inappropriately. As a group, pedophiles are no more powerless over their sexual desires than any other non-psychotic group. Which is to say that some pedophiles, like some non-pedophiles, act out their desires even though they know they shouldn’t. And that most don’t.
Roy Moore’s neighbors and colleagues apparently knew of his fondness for young teen women. Of course any coercion—which has yet to be proven—is against the law, and should be punished harshly. Invitations or suggestions that various teens felt were creepy? That isn’t illegal, and while I wouldn’t want Moore dating my daughter, that wouldn’t disqualify him from public office.
What does disqualify Roy Moore is his traitorous views of our Constitution and legal system.
When Moore was first appointed a local judge in 1982, he put up a plaque of the Ten Commandments in his courtroom “to establish the moral foundation of our law.” He would begin sessions by praying for jurors’ wisdom, and sometimes asked a clergyman to lead the jury pool in prayer.
By the time he was sworn in as Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court in 2001, Moore said that he had “come to realize the real meaning of the First Amendment and its relationship to the God on whom the oath was based. My mind had been opened to the spiritual war occurring in our state and our nation that was slowly removing the knowledge of that relationship between God and law.”
Continued Moore, “I pledged to support not only the U.S. Constitution, but the Alabama Constitution as well, which provided in its preamble that the state established justice by ‘invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God.’ The connection between God and our law could not be more clear.”
Six months later, this Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court installed a 5,000-pound granite monument of the Ten Commandments in the state Supreme Court building. For two years America’s legal process methodically tried to get him to move the monument, and he steadfastly refused. When he refused a federal court order to do so, he was removed from the bench—and vowed he had done nothing wrong.
That’s right—the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court refused to obey a federal court order. Since he continues to believe he did the right thing, he is unfit for public office. From my 2005 book America’s War On Sex, here are his own words while on trial in 2003:
State Attorney General Pryor: And your understanding is that the federal court ordered that you could not acknowledge God [in the courtroom], isn’t that right?
Roy Moore: Yes.
Pryor: And if you resume your duties as Chief Justice after this proceeding, you will continue to acknowledge God as you have testified that you would today?
Moore: That’s right
Pryor: No matter what any other official says?
Moore: Absolutely. Let me clarify that. Without an acknowledgement of God, I cannot do my duties. I must acknowledge God…
Pryor: If you do resume your duties as Chief Justice, you will continue to do that without regard to what any other official says. Isn’t that right?
Moore: …I must.
Moore says God is the basis of American government, which he envisions as a theocracy. “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers,” he says. “Separation of church and state does not mean separation of God and government! We must return God to our public life and restore the moral foundation of our law.”
This is exactly what the Ayatollahs of Iran say.
After a series of appeals, Moore was removed from the bench in 2004.
He ran again for Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in 2012, and won. Some two years later, Judge Roy Moore was charged with ethical violations for publicly encouraging state officials and judges to ignore federal court rulings overturning bans on same-sex marriage, including Alabama’s.
In 2016 after the U.S. Supreme Court (in Obergefell v. Hodges) overturned all state bans on same-sex marriage, Judge Moore ordered lower court judges to ignore the federal ruling, citing their “ministerial duty not to issue any [same-sex] marriage license.”
Later that year Moore was found guilty of gross violations of judicial ethics as he continued to claim a moral justification for violating the law and instructing state officials to do the same. He appealed his removal from the bench, and after a series of legal maneuvers failed, on April 26, 2017 he announced he was running for U.S. Senate.
And that’s why Roy Moore is unqualified to run for U.S. Senator, state judge, or town dogcatcher. He is a traitor—he wants to overturn the American system of government, and he has knowingly acted in defiance of the law in order to do so. Ten years ago he was one of the first to publicly question Barack Obama’s citizenship. He affirmed his “birther” conspiracy theory as recently as a year ago, attempting to delegitimize America’s electoral process.
While his behavior toward young women long ago was creepy, probably predatory, and possibly even criminal, it’s too bad that this is what has people distancing themselves from him.
He has damaged our democracy for decades—right up to the current year—and only a few defenders of secular democracy make a fuss. He messed with the psyches of a half-dozen women thirty years ago—certainly a bad thing—and people are salivating over the ancient scandal.
If only screwing with our secular democracy were as salacious as trying to screw high school girls.