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Allegations against Roy Moore roil US evangelical ranks

Former Alabama Chief Justice and U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore waves to the crowd during his election party Sept. 26, 2017, in Montgomery, Ala. Moore won the Alabama Republican primary runoff for U.S. Senate, defeating an appointed incumbent backed by President Trump and allies of Sen. Mitch McConnell. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

(AP) — For many evangelicals, fiery Alabama politician and judge Roy Moore has been a longtime hero. Others have sometimes cringed at his heated rhetoric and bellicose style.


RELATED: Conservatives defend Roy Moore — invoking Joseph, Mary and the Ten Commandments


Now, as Moore’s U.S. Senate campaign is imperiled by allegations of sexual overtures to a 14-year-old girl when he was in his 30s, there’s an outpouring of impassioned and soul-searching discussion in evangelical ranks.

“This is one of those excruciating decision moments for evangelicals,” Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said in a telephone interview. “These allegations, if true, are devastating. If true, this is a very big deal.”

Mohler said Alabama voters face a potentially wrenching task of trying to determine if the allegations — Moore has emphatically denied them — are credible.

According to the Pew Research Center, 49 percent of Alabama adults are evangelical Protestants. For some of them, the Moore allegations echo the quandary they faced last year, wrestling over whether to support Donald Trump in the presidential race despite his crude sexual boasts.

The Rev. Robert Franklin, professor of moral leadership at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology in Atlanta, said The Washington Post’s report about the Moore allegations represents a test of “moral consistency” for evangelicals.

“Evangelicals are steadily losing their moral authority in the larger public square by intensifying their uncritical loyalty to Donald Trump,” Franklin wrote in an email. “Since this is Roy Moore and not Donald Trump, I think there may be significant disaffection with him, and increased demands for his removal from the ballot.”

As for Moore himself, Franklin suggested there were “classic evangelical remedies” such as confession, prayer and remorse and isolation.

“Election to higher office is not one of them,” Franklin wrote.

Although Trump won 80 percent of the white evangelical vote in his presidential victory, his candidacy exposed and hardened rifts among conservative Christians about partisan politics, the personal character of government leaders and the Gospel. Surveys by the Public Religion Research Institute found that the percentage of white evangelicals who said they still trusted the leadership of a politician who commits an immoral act rose from 30 percent in 2011 to 72 percent last year.

Still, a solid minority of conservative Christians adopted the #NeverTrump hashtag on social media and joined those outside of evangelicalism who said “values voters” had lost their values. Women and black evangelicals especially emerged as critics of Trump’s remarks about women, immigrants, African-Americans and Muslims. Many of these same critics of Trump’s behavior and rhetoric condemned Moore in recent days and bemoaned the fact that some evangelicals were standing by him.

“Okay, seriously, we elected a man president who bragged about using his power and authority to sexually assault women,” tweeted Kyle James Howard, an African-American student at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. “Why are we surprised that members of his party would now be defending a party member’s sexual assault of a minor?”

One of the Southern Baptist Convention’s leading public policy experts, the Rev. Russell Moore, expressed dismay after the allegations against Judge Moore — no relation — surfaced on Thursday.

“Whether in the hills of Hollywood or the halls of power, it doesn’t matter,” Rev. Moore tweeted. “This is true: sexual assault and child molestation are evil, unjust, satanic.”

Roy Moore embraced controversy as he built his evangelical following. He was twice removed from his post as Alabama’s chief justice, once for disobeying a federal court order to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the lobby of the state judicial building, and later for urging probate judges to defy the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage.

Prayer and repentance were among the themes Sunday at Moore’s home church in Gallant, Ala. Moore himself wasn’t present at First Baptist Church. The church’s pastor, the Rev. Tom Brown, prayed during the service for “the entire Moore family” and urged congregants to trust in God and believe that adversity could lead to a positive outcome.

“He’s always been a man of character, of integrity, of honor, and there’s nothing in those 25 years that I’ve seen that would challenge that,” Brown said. “That’s all I can go by.”

Also declining to break with Moore in the wake of the sex allegations was Jerry Falwell Jr., president of evangelical Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va.

“It comes down to a question of who is more credible in the eyes of the voters — the candidate or the accuser,” Falwell told Religion News Service. “And I believe the judge is telling the truth.”

Mohler, the seminary president, said many evangelical Alabama voters will find themselves facing a difficult choice when ballots are cast in the Dec. 12 special election.

“There’s so much at stake,” he said. “Those of us who are pro-life have got to be very concerned about losing even one seat in the U.S. Senate.”

The Democratic candidate in the special election, Doug Jones, has said that a decision on whether to have an abortion should generally be left to the woman in question.

Abortion policy also was evoked by Ed Cyzewski, a Kentucky-based seminary graduate and author, in a series of Twitter posts Friday questioning why some of his fellow evangelicals would continue to stand by Moore.

“Right now there are evangelicals who feel trapped,” Cyzewski wrote. “They think Moore did something reprehensible, but believe abortion is evil.”

Katelyn Beaty, an editor at large with the evangelical magazine Christianity Today, suggested that among many of Moore’s evangelical supporters, there’s a “presumption of innocence” because of their mistrust of national media such as The Washington Post.

“Many Christian communities have trouble appropriately responding to sex abuse allegations,” Beaty wrote in an email. “There is a default trust in powerful, charismatic male leaders, coupled with a discomfort with women who use their story or voice to challenge the status quo or power structures.”

However, Beaty said more moderate evangelicals — notably those critical of Trump — were likely dismayed by the allegations against Moore.

“For them, the defense of Moore is another sign that both evangelicalism and the GOP have lost their credibility and their souls in the pursuit of power,” she wrote.

(AP Religion Writer Rachel Zoll in New York contributed to this report.)

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  • The underlying problem is that conservative “Christians” have become single-issue zealots. They would elect Hitler himself if he were anti-abortion. That’s all that matters to them. Morality, law, and Christ mean nothing at all to them.

  • It does sound like some evangelicals would elect the Devil himself if it would guarantee an end a woman’s right to have an abortion. This absolutist inflexible ethic is truly bearing strange fruit. That should tell us that there is something wrong with the ethic.

  • At the risk of repeating myself, it’s power, money, and dominion in the real world versus Christianity as a concept.

    You can call it 30 pieces of silver, if you like. I do. And we all know how that one came out.

  • Four women have accused Moore of sexual impropriety. I simply don’t believe they are all lying.

    I also think this is less about the politics of an election and more about the #MeToo campaign. Finally, there is a time when women are speaking up about a climate of sexualized workplaces and men using positions of power to attempt to introduce sex into a relationship that otherwise has nothing to do with sex.

    I have to even wonder if the kind of behavior described by the women accusing Moore was so normal to Moore that he even recognized it as intimidating, harassing, manipulative, belittling, etc. Of course not. It was typical male power behavior for the times.

    I wonder the same thing about many Evangelicals, who think women are to be quiet in Church and obey their husbands. Can they keep that just within their own households or do they still think it is the social norm?

  • Don’t forget them uppity figs, daring to think that they are the equals of good christian mens and wimmens.

    That is what roils them the most.

  • You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how will it be made salty again? It is good for nothing anymore, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men………Matthew 5:13

    That could be what’s happening to Mr. Moore.

  • There’s so much at stake,” he said. “Those of us who are pro-life have got to be very concerned about losing even one seat in the U.S. Senate.” Let’s rephrase that: Those of us who are “prolife” support sexual assault.” How much more evidence do you need to know that “prolife” is simply anti-woman?!!

  • One thing for certain that no one will deny, someone is lying here. I don’t know the specifics very well, but one thing is certain, no one should ever get a free ride based on who they are. That is entitlement pure and simple. If Moore is truly innocent then he needs to prove that now. If he is guilty, lest he be deemed a hypocrite, he needs to deal with this issue rather than run for office. We as a society, no matter how amazed we are of the person or the charges, must start demanding truth from people. No one wants to see innocents convicted of something the never did, but to determine that people have to start telling the truth.

  • Robert Franklin: Roy Moore, accused of sexual assault, is now THE “test of ‘moral consistency’ for evangelicals” – the “classic evangelical remedies” to which have always been “confession, prayer and remorse and isolation. … ‘Election to higher office is not one of them'”!

    HpO: You wanna bet?! You’re not exactly one of them, so you don’t know who you’re dealing with here.

  • Sure. Accordin…

    Wait. You’re the same kangaroo that barked, “Whatever”, to my reply to your comment elsewhere.

    I’m at a loss now.

  • Really, what’s the big deal? We’re talking about evangelicals in Alabama–folks who resent the Supreme court, the First Amendment, the Constitution, ideas like due process and separation of C/S and so on. Does anyone really expect anything different from them?

    Yes, I know that there are plenty of evangelicals who are opposed to the Liar in Chief and his pals–or so they say. Clearly, those “bible beliefs” are understood in a very different way inside and outside of Alabama.

  • “Mohler, the seminary president, said many Alabama evangelical voters will find themselves with a difficult choice when ballots are cast in the Dec. 12th special election.”

    Yeah, If they’re anything like Mohler’s buddy Falwell Jr who calls all the women liars, the difficult choice will be whether to eat at Denny’s or Waffel House after voting for Moore.

  • Guilty before, no need to presume innocence now.

    It’s not like you would treat a Democrat candidate with the same level of credulity. So no need to take your request seriously.

    It’s not like Moore hasn’t abused power, shown contempt for the law, propriety or morals before.

  • “Guilty before, no need to recognize innocence now.”
    Seriously?

    Do you realize what you are saying there? Do you realize how many ordinary White, Black, and Hispanic Americans, you have just thrown under the bus?

    Don’t care if it’s George Takei (who apparently bragged the wrong kind of gay boast on a past Howard Stern show, according to the aptly-named Jezebel Magazine), or Roy Moore, or Queen Hillary, or 93-year-old Bush ’41.

    If we give up on “Innocent until proven guilty”, we’re ALL potentially squashed under a bus.

  • “””a solid minority of conservative Christians adopted the #NeverTrump hashtag on social media””” – – – Calling BS!!! #fakeNews This claim is asserted with what citation? How on earth would that be demonstrable?

  • So it’s true, Lisa Strom?

    According to Daniel Fincke, an atheist himself (cf. “Why I Criticize My Fellow Atheists”, Camels with Hammers, June 17, 2013):

    (1) “They [atheists] give little impression they are interested in the kinds of ongoing introspection and self-suspicion that are invaluable to personal growth.”

    (2) “Out of some animus … prejudice or malice”, they “have gotten into this movement to indulge in their feelings of superiority to those they pitilessly disparage as ‘stupid’ or wicked. … They are just in this to throw rocks at the ‘retards’. I have no sympathies with such people and am ashamed that they’re associated with me.”

    (3) To make things worse, atheists don’t “criticize [their] ‘own’ side … acknowledg[ing] when and where [they]’re wrong”, because they’re just “ethically lazy or self-righteously self-satisfied.”

    (4) When “atheists … shar[ing] many of my core intellectual and moral values … are in violation of those values”, such “hypocrites … make all atheists, including me, look bad and set back our cause.”

  • The man was already scum before the statutory rape allegations. No matter what comes here, he will still be scum. I have no trouble believing the stories now based on his past conduct.

  • Rule of thumb, if you are going to cut and paste an article, link to the full source. This way you appear honest and not quote mining. 🙂

  • Well being a thief, abusive of authority and violating prior oaths of office did little to dissuade them of Roy Moore’s unsuitability. So maybe this might. But I doubt it as much you do.

    Evangelical voters and politicians have always been self interested, craven and hypocritical. It’s just more obvious now.

  • Let’s start calling them what they truly are, calvinists. They belong to the cult begun by John Calvin & Oliver Cromwell and are at best hypocrites, blasphemers, liars, heretics, and practice sacrilege. They are in no way shape, form or fashion Christians.

  • I can see the campaign signs now…

    Roy Moore for US Senate.

    Free Candy!!! Lost Puppies Found!!! Don’t Tell Mammy.

    but the Moorons of Talibama will vote for him anyway.

  • Yup. They used to use the Bible to do the same thing for negroes.

    And no, I don’t hate the Bible. Or you. That’s just the story you tell yourself to justify CHANGING THE SUBJECT.

  • Oh, I never said you hate me. Nor me hate you either. Things are different between us. I think we’re more like two opposing border guards. We play some chess games through a small hole in the barb-wire fence, as time permits.

    But now, as for hating on God and hating on the Bible (of which Genesis and the New Testament clearly support racial equality, unlike the theory of Evolution), well you know…there may be a necessary discussion issue or two in that direction…

  • Yeah. You could try educating yourself. Perhaps do a little googling about the biblical justifications for treating your people like property. Oh, wait! they were property!

  • Umm, exactly *what* biblical justifications are you referring to? Where are they found?

    After all, Noah never did prophesy a curse on Cush and his African descendants; instead he prophesied a curse on Ham and his descendants, the Canaanites. So we blacks are good to go.

    So you can’t pin no garbage mess on the Bible. The Bible gives you nice clean truth, on *everything*. Far better than Dial Soap !!

  • One more time, as I have said to Shawnie and to you both.

    Don’t tell me. Tell THEM. They are the ones that found their justifications. Whether you believe it was justified is quite besides the point. They believed it, they acted on it. They cited it.

  • Tell *who*, exactly? The Grimke sisters, revivalist Charles Finney, etc etc, already communicated the Bible truth to the American people of that day. The Bible was always very clear on it. America was warned.

    People of that era not only knew that USA slavery was wrong, they even knew where and why the Bible said it was wrong. They even knew what happened to the great nation of Egypt when it refused God’s warnings.

    So even if they were still alive, we wouldn’t have to “tell them”. They were already “told”, but chose to ignore the Bible until God’s judgment fell on them. Just like our nation right now.

  • This just in, apart from a fourth accuser coming forward:
    53 Pastors Hail “Unconquerable” Roy Moore For His “Immovable Convictions For Biblical Principles”.
    They said it. Not me.

  • Yup. No repentance. No shame. Lust for power. Gotta have their own on the top – for very 1st time. Even a Sexual Assaulter for Christ.

    Working all day – news blackout where I was. So you’re the 1st to break this news for me. Thanks for breaking my heart with it!

  • It wasnt my intention to cause you hurt, only to see if it riled up any believers. So i half way succeeded?

  • There is no money in atheism. For that, you need religion.

    That being said, make sure you get paid up front in cash.

  • Aside from denying sexual wrongdoing with the 14-yr-old girl, Moore seems to be “dancing around the subject” in his public statements. As a lawyer, he knows the intricacies of language. Although I’m a liberal-leaning Independent who has voted occasionally for a Republican candidate, I do agree with Senator Toomey’s comment the other day, namely, that the preponderance of the evidence is not in Moore’s favor.

  • “Innocent until proven guilty (beyond a reasonable doubt)” is fine for criminal law. A lower threshold, however, is appropriate for the court of public opinion in an election. The five complaints against him, given the careful reporting, cannot be ignored and suggest the preponderance of evidence is not in his favor. This is not a simple “he said, she said”. It is “he denies, they said”.

  • all the way not 1/2

    2 weekends ago heartbroken by 26 evangelical deaths

    this weekend to now heart’s gone – thanks to roy’s evangelical molestation and your breaking news

  • Jesus approved of slavery, and, based on this approval and other arguments, the Church approved of slavery for nearly two thousand years until Vatican II “categorically” condemned the practice in late 1965. Jesus approved of masters, if necessary, “beating” disobedient slaves and, if circumstances warranted, “severely beating” them (Luke 12:45-48). Slavery back then, of course, was not limited to people of color.

  • Politics aside, despite Moore’s claims of innocence, as a committed conservative and Christian, I find the accusations against him to be plausible at worst, highly credible at best. Forget about the Senate seat, for his own testimony as a Christian, he should probably drop out of the race. In the interest of a less tainted political contest a more appropriate Republican candidate should vie for the seat, but I think we’ll have to chalk up a win for the Democrats on this one.

  • Jesus did not “approve” of slavery, He recognized it as an existing cultural condition of His time. He and His disciples taught that master and slave within the contemporary context had a filial duty to one another if they were going to be faithful Christians. Mature Christians of a later period recognized that ideally slavery is incompatible with Christian precepts and that is why they fought so hard to end the practice in this country, even against the misguided tendencies of their southern brethren. The passage you have cited is wholly allegorical in nature.

  • Would you really want a court of public opinion, (a place where facts can be arbitrarily excluded and bias can be arbitrarily included), to decide YOUR guilt or innocence if you were publicly accused of a career-ending infraction?

  • To answer your question, No, of course I would not want a court of public opinion to decide a matter that could end my career. Please note that I did not include your mention of “YOUR guilt or innocence”, as the court of public opinion makes no such legal determination. Nonetheless, it is what it is. Moore is running for a seat in the U.S. Senate that helps make laws of nationwide import. In this particular case, there is no evidence of (your words) “facts [being] arbitrarily excluded and bias [being] arbitrarily included.” The WaPo report speaks for itself, and, based on its content, most observers have concluded that it is quite likely that Moore perpetrated a criminal act on a 14-yr-old girl. Would a trial jury conclude that Moore is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, a higher standard of proof? I don’t know, but his responses to date strike me and others as rather weak. In the end, the court of public opinion will not be silenced.

  • Jesus, as you’ve noted, recognized slavery as a cultural norm/condition of his time and place. Furthermore, he used the parable in Luke 12:45-48, again as you’ve noted, to convey a moral lesson. Where you and I differ is your view that this NT passage is “wholly allegorical in nature”. No decent teacher, i.e., one of moral uprightness, would approvingly cite a morally sinful example/scenario to communicate a lesson in upright moral behavior. Two wrongs do not make a right. No doubt Jesus would have recommended humane treatment of slaves. He used an acceptable scenario familiar to his audience to convey a moral lesson. The Catholic Church justified slavery for hundreds of years by recourse to both divine and natural law. Ironically, forces largely outside the institutional church gradually condemned slavery, thereby pushing Rome to do likewise, albeit in increments until late 1965. Southerners in the U.S. could rely on the Bible to support slavery, the key factor in the South’s economic life.

  • Let’s throw a little bit moore gasoline on that fire. Just a smidge, not moore than that.

    It turns out, according to an article in the New Yorker, that our boy Roy is what moore of us would call a perv. He was banned from a mall in Talibama because of his moore great excitability around under aged girls.

    The New Yorker reports:

    This past weekend, I spoke or messaged with moore than a dozen people—including a moore major political figure in the state—who told me that they had heard, over the years, that Moore had been banned from the mall because he repeatedly badgered teen-age girls. Some say that they heard this at the time, others moore in the years since. These people include five moore members of the local legal community, two moore cops who worked in the town, and several moore people who hung out at the mall in the early eighties, and a number of former mall employees.

    So, what does this have to do with me, aside from the fact that I despise this man and everything he allegedly stands for? I have said many, many times on these very pages that the moore vociferously anti-gay a religious person is, the moore likely he is to be a homosexual hating homosexual, desperate to deflect attention away from themselves and moore onto other people. I have also said that those mooralizing busybodies with the darkest fanatasies about gay people were moore likely to be projecting those fanatasies upon innocent others in order to deal moore ably with their own issues, like the former regular commenter here who so obviously delighted in talking about anal sex and children in the same sentence. Over and over again, as if it maybe meant something to him.

    So, now we find out what seems to be moore the truth of the matter. Four or moore women have come forward to talk moore clearly about Roy. Other people knew all about Roy, but its Talibama we’re talking about, and they were neither 10 years old nor his sister. Everything Roy had to say about Teh Geyz now has a context.

    “Look over there!!! Gay SQUIRRELS! They are coming for your sons and your faith.” And pay no attention to that mooralizing busybody behind the raincoat. He’s only a hypocrite, and whatever damage he does to your faith he can still blame moore on Teh Geyz.

  • It speaks well of you that the deaths of 26 strangers hurts you so much. I think you are a kind man. It doesn’t hurt me in that sense, but just makes me angrier and angrier that as a country we refuse to do anything about our gun disease.
    But Roy Moore should be making you angry, not heartbroken. Political-social-issues evangelicalism is a stain on our country, and as I have said repeatedly, is only about power, money, and dominion, not morality.. Roy moore is just the latest one to be taken down by his own dark heart, as he projects his evils and immorality onto innocent others for his own gain, and to hide his own dark desires, even from himself.

    You know I am an atheist. Contrary to what some people claim, I don’t hate religion. If it makes (a generic) your life better, and you a better person, I’m all for it. I’ve said so many times. But the problem is, for so many people, especially people who use their faith as a weapon against others, it doesn’t make them better. It makes them worse, and merely gives them a shield from behind which they can work their dark desires.

    The problem is, as far as I can tell, is that so many good people who are Christians have failed to speak above a whisper, if they bothered to speak at all, concerning this use of faith as a weapon in the never ending quest for power, money, and dominion. (Yes,I repeat that phrase once again).

    The damage this has done to Christianity– both the weaponized faith and the failure to call anyone on it– is incalculable. You’re just one of the casualties. David gushee is another.

    And i’m sorry for that.

  • Good grief man…just Google it. You’ll find citations from The Atlantic, Huffington Post, and the Boston Globe on the first page.

  • Nope, don’t care. I work in technology and data mining – THERE IS NO WAY TO SUBSTANTIATE THIS CLAIM. My point is – it is not possible. You’ve identified “conservative Christian” social media accounts? And then somehow calculated in the conservative Christians (a) not online or (b) never ‘tweeted’ about politics or the election [certainly a vast majority]? Sticking with by assertion of bogosity. That is not data.
    Even accepting that it is true – then as high as ~76% of conservative Christians supported Trump in the actual election? If true – and I am not saying it is – then the only thing this would demonstrate is the failure of hash-tags to correlation to real-world behavior [but, then, we already knew that].

  • Yeah, I know you don’t care, but why would you not be able to generally substantiate such a claim as you would for any other trending #hashtag used for Twitter activism? Is that really the point? No it isn’t. The point is, for defining a minority, that some conservative evangelicals broke away and opposed Trump and now Moore on the grounds of their religious convictions…I know. I am one of them. People like me, and the number of prominent Evangelical leaders on record opposing Trump as well as poll research have demonstrated that a “minority” exists. Parsing the exact metrics of hashtag use isn’t the point. For the point of the article, your expertise, while important… isn’t really. Sorry.

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/mobile.nytimes.com/2016/10/17/us/donald-trump-evangelicals-republican-vote.amp.html

  • I didn’t wish to belabor the obvious, but, of course. Haggard, rekers, Eddie long, and a long long long long long long long long list of others,

  • If the evangelicals want to do the smart thing here, they will get Moore out of the race as soon as possible so that another reliably conservative Republican can replace him in time for the election. People are talking about even getting Jeff Sessions to re-senatorize himself (which would be a win-win for Trump, who despises Sessions at this point). That’s why there are overtures to the GOP governor to delay the election so that a replacement can be made.

  • Moore has shown nothing but disrespect toward the Constitution his entire career as a judge. It is his brand. It is why he is the nominated Republican candidate. So it is hardly the time for him to demand that constitutional principles — which do not even strictly apply here — be applied in his favor.

  • Moore just in.

    Rep. Mo Brooks of Talibama has said he…

    “is sticking with Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations, arguing that the conservative agenda is “vastly more important” than the claims against Moore.

    “America faces huge challenges that are vastly more important than contested sexual allegations from four decades ago,” Brooks said in a text message to AL.com.

    “Who will vote in America’s best interests on Supreme Court justices, deficit and debt, economic growth, border security, national defense, and the like? Socialist Democrat Doug Jones will vote wrong. Roy Moore will vote right. Hence, I will vote for Roy Moore.”
    THE PARTY OF FAMILY VALUES AND PERSONAL MORAL,ITY AND PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY HAS SPOKEN.
    They have none.

  • “Innocent until proven guilty” is a concept used in criminal law. Those facing actual prison are afforded a higher standard of evidence.

    In a civil trial, the standard is “preponderance of evidence” — the jury looks at all the evidence and returns a verdict based on something less rigorous than beyond a doubt.

    In the Moore case, the question being presented to the public (both in Alabama and beyond) is “do we have a basis of reasonable, compelling evidence” to evaluate Moore as being fit to serve public office? We have 5 people who are making similar claims — most all of whom share Moore’s politics. These claims have been verified independently by other witnesses. Moore’s response has been “I did not do it..they are lying” without offering any refuting evidence.

    If Moore is guilty, nothing will be taken away from him — no jail time or monetary penalty. Rather, he will simply not serve in a position he wants.

    Ultimately, the voters of Alabama will be the final arbiter. If they want a Senator who has this kind of scandal over his head…so be it.

  • I would want facts to decide…and the facts are that several women have made similar accusations based on a similar pattern verified independently by other witnesses.

  • “The Bible does fairness and accuracy on everybody.”

    Even when it condones the capturing, owning and beating of slaves? (and yes there are such verses listed as Yahweh’s commandments)

  • “f which Genesis a…clearly support racial equality”

    Might want to check out the “curse of Ham”

  • Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. 45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. 46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life

  • And them some of us do not need an ancient book of claims to know slavery is immoral…hmmmmmm

  • So an atheist has an opinion about atheism..fine and good. His opinion is noted. As an atheist, I disagree with his claims.

    1. I am interested in the kinds of ongoing introspection and self-suspicion that are invaluable to personal growth

    2. “They are just in this to throw rocks at the ‘retards’.” Strike 2 — I am my atheist friends would never use that word.

    3. “atheists don’t “criticize [their] ‘own’ side … acknowledg[ing] when and where [they]’re wrong”, because they’re just “ethically lazy or self-righteously self-satisfied.”

    Strike 3 – I offer criticism of both atheist and theists f they are being a$$holes.

    BTW..you are engaging in a bit of quote mining…this guy is talking about certain groups of atheists a sub set not the entire class — hence the many brackets and ellipses.

  • “…with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ” (Ephesians 6:5).

  • Nope. Jesus was an observant follower of the Old Testament law (Matt. 5:17-18; John 10:35), which meant that any slavery system that featured multiple violations of that biblical law (including at least one violation that carried an OT death penalty, Exo. 21:16), could never have met his approval. Even the racial-inferiority basis of USA slavery, was opposed to the Genesis creation account in which all races are equal (Acts 17:26).

    Hence there’s zero chance that Jesus would have approved of USA slavery. (And notice that not a single black USA slave that was exposed to the Bible EVER suggested, even slightly, that Jesus approved of the USA slavery system.)

    But you never hear about these inconvenient details from those who say that Jesus approved of slavery.

  • No problem. If you take a look (see the link below), here’s what you’ll see:

    “The judgment was that Canaan and his descendants would become servants or slaves to his brothers and their descendants, and over time, this actually happened.
    But the curse was not on Ham; it was only on his son, Canaan (see Genesis 9:25). Nor was Canaan the founder of any African nation or race; his descendants settled only in the Middle East.”

    — Billy Graham website

    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+9%3A18-29&version=NIV

  • Openly opposing Obergefell is a VERY healthy sign of respect towards the Constitution, indeed just as much as openly opposing Dred Scott. So Moore’s doing the right thing there.

    And since there are references to the 10 C’s in or around the USSC building, it seemed quite reasonable for Judge Moore to push *that* issue as far as he could.

    Besides, be they constitutional, common-sense, or a mixture of both, we ALL need those “constitutional principles”.

  • Moore can openly oppose Obergefell as much as he wishes. What he could not do is order his state courts not to follow the law because he disagrees with it. Similarly, Moore was entitled to litigate the Ten Commandments case as far as he could. He was not, once his appeals were exhausted, entitled to refuse to adhere to court rulings.

  • “Are you a slave? Don’t let that worry you — but if you get a chance to be free, take it.” (1 Cor. 7:21)

  • Yes, you do need that ancient book. Your current atheistic, be-your-own-god belief system offers NO **inherent** moral or ethical barrier whatsoever to owning slaves based on race (a basis which God never allows of Israel, by the way).

  • I hear you, but let’s be honest here: you’re hoping that with the fall of Conservative Christianity in America (CCA) shall come the promised rise of LGTBQ-ism. Beneath all that raging contempt toward CCA is actually a cheerful affirmation of LGTBQ-ism and a persistent quest to empower the LGTBQ individual and community anywhere. And so you draw sustenance for LGTBQ-ism from any critique of CCA, be it nothing at all positive about it, or, perhaps especially, from ugly flaws in the behavior of anyone belonging to CCA.

    The shameful demise of Roy Moore is bad news right now for CCA but good news for LGTBQ-ism. I’d take advantage of that if I were you. Because, when His CCA children mess up big time like Roy Moore, God has been known to give them up over to Satan, while giving their enemies like LGTBQ the chance to take over. But only to be condemned and punished later. Then replaced yet again by His people.

  • So far as I can tell, your references to Mt 5:17-18 and Jn 10:35 bear no relevance to slavery, which was an accepted Jewish practice in Jesus’ time. Wikipedia has an entry for “Jewish views on slavery”.

    In his A CHURCH THAT CAN AND CANNOT CHANGE: THE DEVELOPMENT OF CATHOLIC MORAL TEACHING, John T. Noonan, Jr. offers the following information:

    “Apologists for the acceptance of slavery in the Bible have sometimes asserted that ancient slavery was different from the chattel slavery of the American South. This argument was used by nineteenth-century abolitionists, embarrassed by defenses of slavery based on the Bible. This argument appears to be without historical support. Chattel slavery is slavery in which persons count as things to be bought and sold. In this respect, the slavery of the non-Hebrew slaves of the Hebrews was no different from slavery more generally in the Roman world, although Roman law, as more developed, was more extensive in its regulation of the disposition of slaves as property. The ‘Digest’, for example, dealt with the equipment (‘instrumentum’) of a farm, including slaves. The Romans divided the means by which farms were cultivated into the mute (vehicles); the inarticulate (cattle); and the articulate (slaves). In Varro’s memorable phrase, a slave was an ‘instrumentum vocale’ or talking tool.

    “The masters were aware that their instruments were human. Humane management was recommended. Perks for the slaves who acted as foremen would motivate them. ‘Verba’ (words), not ‘verbera’ (whips) should direct the farm slaves. But only if words got results. Force remained as the ultimate motivator” (p. 22).”

    In his THE POPES AND SLAVERY, Joel S. Panzer, a Catholic presbyter with the Lincoln, NE diocese, writes that both ‘servitude’ and ‘slavery’ “are possible translations of the Latin ‘servitus’. When speaking of the ‘servitus’ which rested on one of the so-called ‘just titles’, we translate the Latin as ‘servitude’; when speaking of that form of ‘servitus’ which did not rest on just title, we translate the Latin as ‘slavery'”(p. 5).

    Noonan, however, writes:

    “Slaves in the biblical world are partly hidden from us. What disguises their ubiquity is our translation. Hebrew for slave is ‘ebed’, male slave; ‘amah’, female slave; ‘n’r’, young slave. The Septuagint faithfully translated these words into Greek as ‘doulos’, male slave; ‘doule’, slave girl; and ‘pais’, slave boy. The Vulgate rendered the terms in Latin as ‘servus’; ‘serva’ or ‘ancilla’; and ‘puer’. But when John Wycliff translated the Vulgate into English in 1382, he translated the Latin ‘servus’ as ‘servant’ and the Latin ‘ancilla’ as ‘handmaiden’. These conventions were followed in the sixteenth century by William Tyndal, by Myles Coverdale, and by the Geneva Bible. Wycliff and his early successors did not bowdlerize the Bible deliberately. Slavery, for them, was not a racist institution. Slavery as such was not current in England. ‘Servant’ could carry the sense of ‘slave’. By the time of the King James translators, ‘slave’ was associated with blackness, as Shakespeare’s treatment of Caliban in ‘The Tempest’ demonstrates. A deliberate choice may have been made to avoid the new connotation by retaining ‘servant’. THE NEW OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY lists as a special meaning of ‘servant’ its use as the English translation of what means ‘slave’ in biblical Hebrew and Greek. The editors also observe that in the American South, from colonial times through the eighteenth century, ‘servant’ was a usual term for a slave. It may be supposed that Southern slaveholders adopted the usage from their English bibles (p. 23).

    “…That Jesus moves in a society in which slavery is an institution and that he draws on this institution for illustrations, metaphors, and sayings is not an impression one obtains from our English translations from which the vocabulary of slavery has been largely expunged. Today, it is a bowdlerization of the Bible not to use the rougher terms that accurately translate the Scriptures” (p. 24).

    You are wrong, sir.

  • Psst

    Why am I doing this?

    I want atheists to engage in discussion with those they despise

    All my profs were atheists, yet they were the ones who mentored me in open discussion

    I miss them

    You’re the 1st to actually respond to the thoughts captured in those lines – “hence the many brackets and ellipses”

    If I say thanks, are you – predictably – going to call me, HPOO?

  • “Whatever”

    Hey cathartic!

    “Whatever”

    Do it again

    “Whatever”

    Again

    “Whatever”

    But what does it mean in the original Thai language?

  • In an earlier Mark Silk’s article I encouraged Ben in Oakland to pray with me that the Dems challenger for the senate seat win over Roy Moore, because this is the 1st guy from the Evil Dominion movement who had ever gotten this far.

    By the way when I first started at RNS, weren’t you the one to tell me about that movement? And I dismissed it because there was no evidence that they’ll ever get far.

    I was wrong. I don’t approve WaPo’s method, a repeat of same conspiracy to kick Trump out of the race, but thank God the truth is now out there about Moore.

    May my born-again Christian brothers and sisters in Alabama change their mind about this Sex Molester for Christ.

  • My fingers are crossed. I hope we are both right there.

    What worries me are the proposed measures to possibly remove Moore or the Democrat opponent. Some in the state wants to short cut the election process to make the governor responsible for filling future vacancies between general election years. This is a bit too autocratic. For my tastes.

  • That is not indicative of approval, it is an admonition to behave civilly according to the prevailing legal conditions at the time, proof texting by verse is poor exegesis.

  • My concern is that it may be too late, however based on the description of the Democratic candidate in opposition, I think I could live with him if I were and Alabamian.

  • No. Not at all. Not even remotely. Would that it were just that simple. But its not.
    I will say it again. I have no issue with people believing what they want. It’s what they do with those beliefs that matter to me.
    There is no LGBT-ism. There is simply a desire to live our lives fully and authentically, as we are made, without people doing everything in their power to make our lives as difficult, unpleasant, dangerous, and expensive as possible, to not live under the shadow of someone’s malice because they think their particular and peculiar version of god commands them to harm their fellow humans.
    Or because they have their own issues, and it is much simpler for them to exorcise their own demons by claiming that I’m the one with the demons.
    I am no one’s enemy, unless they have declared themselves to be mine. You really need to understand that. As I have said many, many times on these very pages, if CCA would stop their vicious, lying, malicious attacks on gay people and anyone else they have deemed “not as good as”, they would be heartily surprised at how little anyone would care about them .
    any damage that CCA is experiencing is simply the karmatic result of their own actions. What you put out in the world is what you get back,.

  • And I think that you and I would agree that from Jesus’ perspective, in terms of moral clarity and spiritual maturity, both the RCC and the Southerners were in error. No doubt He desires better from His children, but we, unlike He, are not perfect.

  • Ben, this and your previous post to HpO are so measured, so kind, so thoughtful. Thank you for taking the time and the effort to speak well for those of us who have grown weary of trying to explain ourselves while being kind and considerate.

  • Please demonstrate your exgetical method as superior.

    One would think a moral document like the Bible would simply urge people not to have slaves.

  • Well, HPOO let me just say.. JK JK 🙂

    I enjoy discussing the in’s and out’s of disbelief. Feel free to ask me any questions —“Ask an Atheist Hour…”

  • Atheism is not a moral belief system. It is a epistemology of response to god claims..that is all..nothing else. Morals for people like me are independently analyzed and accepted based on reality…not any specific religion.

    Nothing about atheism or secular humanism states that we are gods. That is you overlaying your god assumptions in a misplaced manner.

    Moral systems are created by humans. Some humans claim theirs is validated by a god (with no evidence). Some of us recognize that humans are capable of creating moral codes without the necessity of an independent moral-creating entity.

    Chances are, you and I, both being humans with similar needs, share roughly the same moral codes. We just arrive at them from different perspectives.

    Finally, the Bible not only condones slavery — it gives god believers guidelines as to capturing, owning, beating and selling slaves from other countries. I can provide verses if needed.

  • Thank you for YOUR kind words. I hope he understands what I am saying to him. I think he is a kind man, trying hard to be the kind of man his faith requires him to be.

    Unlike some people who post here.

    I am not an enemy of faith, as I have said repeatedly. I am not an enemy of their god, because I don’t believe in him or it AND because I don’t think it possible for the creator of the entire universe to have an enemy. I am an enemy of this sense of entitlement that says “believe what I believe or I’ll hurt you. And so does god.”

  • I cannot speak from Jesus’ perspective relative to the RCC and the South because there is no record of him saying anything about slavery after his crucifixion. The Church, we should remember, could justify slavery by reference to Jesus’ very own teaching during his earthly ministry. No doubt like Jesus, the Church would encourage humane treatment of slaves, but the Gospel also shows Jesus sanctioning harsh punishment of disobedient slaves (God’s love for, and punishment of, sinners is a separate albeit related matter). Jesus was, after all, a product of his time and place. He was fully human, we believe, as well as fully divine. Based on these considerations, not to mention the fact that moral condemnation of slavery was a gradual development over the course of nearly two thousand years, I see no basis for judging the RCC wrong in its approving the practice for much of church history. If there’s any significance here in the greater scheme of things, it is that Christian moral doctrine can, indeed, change with sufficient time, study, reflection, and — in this case — empathy. As a Catholic nearly 70 years of age, I can see something of a parallel in growing acceptance of same-sex marriage and women’s ordination among western Catholics. I cannot deny what I believe to be the Holy Spirit’s influence in historical doctrinal development.

    I think the South is a different matter, especially with respect to *inhumane* treatment of slaves. There certainly were Southerners who would have treated their slaves humanely and would have justified ownership by recourse to the Bible, i.e., God’s very own word.

  • Their only hope under state law would be a write in…very steep mountain to climb.

    Here’s the thing…how liberal can an Alabama democrat really be anyway?

  • The OT law condoned the capturing, owning and beating of slaves as property that could be passed down to children.

  • ahh fear based relationships.

    Would it not be more Jesus-like to simply command early Christians ya know…not to own slaves?

  • Liberal enough to vote most often with the Democrats, including and most importantly on Supreme Court nominees.

  • I have no idea. Being a Democrat is not synonymous with being a “liberal” (a term that has almost lost any real meaning).

  • St. Oscar Levant. except when it’s St. Oscar Wilde. They’re having a battle royals as to who will be the Patron Saint of Wit.

  • In this context, the biblical word “fear” refers, per an online dictionary (and my other reading), to “reverential awe, especially toward God: ‘the fear of God’.” The word has nothing to do with dread, etc. Unfortunately, some Christians *do* associate this phrase with the popular meaning used in general discourse today, an understanding at odds with the portrayal of God in 1 John 4:8 — “God is love.” From a psychological perspective, one cannot love whom one FEARS. Love and FEAR are incompatible. I suspect this distorted understanding of biblical fear plays no small role in many folks deciding to abandon organized Christianity — or religion itself — altogether, for they see the mix of love and FEAR as hypocritical, senseless, repugnant.

    You ask, “Would it not be more Jesus-like to simply command early Christians ya know…not to own slaves?” Your question is self-contradictory. It was “Jesus-like” for Jesus not to condemn slavery but presumably to encourage humane treatment of slaves (my response here is based on the presumption that the NT narrators and writers have given us an accurate picture of what primitive Christians remembered Jesus teaching).

  • I am “heartily surprised” by your response, and will take your word for it – and “thank[ful but] weary” KMSeeker’s word as well – that:

    You’re NOT “hoping that with the fall of Conservative Christianity in America (CCA) shall come the promised rise of LGTBQ-ism”; nor “draw[ing] sustenance for LGTBQ-ism from any critique of CCA”; nor calling “the shameful demise of Roy Moore … good news for LGTBQ-ism.”

    Which leaves me with the rest of your statement, next. And you can quiz me on it, too, if you like:

    (1) TRUE OR FALSE: Conservative Christians in America (CCA) are “doing everything in their power to make … lives [of people in LGTBQ communities] as difficult, unpleasant, dangerous, and expensive as possible … They think their particular and peculiar version of god commands them to harm their fellow humans … [and not to] stop their vicious, lying, malicious attacks on gay people and anyone else they have deemed ‘not as good as'”.

    TRUE. That’s hate crime. And the perps mustn’t get away with it.

    (2) TRUE OR FALSE: “Any damage that CCA is experiencing is simply the karmatic result of their own actions. What you put out in the world is what you get back.”

    TRUE. And may atheistically (Buddhistic, actually, but that’s OK) “karmatic” end up divinely cataclysmic!

    (3) TRUE OR FALSE: Because “they have their own issues, … it is much simpler for them to exorcise their own demons by claiming that [with the rest of LGTBQs] I’m the one with the demons.”

    TRUE. The Nashville Statement, for instance, is an excuse to look the other way from the porn-addictions & adulteries that now plague CCAs’ own homes & churches, and to scandalize LGTBQs instead.

  • BiO is kind

    Not HpO

    My deaf outdoorsy cat got run over accidentally by nice neighbor’s car and I broke down (weird, same as when 26 fellow bornagainers got run over by bullets)

    Ben was there for me here at RNS of all places

    Reminded me of Brokeback Mountain’s ending

    Why, why would anybody slaughter gays?!

    Too much death in my world

    Jesus Saves

  • The Nashville Statement is just a quickie laundry list for busy people on all sides, an easy-read summary of what the Bible really says (and doesn’t say) on the topic.

    Which is why the gay activists don’t like the Nashville Statement.
    Clarity in the public marketplace, displeases them.

  • I’m so sorry about your cat, HpO. And I’m sorry about all too-early deaths in our world (I think we all share the same one) and every one, a la John Donne, diminishes us, even those of outdoorsy deaf cats. I have a feeling you, like Ben, are very kind.

  • I have a little time now. Das husband is cooking some dinner.

    First, thank you for taking my word for it; there is no “ism”. But what I would prefer is that you NOT take my word for it, but come to see through what I say to you that it is actually true.

    To answer your questions.

    1) I don’t claim all conservative Christians are at way, but I would say a significant number of very loud ones certainly are. A large number of them earn quite handsome livings attacking gay people and opposing our full participation in society as we are.

    I’m glad you see that is true, because it is. I agree that it is motivated by hate, but I don’t see it as a crime and I don’t wish it to be treated as one. I don’t want power over these people, despite are their persecution fantasies. I want decent people to say “enough!”

    And more and more, they are.

    2) I’m glad you agree with me here as well. I’ve got the perfect example, ripped from today’s headlines yesterday, australia voted publicly for gay marriage, with the yes side winning 62% to 38%, after a truly nasty campaign waged by— wait for it— religious conservatives!!! Their arguments were either lies, fear mongering, or both. Things like “can I marry my dog/sister/computer now”, “destruction of the family”, danger to children, churches will be forced, disgusting human beings out to destroy marriage, and on andOn and on and on.

    They still lost 62-38. The Sydney episcopal diocese donated $1 million smackers to the no side. (Think about how many starving children they could have fed for that). They still lost.

    But I’m sure that religion just got a major kick in the teeth because of the viciousness and detachment from reality of the no side, not to mention, The Sydney episcopal diocese donated $1 million smackers to the no side. Dead children? NOTHING.

    I doubt the people of Australia are going to forget as their gay family members, friends, colleagues, neighbors, AND FELLOW CHURCH GOERS were dragged through the slime of the “Christian” venom. Not to mention, those starving kids.

    3) The Nashville Nonsense? More of the same. But not merely yelling GAY SQUIRRELS— so called Christians who have been attacking us for decades, while slightly poopooing sex addiction, adultery, and let us not forget DIVORCE. It was nothing less than an assertion that they should have dominion over our lives, and over the lives of everyone. It was particularly nasty in its clear declaration that the so called Christians were suddenly a persecuted minority in danger of losing everything because they no longer had that dominion. People getting the same rights as these jerks does not mean they are being persecuted, especially in light of the years, decades, centuries of jails, murders, executions, destroyed families and lives and careers, being blamed for every possible social ill, lives of vice and Misery to which they had gleefully condemned us. They really don’t like it that dirty figs now have the same value as human beings as they do.

  • “. It was “Jesus-like” for Jesus not to condemn slavery ”

    Then I’d rather be Jesus-like and condemn slavery.

  • “Then I’d rather be Jesus-like and condemn slavery.”

    But Jesus did not condemn slavery. Perhaps you have a different Jesus in mind?

  • I hear you, brother floydlee. That’s what I thought, too, when the Nashville Statement was first press-released: “Clarity in the public marketplace”. And so I was about to make a photocopy of it to be passed onto a college & career group leader at a bible church, when it dawned on me. “Clarity in the public marketplace” on LGTBQ-ism is what these Evangelical Millennials need to have, but hold on, where’s the “clarity in the public marketplace” on the problem of, and solution to, porn-addiction and adultery in bible-believing churches and households? Nowhere to be found? That’s not right. That’s hypocrisy! Right there and then I decided not to be a party to this culture war crime committed by my born-again Christian brothers and sisters. Goodbye Nashtyville Statement.

  • Dear brother Ben in Oakland: No big deal, but I fully support one atheist agenda: the restoration of church and state separation. If only my born-again Christian brothers and sisters could see God’s will in that atheistic wisdom.

    If only they’d mind their own business, paying mind 100% to the needs and the needy in the church, they’d have little precious time left for fighting everybody in the nation and the planet outside the church. Whatever for?

    They’re supposed to save & sanctify the church, not the state. They’re supposed to save & sanctify bible-believing porn-addicts, adulterers and divorcees, not non-bible-believing LGTBQs.

    What about bible-believing LGTBQs, then? To be honest, I don’t know. But there’s statistics somewhere that says, Non-bible-believing LGTBQs outnumber bible-believing LGTBQs by about 10 million to a hundred.

    Kidding. Pew Research will never poll on that hypothesis and I don’t have the buck$ to bribe them to support my wishful thinking numbers.

    Wait, you have a husband?

    Kidding again.

  • You’re more than alright KMSeeker

    I look forward to your future posts at RNS

    (Psst they don’t pay me to say that)

  • The last statistic I saw was that gay people in general are only slightly less religious than the general population.
    I do have a husband– 16 years now. That makes our marriage a lot longer than a number of professional religious people I could probably name. Longer than two of Newt Gingrich marriages, longer than each of Limbaugh’s four marriages, and longer than each of The Donald’s three marriages.

  • Now I understand 🙂

    That said, I recommend a brief newspaper commentary, “Turning punishment into instrument of love”, at https://www.irishtimes[dot]com/opinion/turning-punishment-into-instrument-of-love-1.664072. The author, a theologian, describes how the Church turned God=Love into God=Punisher. No wonder a lot of younger people do not want to be associated, for example, with the Church of Rome in which I was raised and participated in until nearly eleven years ago when I finally decided I’d had enough with B16 (JPII was bad enough). I was just shy of my 59th birthday.

    To get an idea of a more “traditionalist” (note my quotes) view of punishment, see “Punishment Can Be An Act of Love” at http://www.courageouspriest[dot]com/punishment-act-love, which promotes a philosophy with which I totally disagree.

    Whether you are Catholic or not, I recommend the Linns’ GOOD GOATS: HEALING OUR IMAGE OF GOD, which includes the perspectives of Catholic and non-Catholic contributors. Don’t be fooled by the cover. It’s an excellent refutation of “traditionalist” folks who see God as Punisher.

    In the meantime, feel free to see my extended comments on Christian priesthood and sacrifice at https://www.americamagazine[dot]org/faith/2017/09/23/pope-francis-critics-continue-seek-answers-amoris-laetitia-filial-correction. The history I provide (with cited sources) relates, inter alia, to how early Christian apologists used typology to effectively change our image of God from Love into Punisher. Quite informative. (Retirement is good for research 🙂

  • There are some elements in your argument with which I cannot agree, but we’ll let that lay. A convergence of opinions even among the most committed of souls is sometimes an impossible task.

  • This venue is not suitable for a chapter length synopsis of the question we are discussing. The themes of the Bible are woven in a complex fabric of varying but not incongruent threads. Suffice it to say that there are many things that God (as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) have tolerated in their Grace towards humanity. God created us, He knows our weakness and frailty, and He knows that absent His Son’s active work in individual lives we have no capacity to alter our innate tendencies. The solutions to our problems as individuals are somewhat different than the solutions to our problems as a race, particularly as the bulk of that race reject the promises and admonitions of the Son in any case. That is a function of free will. Even the best of Christians, historically, fail to measure up perfectly to the ideal will of God…thus the incorrect and improper defense of human slavery as late as the 21st century. Jesus toleration of slavery in His time on earth, again, does not translate with any exactitude to approval.

  • Thanks for your kind affirmation. I’m only around RNS occasionally when an article referenced elsewhere catches my eye. I’m trying to live out my eighth decade more peaceably than some of my younger days -when my mind roiled with politics. But I’ll keep alert for posts from you and our friend Ben when I am.

    I hope you get a new cat someday, after your heart heals a tiny bit.

  • I’m now picturing Jesus wearing the Punisher outfit holding a smoking rifle while you see some red horns just in frame from the ground.

    “Justice is served, Satan…”

  • Starting with me & my better five-8th, with whom I shared these radical sentiments last night, it’s time and the time is now for all born-again Christians to see themselves as Jonah in Nineveh. Like him, we’ve all been having a very hard time accepting that atheists, nones, millennials, progressives & the LGTBQs belong to this planet as much as they do, and are here to stay as much as they are. God’s telling us, These are your generation’s version of the Samaritans in My Son Jesus’ time on earth. Go and do what He did. Relate to them about Me like He did and see where that goes. He didn’t do, so you don’t do either. Jesus didn’t do politicking & culture wars, so you don’t either. Stop doing that. Just remind them rather of the Fatherly love of God that I have for you & them, being channeled only through the crucifixion, burial & resurrection of My beloved Son, Israel’s Messiah Jesus. That’s it. Can you do that for Me & Jesus? Are you up to this Brand New Gospel Challenge? … What? I can’t hear you? Learn from the best: Jonah.

  • Thank you. I mean that sincerely. Would that more Christians understood at it is not their destiny to rule over others.

  • “Be well dead asleep, my Mishka, until the resurrection.”

    I sing that song everyday when alone I think of her, miss her, and always cry afterward.

    Thanks for your kind words.

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