(RNS) — Democrat Doug Jones wasn’t supposed to have a chance in the Senate race that pits him against Republican Roy Moore in the ruby red state of Alabama.
But in recent weeks, as women began to accuse Moore of inappropriate conduct with them when they were teenagers, suddenly Jones seemed to have a shot.
Jones, a former U.S. attorney, slammed Moore on those allegations as they campaigned to take the seat once held by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, saying, “I damn sure believe and have done my part to ensure that men who hurt little girls should go to jail, not to the U.S. Senate.”
Tuesday’s (Dec. 12) election will determine whether Alabama could actually elect a Democrat to the Senate. But even as his national profile has risen, most people still know little about Jones and his faith.
While Moore has rallied with pastors and enjoyed the backing of the Rev. Franklin Graham, Jones’ religious life has remained one of quiet, consistent worship and church involvement.
Here are five faith facts about Jones.
1. “I am a Christian.”
Jones told The Birmingham News he would be a senator “who cares about all people, not just a select few. That’s what I think the teachings of religion are, is the caring about the least of these, the caring about all people, and making sure there’s a fairness to everything.”
2. He’s Methodist.
Jones has belonged for 33 years to Canterbury United Methodist Church, one of Alabama’s largest United Methodist congregations, in the Birmingham suburb of Mountain Brook. He’s a regular at worship and has taught Sunday school on occasion.
3. Jones’ most famous case involved a notorious attack on a church.
In 1963, Ku Klux Klan members bombed the 16th Street Baptist Church, killing four young girls. One Klansman was convicted of the murders in 1977. But two eluded justice for decades until Jones successfully prosecuted the two surviving Klansmen in 1999. Jones still calls their conviction “the most important thing I have ever done.”
I may have the honor of serving Alabama as your senator, but the most important thing I have done is prosecuting those klansmen who killed 4 little girls at 16th St Baptist Church.https://t.co/b2CkvVdA0h
— Doug Jones (@GDouglasJones) November 9, 2017
And Jones prosecuted “Olympic Park Bomber” Eric Rudolph, the domestic terrorist who also bombed abortion clinics.
4. Jones supports abortion rights – within limits.
He said if a woman considers abortion it is “an intensely, intensely personal decision that only she, in consultation with her god, her doctor, her partner or family, (can make) that’s her choice.” However, Jones qualifies his support for choice by saying he also agrees with Alabama law limiting some late-term procedures.
5. He says his goal is to treat people “as Christ would do.”
Asked a question about Southern culture, guns and religion, Jones said:
“If culture means that you have to put down people, if your culture means that you would discriminate against somebody, that you would not treat anybody in the same way that Christ would do, then I’m not going to protect that. I’m not going to protect discrimination of any sort, in any way, whether it’s race, religion, sex orientation or whatever. … My faith is, well, we take care of everybody.”