Like the rest of America, Christian leaders are split when it comes to the question of Roy Moore and the Alabama Senate race. But evangelicals, especially southern evangelicals, seem to be throwing their support behind the former judge.
The Hill reports that top evangelical leaders are voicing their support for Roy Moore. Jerry Falwell, the president of Liberty University, has been an outspoken defender of President Trump and has extended his support to the former judge. Franklin Graham, another prominent evangelical leader, wrote that he is "praying for Roy Moore" as votes are underway for the election.
Graham is a supporter of President Trump and in the past has called out critics of Moore, who is facing several allegations of sexually assaulting teenage girls while he was in his 30s. Last month, Graham tweeted that he thinks many in Washington denouncing Trump are guilty of hypocrisy.
"So many denouncing Roy Moore when they are guilty of doing much worse than what he has been accused of supposedly doing. Shame on those hypocrites," he tweeted last month, according to The Hill.
According to NBC News, many evangelical Christian voters in the south consider Moore a hero in a high-stakes election to get a Christian conservative into the Senate.
The most important issue for evangelical voters this election seems to be abortion. Moore has been a staunch opponent of abortion and, on top of that, is a defender of traditional marriage. In contrast, candidate Jones, who is also a professed Christian, is pro-choice and backs same-sex marriage.
According to NBC, "much of it boils down to the notion that Jones — who was born in Fairfield, and educated at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa and Samford University in Homewood — represents the kind of outsider that Moore and many white evangelical Christians here have been fighting not only on modern social matters but since the Civil War, Reconstruction and the Civil Rights era."
Christianity Today claims that evangelicals are not simply ignoring the allegations hurdled toward Moore.
"Evangelicals share the concern of most Americans that such claims need to be taken seriously and are representative of a broader pattern of sexual misconduct in society," they write.
They continue, "However, when it comes to individual cases—particularly those involving conservative political leaders such as Moore, currently running for US Senate in Alabama, and President Donald Trump—self-identified evangelicals are slightly less inclined to give credence to the allegations."
Last month, the Washington Post published a story claiming that Moore was guilty of sexually harassing and abusing teenage girls while he was still in his 30s. In particular, he is accused of pursuing sexual relationships with teenage girls as young as 14. The allegations have created a wave of controversy as public officials, media outlets, and citizens comment on Moore's behavior.
The majority of national Republican figures have disavowed Moore and have claimed that if the allegations are true, he should step down. Critical voices have included John McCain, Mitt Romney, Lisa Murkowski, Ted Cruz, Jeff Flake, John Cornyn, David Perdue, Pat Toomey, Richard Shelby, Mike Lee, Susan Collins, and more.
In recent news, the mainstream media is lamenting that a Moore victory is also a Trump victory.