What the Hell Does It Mean for a Roy Moore Defender to Cite the Authority of the Bible in His Defense Against Child Molestation Allegations? And What Does That Say About the Republican Party, Donald Trump, and Christian Fascism?

November 10, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


An investigative report published in the November 9 Washington Post detailed allegations that Roy Moore—the Republican Party’s candidate for the U.S. Senate seat in Alabama that was vacated when Trump picked Jeff Sessions as Attorney General—sexually molested a 14-year-old girl in 1979. According to the Post, the alleged victim, now 53, said that Moore, then 32 years old, drove her to his home and “took off her shirt and pants and removed his clothes. He touched her over her bra and underpants... and guided her hand to touch him over his underwear.” She says she remembers thinking, “I wanted it over with—I wanted out.” Aside from this one woman, the Post reported that they interviewed three other women who said Moore “pursued” them when they were between the ages of 16 and 18, around the same time that the alleged sexual assault on the 14-year-old girl took place.

It should be noted that the age of consent for sexual relations under Alabama law, then and now, is 16. A person who is 19 or over who has sexual contact with a child younger than 15 and older than 12 has committed “sexual abuse in the second degree,” a misdemeanor; and enticing a child younger than 16 to enter a home with the intention of carrying out sexual intercourse or touching of genital parts is a felony. The fact that Moore was an assistant district attorney at the time of the alleged incidents would make this even worse—this was a man who was approaching teenage girls as a figure invested with the power and aura of the state.

Moore flat out denied the allegations of sexual molestation of a minor. Then a Republican official in Alabama, state auditor Jim Ziegler, took that an outrageous step further. He told the Washington Examiner that even if the charges of molestation of a girl are true, it was “much ado about nothing.” After all, he said, the allegations are that a 32-year-old man “dated” teenage girls, stopped short of sexual intercourse. Never mind that the allegation isn’t that Moore “dated” a 14-year-old but that he removed her clothes, touched her, and guided her hand to touch his penis—which would be clearly illegal acts.

Then Ziegler turned to the Scripture to defend Moore: “Take the Bible. Zachariah and Elizabeth for instance. Zachariah was extremely old to marry Elizabeth and they became the parents of John the Baptist... Also take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus... There’s just nothing immoral or illegal here. Maybe just a little bit unusual.”

This is utter lunacy coming out of the mouth of a government official—but it’s also deadly serious, pointing to just how far Christian fascism has gotten in the U.S. Roy Moore himself is an open advocate of theocracy—the view that government and society should be based on religious law, and in the case of those like Moore, on a literal reading of the Bible. Moore was twice removed from the Alabama state Supreme Court for “trumping” secular law with religious law: once in 2003 for refusing to follow a federal court order to remove a 5,200-pound monument of the Ten Commandments from a judicial building in the state capital; and then in 2016 for directing lower-court judges to continue to enforce the Alabama ban on same-sex marriages even though the ban had been ruled unconstitutional. This is the man who was slated to win a U.S. Senate seat until the uproar over the sexual assault allegations—and still may.

Whatever happens to Moore, the reality is that he is just the tip of the iceberg. The Christian fascist movement in the U.S. has been growing ever stronger over the past several decades, with backing from powerful forces at the top levels of the power structure. And, with the election of Trump, Mike Pence—a leading Christian fascist—is now a step away from the presidency. As a part of their overall fascist agenda, the Trump/Pence regime is determined to, and is taking one step after another, to impose a reactionary morality on society, including in terms of laws, based on a literal reading of the Bible.

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As Bob Avakian (BA) breaks it down in his work AWAY WITH ALL GODS: Unchaining the Mind and Radically Changing the World, it is truly the case the “The Bible, Taken Literally, Is a Horror.” BA points out “some of the extremely oppressive relations and beliefs that are upheld—and not just upheld, but advocated, commanded and celebrated—in the Bible”:

Slavery and other forms of ruthless exploitation.

The domination and degradation of women by men, including the so-called right of male conquerors to carry off women, especially virgins, as prizes of war, rape them, and make them concubines—sex slaves—of the conquerors.

The killing of women who are not virgins when they get married.

The execution of women alleged to be witches.

The condemnation of homosexuality as not just a sin, but an abomination deserving of death.

The right, and indeed the duty, as commanded by God, to plunder and slaughter people—including the babies and infants of people—following other religions.

The slaughter of people of the one true faith who displease that God.

Killing of children who rebel against their parents.

Belief in superstition and fear, and fear-inspiring ignorance, such as demon possession and exorcism.

The cruel notion that disease is caused by sinfulness.

The condemnation to eternal damnation and unbearable suffering in hell for all those who do not accept “the one true God”—and, in the case of Christianity, Jesus as the son of God who was crucified but then raised from the dead.

As BA goes on to note, “All of this, along with many other atrocities and outrages, is upheld and promoted in the Bible. If you believe in the Bible—and especially if you believe and insist that it is the divinely-dictated, or divinely-inspired word of God and all of it must be taken literally—then all of these atrocities and outrages are things that you must say are right and good because the Bible says they are right and good. And that is precisely the case with the right-wing Christian fundamentalists who can be very accurately characterized as Christian Fascists.”

Leading Republicans are trying to preserve some distance from Roy Moore now—after having backed Moore’s Senate campaign. The White House itself issued a statement saying that Moore should step aside if the allegation of sexual molestation of a minor proved true—while also calling the charges “mere allegations” that are “from many years ago.” But this does not change the fact that Pence and others now in powerful positions at the top of the regime heading up the U.S. are Christian fascists determined to push forward their nightmarish vision of society and the world and bring it more fully into reality.

Pence often says that “I’m a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican, in that order.” In other words, it’s not that his religious beliefs “influence” his politics but that his political views are an application of his religious belief that society should be based literally on the Bible and “word of God.” In 2006, for example, Pence spoke in favor of an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman that this was “ordained by God.” He is also a rabid opponent of abortion rights for women, declaring that the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion should be “consigned to the ash heap of history.” These are arguments for enslavement and subordination of women by confining them to “traditional roles” as bearers of children, as well as advocacy of open persecution of LGBTQ people.

Since day one of their regime, the whole cabal now heading up the U.S. government has been moving with reactionary determination in pursuit of this horrible vision. Some of their attacks against women and LGBTQ—the extremely oppressive actions they have already taken and plan to take, and the reactionary forces this has unleashed throughout society—are laid out in a poster of indictments put out by Refuse Fascism.

The Christian fascist aim of a society based on the Bible taken literally is a horror—and they have and are continuing to take big steps toward actually imposing this nightmare. This horror must be STOPPED.



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