The media treatment of Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore has become so prejudiced and unfair that it is lending credence to claims that a wave of anti-Christian persecution is coming to America.
I consider Moore a dangerous nincompoop and total scum, and I would never vote for the man, but the media coverage of the candidate is now so biased and bigoted that it is absolutely frightening. Consider these recent headlines:
- “Go get ’em, Roy’: Trump backs accused child molester Moore for Senate” –The Guardian; 4 December 2017.
- “Moore might be an accused child molester. But in our tribal politics, Ala. GOP voters don’t care.” – Boston Globe; 4 December 2017.
- “President Donald Trump endorses accused child molester Roy Moore”- Vox; 4 December 2017.
The problem with these allegations is that Moore was not actually accused of child molestation. Most of the allegations against him involve sex with teenaged girls; that’s a different crime called statutory rape. It is certainly wrong, but it is not child molestation. More tellingly no media outlet has been able to independently verify any of the allegations.
The youngest girl Moore is accused of inappropriate behavior towards was 14 hardly a child, according to The Independent. The claims are inaccurate but unfortunately, they are widely believed and mindlessly repeated.
Republicans will Throw Christians under the Bus
Consider this statement from U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) on CBS’s Face the Nation on 3 December 2017:
“We can’t stop him from being seated. If there was an investigation and all six members of the committee said they believe he was a child molester, that’d be a problem.”
To his credit, Face the Nation’s host John Dickerson did not make the molestation accusations. Yet Graham; who is supposed to be Moore’s fellow party member and ally, did just that on national TV.
Christians will wonder if they can trust anybody to give them a fair hearing. An obvious question to ask here is can Moore get a fair hearing if he ends up before that Senate Ethics panel or will it simply find him guilty with or evidence and throw him out.
The obvious conclusion that a lot of evangelical Christians will make after this is that we cannot depend on anybody. An even worse conclusion some Christians will come to is that “Republicans will throw us under the bus the minute we become controversial.” Graham’s statement provides no reassurance.
Moore’s Victory would threaten Christians Rights
Another perhaps more disturbing conclusion Christians should make is that simply winning political power will not protect them. Instead, victories like that of Donald J. Trump and Moore’s only put Christians in greater danger.
When they win elections, Christians are no longer just an embarrassment to secularists, they are a threat. A threat that must be contained and dealt with by any means possible.
Disturbingly, the attacks seem to be driving support for Moore a CBS poll claimed the controversial ex-judge was leading Democrat Doug Jones by a margin of 49% to 43%, Reuters reported on 3 December. Note: some other polls like a December 2 Axios tally showed Jones leading by 50% to 47%.
These numbers indicate that the attacks on Moore may have backfired and Christians might be rallying to him. Graham’s remark indicates that there will be a serious effort to keep Moore out of the Senate, and some Republicans will go along with it. Worse, a Moore victory will give secularists and others a justification for to strip Christians of the vote.
Republicans have already made one effort to punish Alabamans for voting for Moore. Alabama’s Republican Secretary of State John Merrill threatened to prosecute suspected Democrats that voted in the September 26 Republican primary for “vote fraud,” Think Progress reported. Since those voters are probably working-class evangelical Christians that should send a chill down all the backs of all believers in religious liberty.
The Coming Persecution of American Christians
The attacks on Roy Moore give us a picture of what the coming persecution of American Christians will look like.
First, individual Christian leaders will be accused of heinous crimes. Then all Christians will be held guilty by association; particularly if they try to defend those leaders.
Second, media coverage of questionable leaders like Moore will be used to discredit all Christians. Smart persecutors will pick leaders like Moore; who have questionable pasts or have committed real sins, to attack. That strategy will divide Christians and strip them of moral authority which makes them easy to denounce as ignorant hypocrites.
The final step will be to dismantle Christian political organizations and suppress Christian voters. The rationale will be “those ignorant and gullible fools cannot be trusted with the vote, money, or political power.”
Sorry Christians Trump Cannot and Will Not Protect You
The saddest part of this sorry drama is that many Christians naively believe that raw political power and aggressive leaders like Donald J. Trump and Roy Moore can protect them.
Nothing can be further from the truth, the election of reprehensible men; like Moore and Trump, to office will only prove that Christians are a threat. Many decent, patriotic, and even devout people who might normally help Christians will simply turn their backs in disgust.
The aggressive behavior and repulsive antics of characters like Trump and Moore will only encourage bigger and more violent counterattacks. The limited political power and influence people like Trump and Moore have achieved will be useless in the face of the sophisticated, well-organized, and well-financed anti-Christian hysteria that might be coming.
Indeed, Trump and Moore will be part of that hysteria as poster children for the dangers of Christian political action. Their excesses will be used as evidence of the need to neutralize the Christian danger at all costs.
Worst of all, Christians are wasting time, money, and resources that would be better employed strengthening communities and buttressing defenses against the coming storm to elect and defend such characters. The best the Trumps and Moores can do for the Christians is buy them some time to prepare for the worst.
Smart Christians should learn from people like Rod Dreher that want to create effective faith-based communities and learn to ignore the Trumps and Moores. Only such communities will survive and protect the faith.
The media coverage of Roy Moore proves that anti-Christian hysteria is pervasive in America and it is getting worse. Hopefully, it will not trigger violence or persecution.