I am most certainly among those that find the evidence against Roy Moore extremely credible. Nonetheless let us assume, for the moment, the Alabama senatorial candidate’s innocence regarding all the accusations that have been flying around for the last few days and ask ourselves what is the proper Christian response in this situation.
I’d like to take a shot at answering that question in two different ways. The first way to answer that question is to ask the second and now almost trite question, “What would Jesus do?” For once we do not have to make up an answer to WWJD for Jesus found himself buried in false allegations. All Christians believe Jesus was the only truly innocent man in human history and yet he was tried, convicted, and executed for crimes. Jesus did not protest His innocence. Jesus rebuked those around Him that sought to resist His arrest. He even healed one of those sent to arrest Him. Jesus stood the consequences of deep injustice quietly. No one is asking for Roy Moore’s execution – they are simply asking him to withdraw from the race. The consequences he is being asked to stand for are far less consequential than those that Jesus stood for – a fact that simply amplifies the example of Christ. By example, the Christian thing to do is for Roy Moore to withdraw.
The example of Christ illustrates the ethical importance of Roy Moore withdrawing from the race. That ethical argument is the second way I want to answer the question of “What is the Christian thing to do?”
Remember we are working under the assumption of Moore’s innocence, specious though that assumption appears to be. But also remember the preeminent Christian ethical imperative:
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.
Which means that to a Christian way of thinking, the most important question in this situation is not Moore’s guilt or innocence, but what is the best outcome for the most people. This is also a pretty easy question to answer. Moore’s continuance in the race is not good for the Republican Party or for Christianity. A loss harms an already perilous GOP majority in the upper body. That loss is made increasingly likely by these charges – their truth or falsity notwithstanding. A win will, to a very many Americans, make the GOP look like the party that embraces lecherous old men (to put it nicely). There simply is no outcome to this situation that helps the Republican Party. Therefore, if we are looking out for the best interest for the most people, Moore’s withdrawal is necessary – particularly if you believe, and Mr Moore and anyone that votes for him certainly should, that the Republican agenda is what is best for the country.
But worse yet is the field day the religion hating Left is having with this whole thing. If you have read the press at all, there is a gleeful joy in the reporting on this from many sources. This is making the televanglist scandals of several decades ago look easy. This is being spun as a double down of the pedophile scandals of Roman Catholicism – particularly in light of polling that shows Evangelicals solidifying support for Moore after the accusations. Moore’s guilt or innocence is immaterial when the accusations can be so effectively spun as to make Evangelicals out to be more about political power than justice.
Moore’s withdrawal from the race is the only way out of this mess that does not leave Christianity with a giant stain on its front.
Our call as Christians is to seek the greater good and sometimes that means we have to bear false accusations. That is certainly what Jesus did. Mr. Moore please demonstrate your faith to me in the most concrete way possible. Withdraw.