It's Time to Stop Defending Judge Roy Moore

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(Photo: Reuters/Marvin Gentry)Republican candidate Roy Moore makes his victory speech after defeating incumbent Luther Strange to his supporters at the RSA Activity center in Montgomery, Alabama, U.S. September 26, 2017, during the runoff election for the Republican nomination for Alabama's U.S. Senate seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

I wanted to follow-up my article from Friday morning about the allegations about former Roy Moore, the former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court and Republican nominee in Alabama's U.S. Senate race.

At the end of my piece I wrote:

This situation, looking at how Moore responded, leaves us ultimately with two possible conclusions. Either Moore is lying or the women and The Washington Post (by extension) are lying.

In a nutshell, Christians should strive for truth. We should desire and pray for the truth to come out wherever it leads. If the accusations are true, Christian voters in Alabama should hold Moore accountable by pressuring him to drop out or by not voting for him if he doesn't. If it isn't true then the accusers and The Washington Post must be held accountable.

Our thirst for truth should override any loyalty to a candidate (or hatred of that candidate), as well as, loyalty or hatred/distrust of a particular news outlet.

Some new information has come to light that I think is particularly bad for Moore. The first piece is what the candidate said himself during his bizarre interview with Sean Hannity on Friday, and to Hannity's credit, he was asking pointed questions.

He didn't deny dating high school girls.

Looking at the transcript of this interview. He denies the allegations of the sexual encounter. He did say he dated "a lot of young ladies" after his time in the military. He admits to knowing Debbie Wesson Gibson and remembered speaking in her high school Civics class. Gibson said she was 17-years-old, and they went on several dates that did not progress beyond kissing. Moore said he does not remember whether or not he dated her when Hannity asked him, "No but I don't remember going out on dates. I knew her as a friend. If we did go on dates then we did. But I do not remember that."

He also knew one of the other women, Gloria Thacker Deason, he didn't deny going on a date with her, but said he remembers her being 19, not 18. He also denied providing alcohol for her since the county they lived in was a dry one.

Hannity then asked if he ever dated girls as young as 17-years-old when he was in his 30s.

HANNITY: At that time in your life ... Let me ask you this you do remember these girls would it be unusual for you as a 32-year-old guy to have dated a woman as young as 17? That would be a 15-year difference or a girl 18. Do you remember dating girls that young at that time?

MOORE: Not generally, no. If did, you know, I'm not going to dispute anything but I don't remember anything like that.

HANNITY: But you don't specifically remember having any girlfriend that was in her late teens even at that time?

MOORE: I don't remember that and I don't remember ever dating any girl without the permission of her mother. And I think in her statement she said that her mother actually encouraged her to go out with me.

He doesn't remember if he went out on dates with girls that young, but he does remember never dating girls without the permission of their mother.

He denied even meeting Leigh Corfman outside the courtroom where her mom had a custody hearing, but strangely he can't remember the dates he had.

Hannity pressed him further on asking for permission from the mother before going on dates:

HANNITY: You mentioned you'd never go out with any young girl I assume you meant like when you were 32 at that time of your life, would you always ask the permission of the parent before you would take a girl out?

MOORE: Well I mean I'm saying that in their statements that they made these two young girls said their mother actually encouraged them to be friends with me. And you know that's what they said. I don't remember. I wasn't privy to their conversation but obviously, we never had any sexual activity. There was never anything like that. And the behavior was altogether appropriate according to them.

Moore at the end of the interview said that another article coming out would not be a surprise, "I don't know what's coming next but I'm sure that in the next four weeks they're going to come out with another article because they've got an agenda and they're fulfilling their agenda right as we speak," he told Hannity.

A colleague said it was common knowledge he dated high school girls.

So there's the interview. Then on Saturday, one of his colleagues at that time said it was common knowledge he dated teenagers.

This, of course, will be shot down by Moore supporters because it comes from CNN, but I think it is a pretty damning piece of evidence that lends further credibility to the original article from The Washington Post that already looked pretty credible.

From 1982 to 1985, Teresa Jones served as deputy district attorney for Etowah County, AL. She told CNN that no one ever brought up the issue with Moore, but several people thought it was unusual that Moore would date high school girls.

"It was common knowledge that Roy Moore dated high school girls, everyone we knew thought it was weird," Jones told CNN. "We wondered why someone his age would hang out at high school football games and the mall, but you really wouldn't say anything to someone like that."

Moore served as a deputy district attorney in Etowah County from 1977 to 1982.

Conclusion:

Moore's interview with Hannity is one of the reasons why defense attorneys will tell their clients to shut up. He did not deny dating high school girls. The only thing he outright denied was dating a girl as young as 14 and having a sexual encounter with her.

At that point it is still, "he said, she said."

Based on his interview and the statement from his colleague I think it's pretty clear he dated high school girls. How many and how often we don't know.

As a father of 17-year-old and 21-year-old girls I can tell you I would most certainly not be ok with them dating a man in his 30s and frankly I would have to wonder what is wrong with a man who wants to date someone that young. Kissing them is most definitely out-of-bounds, and I would consider it (as would most sane people) inappropriate.

If I did something like that as a youth pastor and when I taught (even if I were single), I would be fired. His actions in this may not be illegal, but they are not reasonable or moral.

We don't know if he had a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old, but I certainly can't dismiss it, not after the past couple of days.

I was taking a wait and see approach, and I have seen enough. Roy Moore is not worth defending.

Originally posted at Caffeinated Thoughts

About the Author: Shane Vander Hart is the founder and editor-in-chief of Caffeinated Thoughts. He is also the President of 4:15 Communications, LLC, a social media & communications consulting/management firm. He is a communications director for American Principles Project's Preserve Innocence Initiative. Prior to this Shane spent 20 years in youth ministry serving in church, parachurch, and school settings.